When Is the Right Time to Work Hard?


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when to hustle versus flow

Once upon a time, in a castle far away, lived two people who couldn’t stand each other.

They were known as The Princess and The Hustler.

They lived in two separate rooms in a white stone tower, and every day they argued about how to pay the castle bills.

The first was The Hustler.

The villagers gave him a wide berth any time he stormed into town to use the local coffee shop if the wifi was out in the castle, because he practiced “highly efficient communication” — a.k.a. shouting at people and refusing any small talk.

Hasten Thee to the Realm of Rush

He wore the bags under his eyes as a banner of pride, shaved his own head (because according to him, hair was a distraction) and his biceps were uncomfortably swollen under his raggedy t-shirt, courtesy of his precisely-optimized workouts and exactly-measured nutrition plan.

The Hustler’s room in the castle was a mess of papers (cleaning was a waste of time, he claimed), and his laptop was perpetually in his hand, with some email or other open.

He enjoyed his work, so he did it at all hours — managing an absolutely wild load of assignments, projects, commitments, and cutthroat goals. His work ethic and bank account were the stuff of local legend, and the words “fiscal responsibility” were, quite literally, tattooed over his heart.

Sometimes he slept and sometimes he ate, but mostly he was in “the zone” according to him. On the very rare occasion there was no work for him to do, The Princess and The Hustler would sit down for a movie, during which The Hustler would check emails and DM’s on his phone the entire time, just in case.

His polar opposite roommate was The Princess.

The villagers were polite and found The Princess very kind, but some couldn’t resist rolling their eyes a bit when she floated into the local crystal and tea shop a few times a week. She always seemed to have hours to spare, to tell a story, and to dispense advice that almost always came down to “You’re working too hard. That could be eeeeeeasier, hun.”

The Princess and the Yoga Studio

She wore loose silks and linens, wore her dark hair long and faithfully brushed it daily as part of her 18 step morning routine. She did a lot of yoga, drank a lot of green smoothies, and posted images of both religiously to Instagram, reminding people they needed to slow down and just be, yknow? Once a month, she’d meet with her Women’s Group, counseling them on how to make their lives more spacious and elegant.

The Princess’s room in the castle was filled with pillows and candles, and when she wasn’t napping she preferred to read books, tend to her plants, or look out the window, chin in her palm. Surely she had to do work sometimes because she made money, though she was rarely ever caught. And occasionally she would share tales of her successes in emoji-filled social shares:

“Just did a 19-figure launch,” she mused under a picture of herself doing a headstand in expensive new yoga pants. “So #blessed to be living with #ease.” She announced regular ~digital detoxes~, and apparently manifested most of her success, instead of marketing herself.

While no one verified these claims, she always spent lavishly in the village, so most of the locals were like: “She’s a little pretentious, but she seems to be successful and also pretty nice, so y’know. Whatever.”

Something Is Rotten in the State of…

Aside from their occasional movie nights, The Princess and The Hustler would usually get into blistering arguments.

“You work too much, you’re going to make yourself sick!” The Princess would cry out .

“You work too little! What do you even do?! Also, your yoga pics are annoying. The rest of us have jobs to do, Princess.” The Hustler shot back, one eye on his phone.

The P’s jaw dropped. “Wait, are you sending an email right now?!”

The H looked up, his thumbs still flying, and discovered The Princess now also had her phone out. “Oh my god are you about to put this on your IG stories?!”

She was. And now she was making a slow circle around The Hustler, narrating to her followers “See? This is what a life of overwork can do to you. This dude is nuts. If you don’t wanna be this guy, join my $50,000 Yoga Ease Green Smoothie Manifestation Mastermind.”

A Recovering Hustler-Princess

“Enough,” I interrupted, immediately inserting myself into the story. “You’re both just awful.”

See, the truth is, The Princess and The Hustler represent the work ethic dimorphism that lives in my brain.

Most of y’all know I’m a recovering hustler. I was raised with the idea of very, very hard work being only the path to grace and success. If you listen to my older interviews, you’ll hear me mention that my road up the industry ladder — which started when I was 21 — was fueled by a really simple belief that I could (and would) “out work anybody”.

But I also have an Inner Princess. After years of striving, pushing myself, and burning out, I took steps to radically simplify the way I approached things in my business and it helped me. A LOT.

So, at my most annoying, I will peek over your shoulder at whatever game plan you’re looking at, cluck my tongue, and tell you “You know… this is looking a little complicated.”

But here’s the reason for this story: both belief systems come with their fair share of shaming.

The Hustler within raises an eyebrow as I remain religious about my weekends, doing less, and saying no (because imagine what more I could be getting done with all those hours!)

The Princess sighs heavily when I’m in the “building stuff to see how we can scale it” zone of up front investments of time, energy, and money. “You’re not letting it be easy enough. You’re working too hard. People can see you, you know.”

