il_340x270.675722008_7spmIf there is a missing ingredient to success in business it’s not know-how, it’s hustle. It’s the ability to get busy and make things happen.

It’s not having more resources, it’s resourcefulness.

When people are driven and committed they so often find a way to make things work while those who aren’t committed find a lot of excuses (which they will list as ‘reasons it didn’t work’).

This may not seem like a very hippy idea. It’s not a very ‘go with the flow, man’ idea. But, real talk, The Grateful Dead had hustle.

Hustle is what allowed me to start The Jams project, The Local Good, the Edmonton Secret Streetcars Shows, Indigo Drinks, Green Drinks Edmonton, The Nova Scotia Gaels Jam and other projects.

In the fall, my friends and I are launching a project in Edmonton called The Social Yogi (basically, we’ll be hosting a monthly social event for local yogis). Last year, I found a local fellow to take on organizing it. He was excited. And I gave him literally everything he needed to make it work. He had all of the resources he needed. And yet he bailed on or no showed our first three meetings. I told him it was over. But, he took that feedback so well that I decided to give him one more chance.

We had a great meeting and then, when we didn’t get an enthusiastic response from Edmonton’s busiest local, young yoga hubs, he bailed on the project entirely because he didn’t want to do it alone.

Did it cross his mind that other people might have been interested? Or that, as the local hubs told me, that they were just extraordinarily busy and had been waiting for him to actually do something? I don’t know.

But I do know that he didn’t lack a cool idea, a website, a mentor, a plan, a clear niche, a lack of money … any of that.

He just lacked hustle.

To be clear: I’m not saying he should have hustled or even wanted to. I’m not saying him walking away was wrong or an aspersion on his character. He’s a very fine fellow. But, for whatever reason, the hustle vanished. And when the capacity to hustle goes, the success of your enterprise isn’t far behind it.

When people have hustle, they make incredible things happen on a shoestring.

And I wish I knew how to teach hustle or impart it into people.

It’s not having more resources, it’s resourcefulness.

Additional Reading:

Are You Trapped in a Shadow Career? The Artist vs. The Addict

About Tad

  • sally

    ‘It’s not having more resources , it’s resourcefulness’ ..

    That is the most eye opening , honest , liberating thing I’ve read in a long time ! ..

    Of course , I’m still confused & frightened , but , maybe not hopelessly so ..

    ThankYou ..

  • I love this, Tad. So true. Resourcefulness is super important!

    I’d like to add that sometimes when we don’t feel like going the extra mile, there are reasons for it (other than self-sabotage). I don’t believe that we have to stick with a business when there is no fire in us for it. In the case of the “fella” you mentioned, maybe he just wasn’t that into it. I’ve started 5 businesses and 3 of them failed. I wrote a post about it on LinkedIn if anyone cares to check it out: I don’t believe that we have to stick with a business when there is no fire in us for it. In the case of the “fella” you mentioned, maybe he just wasn’t that into it.

    Love your posts. Thanks for keeping it real, always!

  • Clelie

    Tad- thanks for the post-
    the resourcefulness that you are pointing to I translate in my own life as commitment.
    For example: I am totally committed to making sure that there is a delicious nutritious dinner on our table everyday at 5:30 PM. And for the most part I meet my goal. It’s taken years of work to get it to the efficient and pleasurable process that it’s become for us- but it’s totally worth it to me.
    I find interesting to reflect on the journey that has gotten me to where I am today- over time I’ve developed systems to support food sourcing, budgeting, preparation and cleaning up. I’ve read many books about food prep ( cooking), diet, culture and ethics, and have had many conversations with friends about food and eating.
    I still spend time every month thinking about food related subjects and trying out new strategies.
    When I commit to something- I make the time and put in the energy to make it happen- it’s a process and various resources help me along the way- but a mostly it’s about putting in the time and creative energy.
    My business journey is younger- exciting to see how things will develop over the next 15 plus years!

  • “I don’t believe that we have to stick with a business when there is no fire in us for it.” – Amen.

  • Madeleine Innocent

    Great article. As long as we also keep an eye on ‘being’ as well as ‘doing’.”Being’ connects us within and it is there we gain insight.

  • erica sosna

    I think the thing I learned from being a social entrepreneur was that, if you cannot charge for the value you add you are valuably volunteering not making a living. The hustle with a financial output for a social good, is what makes you a business person.

  • Rick Falls

    Hey Tad, Thanks for the wake up call !

    In reading your post, I just recalled that I too am apparently a hippie, despite “the guy in the suit” look that my profile illustrates.

    I’m finding more and more, that I ONLY give energy going forward, to the things I feel I desire to offer, as I help to empower local business owners, and I’ve also realized that I have zero desire to “go big”, or “cookie cutter” my way into a business, that the world around me thinks I should be creating.

    Couldn’t the lack of hustle for many of us, be due to our being distracted, from what it is that we’re are here to do right now ? Sure I have a vision, but I’ve also figured out that a vision, in and of itself can be intimidating. The next step or the next piece is often not !

    Man, it truly is a fantastic time to be a “big kid” as we enjoy the incredible opportunities for sharing, whatever it is that we bring to the party.

    The thing I’d add to your thoughts is, it isn’t just about knowledge or ideas (or resources), but mostly, it’s about taking action, preferably “inspired action”.