In 2017, I wrote a piece on Hustle Guilt where I argued that we’ve put the wrong values on a pedestal when it comes to what we call “hard work” and “sacrifice.”
It’s hold hat 🎩now. Once Mrs. Huffington collapsed on her desk and Peterson’s burnout piece went viral the world took a collective, “oh shit.” And remembered that, as humans, we do in fact need sleep, rest, relationships, play, movement, and a life off the computer.
It seems we’ve overcorrected.
In trying to protect our mental health, honor our boundaries, and engineer the Life and Business of Our Dreams, we tipped the scales a little too far in the other direction:
- We say boundaries, but our behavior is “ghosting on projects, being rigid, and refusing to do work.” These are not boundaries.
- We make claims to rest that confuse “rest” with negligence and failure to follow through on existing (contractual) obligations.
- We say “raise your rates” but act entitled, charging obscene amounts for projects where we do as little work as possible and might not be at all qualified to do. [note: impostor syndrome is not the same as legitimately just starting something. You earn your way to higher rates. You don’t start there.]
The problem is not rest, boundaries, charging more, nor self-care – the problem is:
Working smarter does not mean not working.
Real-life is in the messy middle.
Where you hold boundaries and then make exceptions. Where you honor your sleep routine most nights but not all nights. Where you meditate when you can, but don’t spin into a shame spiral if you can’t get to it because you had to work late on a client project. Where sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do, that don’t spark joy, that aren’t restful, and that demand you miss stuff.
This rigidity we display when it comes to “building the business of your dreams” is the same shame-based rigidity you see with the hustle bros.
It’s hustle guilt, but with yoga pants on.
We’ve got to be more transparent about what it takes to build something from scratch. And not in the inappropriate “Y’all, I told you I was a millionaire but I’m actually broke” post on Facebook way. Please stop doing that. It’s manipulative and cruel and takes no responsibility for it’s part in manufacturing the illusion that hard work is easy.
Hard work is hard. Not easy.
But it’s also GOOD.
Like a weights workout. No honest person will say lifting weights is “fun and easy.” But the cumulative effect on your health, the pride you exude when you hit a personal record, when you watch the numbers go up and your body get stronger – that shit is GOOD.
This week, Hillary Weiss and I took on this topic on #HAMYAW: How to Build a Business of Your Dreams. We give you our take on what I call the “overcorrection,” specifically when it comes to Boundaries, Pricing, and Passive Income.
Check out the episode here.
And if you know any over-correcters, send this their way.
Let’s bring that over-correction back to the middle.
It’s sooo easy.
PS: For some legitimately solid content on rest, check out my friend Jordan Maney’s work. She does not oversimplify this topic and might be the only person honestly discussing what it means and what it takes. Likewise, check out boundaries Queen, Justine Sones, who will be the first to tell you that “only working from 2-4 PM on Wednesdays” is a profound misunderstanding of what it means to have strong boundaries.
Check out Jordan and Justine and then watch Hillary and Margo Yell at Websites: How to Build The Business of Your Dreams where we take on the over-correction.