The Very Thing You Swore to Destroy

As the years went by, I continued to struggle with settling permanently into either belief system. I figured it had to be one or the other, right?

Wrong.

My friend Sarah Peck (founder of Startup Parent) put it so eloquently:

“Every entrepreneur has a 6th gear. You wouldn’t be in business for yourself if you didn’t. The key is to not spend all your time in that gear.”

Oh. Oh wow.

Damn. It really can be that simple, huh?

Dogma is dogma is dogma. Only a Sith deals in absolutes. It’s OK, and healthy, to have a little push, and a little pull back in ya at the same time.

Hustle to Chill is a Spectrum

So now the question becomes: WHEN should we be activating our inner Princesses, and Hustlers… and how do we avoid getting sucked into either category permanently?

As you might’ve guessed… this is a job for Team #HAMYAW to explore today.

Because, to us, the truth is this:

There’s a time to chill out, and a time to work hard (or at least hard enough to get you further faster, so you can THEN rest as you give stuff time to grow and expand).

And anyone who tells you it’s gotta be one or the other… is probably trying to sell you something.

Margo and I have spent time wandering in both the worlds of extremes, and we’re excited to share our thoughts with you — and to hear yours too!

So click here to catch the episode now, and we’ll see you over there.

Write on, H

P.S.

In case you didn’t catch my announcement yesterday: THERE’S A NEW FREEBIE IN TOWN!

Think you want to add teaching to your biz but don’t want to be terrible at it? Or want to improve your teaching chops so you can feel more confident? I’ve made just the thing for ya! Go ahead and grab your free copy of Hot For Teaching right here. >>>

Episode Transcript

Okay.

Did you just choke a little bit?

I don’t know what to do with my face,

I’ve been watching myself during cold opens, and I’m like this.

(Hillary laughs)

(Hillary giggles)

I sit.

This is what I do when you’re doing the closing, where I’m like.

Ole!

Yeah, exactly, just goof off. 

(upbeat pop music) ♪ Hey ♪

Welcome back, marketing nerds of the world. It’s time for another episode of HAMYAW, and today we wanna talk about (imitates gear shift) the 6th gear. I’m told that’s what a gear shift sounds like in a car, I don’t drive stick.

But we wanna talk about the 6th gear. This is wisdom bestowed upon us by our dear friend Sarah Peck. But the 6th gear is basically the gear where you are firing on all cylinders in your business and in your life.

So when we think about the 6th gear, this is often where we fall into hustle culture, right? That we should be pushing at all times, we should be going, going, going. If you’re not trying and giving 150,000% all the time, are you even a person?

Versus the reality that you can’t always stay there. And I think it’s such a learning experience for business owners to discover both their 6th gear and when they have to shift out of it and into something else for their own health and sanity. We have a lot to talk about today but before we do, Margo? Talk to me about your 6th gear.

Okay, I love this question because it wasn’t something I really understood until altMBA.  Because you are given an unreasonable amount of work to do in a time where it’s not physically possible to complete, and you sort of learn what your limits are and you learn how to stretch. But it’s unsustainable. And so seeing that you have that capability to produce, but then you need a recovery period.

Like, this is just part of the cycle. It’s like sprints versus marathons. So like, you can sprint and get into that 6th gear and really put everything in. Or you can run a marathon and if you start out sprinting, you’re so fucked. You are never gonna finish the end of the marathon. You gotta pace yourself. And so I think what I’ve learned about sustaining in this game is that it’s actually a series of sprints.

And it’s really a question of self-understanding and awareness to know when you’re sprinting for the wrong reasons and burning yourself out, and when you need a genuine break. Versus when you’re slacking off, when it’s resistance, whether you could actually go harder because that’s the confusion in this conversation. People are rallying against hustle culture, which is totally fair. I have been that person, I am that person.

We have a whole episode about it with the amazing Brittany Berger, yup.

(laughs) Ditto.

But then we’ve over-corrected where people are like, “Well, I did my one hour of work today. “Why am I not seeing results?”

(Hillary laughs)

So, y’all, I mean. Come on.

And, episode. Go on.

Yeah, and scene.

So first of all, I love the sprint metaphor because actually if you think about sprinting, you’re running at top speed. Surely that should be the most efficient mode of transportation, right? Like, how fast do you want to go? As fast as possible! Perfect, surely you will also get results as quickly as possible. And then you pass away and you get to heaven’s gate, and then St. Peter is like, “You shouldn’t have watched so many Gary Vee episodes.”

(Margo laughs)

Sorry, we know Gary Vee has reformed, so we do want to clarify: Not so much unadulterated Gary Vee hustle hate on the show any longer.

But I love that you raise that point too, Margo, of having this divide between the hustle culture folks who are like, “150,000% or what the hell are you doing?” And the other folks now who are like, “Fuck hustle culture, work as little as humanly possible in order to get great results.”

And to be fair, I think that there’s a lot to be said for thinking about schedule. I do this a lot with my clients who are thinking about working smarter, not harder, right? Getting more efficient with your time, being more thoughtful about where you’re pouring your energy and how often you’re working every day. And understanding that not every day can be a 12, 14, 16 hour day, that’s important. But also where I personally got stuck because everything is about me.

(Margo laughs) 

And I require a lot of external validation in order to survive. But a lot of the issue with me was that I got embarrassed by the anti-hustle. Like, looking at the and thinking about the anti-hustle folks when I felt like I was working too hard in public. Like, people would see me and like, “Oh no, she’s trying.” You have the cool kids who are kind of sitting down and being like, “Eh, I didn’t really study for the test.” And I’m like, “I was up till three in the morning “and I’m still gonna get a worse grade “’cause I’m just not great at school.”

(laughs) Totally that.

(laughs) That’s a me thing!

But it feels like very that energy. But in reality, it’s always gonna be both. Just because, first of all, as you say in the altMBA experience, where you have to figure out how much you can take on. You have to figure out how much is too much for you. And unfortunately, you’re not gonna get there until all of a sudden there’s too much on your plate and you’re like, “This plate is too full.”

And then you start taking things off and you learn to adjust, and you learn to notice when there’s too much on your plate and you don’t just look down and be like, “Well, it’s all here. I might as well just eat it.” It’s so important to know what your 6th gear is and how hard you can go. But it’s also important to know where your resting point is. 

I had a colleague, called them canaries, right? Like canaries in the coal mines.

Yes.

What are the signs for you when you are going too hard and you spent too long in the 6th gear? For me, I can name them right now. I leave my keys in my apartment door, not a great idea in Brooklyn. My mouth gets really dry for a week at a time, and no matter how much water I drink, I’ve got this terrible cottonmouth. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and that’s when I know, “Okay, I have to do something. I have to get stuff off my calendar, I have to get stuff off my plate, I have to rethink how I’m doing this.”

But that 6th gear, do I still spend time there? Absolutely. My friend Meryl put it really well. “I don’t love the hustle, but sometimes if I do hustle, it’s so I can fail forward fast to get where I wanna go.”

That’s exactly what I was gonna say. So I was frustrated and I was talking to our mutual friend Michelle Warner who likes to fancy herself my Depression Era sage. ‘Cause, she has that work ethic of a 90-year-old. And she’s so great. I really didn’t wanna do something and it was a project I just wasn’t aligned with anymore. And she was like, “You gotta honor your commitments and some days you just gotta truck through the muck and push through.” And I realized that that actually really was the message I needed.

“Push through” gets this negative connotation because people like us take it to the nth degree like, “I’ve been pushing through my entire life and it led me to some very unhealthy places.” But then there are moments where you do have to push through resistance and you have to push through the fact that it’s unpleasant. And I think people don’t realize that part of hard work and part of achievement and part of hitting your goals is unpleasant. It’s actually unpleasant so it’s not that it’s gonna feel great all the time.

I’m not on cloud nine writing. And if I hear someone that is on cloud nine writing, I’m like, “They’re not writing.”

They’re trying to sell you something (laughs).

(chuckles) They’re reading.

Yeah (cackles)

[Both] Yeah.

Because it’s true, there’s no writer in their right mind who is actually gonna sit here and tell you it’s a pleasant experience. Pretty much every honest writer will be like, “It fuckin’ sucks.” It’s fun in the beginning! You’re inspired and then you kill your darling, and then you’re like, “Oh, what did I do?” And you’re face to face with your inadequacies and then you come out of it through sheer hard work, and it’s good.

Exactly.

But the point is, I think we’re confused about what the cycle looks like because we’re sold this, “It’s quick, it’s easy, “if you’re really meant to do it, it’ll feel pleasant.” And so I think we’re confused about what healthy and unhealthy is, and what hard work actually looks like. And one of my dad’s friends likes to say, “Well, it’s called hard work not because it’s fun and easy.”

And I like that, it is hard, but there’s a reward in it. I think a good metaphor is the gym, because I hate the gym and I never wanna go, but never in my life have I felt worse afterward.

Yeah, yup.

Ever.

And so I think the same is true about work, and so this conflation of your passion with your work is really confusing. And so I wanna draw a line for people that could be useful, and that is health. So I really liked what Hillary said about knowing her signs and asking you to get familiar with your signs. I have them too, and knowing your signs actually gets you familiar with your non-negotiables because here is the trick.

The trick is, if you actually wanna be in your 6th gear and more efficient and more productive and optimizing at the highest levels, you have non-negotiables. Right? Some people are fine, I’m married to someone who could literally never sleep and still get better grades than me and I wanna kill him.

Yeah, that’s the worst.

Same. But me, if I don’t sleep, nothing comes out of my mouth that makes any fuckin’ sense. My memory’s shot, my cognition is just six to 10 minutes behind on everything. A very embarrassing public persona because you’re just like, (blabbers) what’s the word I’m going for, it’s…

And they’re like, “Door? Were you looking for ‘door’?”

(Hillary laughs)

Breakfast, Margo, it’s called breakfast.

Yeah.

What’s interesting, too, and I spoke to my experience feeling a little bit of shame. Being a hard worker was a big part of my identity for a long time because I’m raised Protestant. I got that Protestant work ethic got those Boomer parents who just instilled it in me. So I had a lot of unlearning to do around the fact that everything has to be hard. Everything does not have to be hard, and that’s the reality. Everything does not have to take all of it out of you. 

But sometimes when you are trying something new, when you’re working hard to create something, when you are putting yourself out there more, there is that element of the 6th gear. Where it’s like, “Okay, here comes the finish line.”

(imitates gear shift)

(imitates engine revving)

Yeah!

So you have to get over the hump and that’s to the point you were saying. And I think when we have these anti-movements where we have hustle culture and we have anti-hustle culture, people in the middle are always gonna be like, “Both of you are shaming me and you’re both awful, so I’m just gonna keep doin’ what I’m doin’  anyway.”

Yes.

So I think that what’s really important for your own consideration is, is there a reality where you can work three hours a day and make a million dollars? Sure. Presumably.

However, right now there’s a lot of conversation in the space, like that should be your priority. Get stuff off your plate, get stuff off your plate, hand everything off. That you hand everything off that you possibly can, even if you enjoy doing it because it’s taking your time. 

I remember the first time I had been taking in a lot of anti-hustle culture conversations. And I was talking to a friend who was like, “Yeah, we’re in launch, and I’ve got sales calls booked.” And I had been meeting about how no one should ever do another sales call again and like, if people wanna work with you, they’ll just do it and they’ll know you enough from your content and all these things.

And she was like, “Yeah, I’ve got sales calls booked. I like this part. I like doing sales calls, I enjoy it as part of the launch process. That’s cool.”

And I was like, “What? You can say that now? Oh, my god.” 

I’d almost forgotten for a second because there’s such, I think, an eye in our industry particularly, I think. Because there’s so much overwork among women, there’s the emotional labor, there’s the invisible workforce or whatever we call it that is on women’s shoulders…

As a woman — 

So it’s important for us to recognize that we don’t have to be doing all the things all the time, I think that’s vital. But as that conversation was kind of the only thing I was absorbing for a little while, I started to feel shame about the hard work that I needed to do to get things across the finish line. That I had to push to make sure that my launches got filled, that I had to get on sales calls still and actually have conversations with people. Which I enjoy, but I didn’t wanna tell anybody that.

It’s such a fine line and that’s why I loved that Sarah Peck brought up the 6th gear. Because we all have that ability to go really hard and to bring it on home. We all have that ability inside of us, we would not be entrepreneurs if we didn’t. It’s a matter of using it wisely. And also, not always using it to 150,000%, right?

I would say my hustle now, like my 6th gear now, looks very different to my 6th gear than when I could spend weeks in that zone. And I would be working till 10, 11 at night every night for weeks at a time and just being like, “This is what it takes. This is it.”

It’s not. But also knowing when you’re spinning your wheels. ‘Cause I would, too, that I was working really hard and I look back at it. And I’m like, “50% of that could have been eliminated.” And I didn’t know. In the beginning, you don’t know, so it’s all part of, that’s why it’s called the hustle. But I think once you know what the things are that are actually worth that time and investment and (voice drowned out by Hillary) that 6th gear.

Yes!

One of the things that really disgusted me about agency life that I had to leave is that people would be like, “Ugh, I worked all night.” It was like this badge of pride. And I was like, “Dude, we were at drinks from 4 to 9! You started at 10! That’s why you were up till one, you…” What?

And so it drove me insane and they were like, “Yeah, but that’s part of the process, it was brainstorming.” I’m like, “Uh-uh, I’m not doing this with you.” Like no, no.

And then you’re gonna go turn around the next day and be like, “Oh my god, I’m having

trouble with my gallbladder and I wish I could get to the gym and I don’t know how to make it happen.” I’m like, “I’m done with that.” I’m done with that, that is not the same. So the fact that you’re engaged in busy-ness is not the same as being in your 6th gear, okay?

Yes, yes.

Being in your 6th gear is when you are working. Actually working and moving the needle. And sometimes we’re not always clear on that, right? Sometimes you’re gonna have to take sales calls that don’t go anywhere, but take the frickin’ sales call, right?

Mm-hmm.

So I think being clear on what it means to work hard and what it means to create the illusion of working is really, really important. So I got really good at the illusion of working. I was confused, myself! This wasn’t something I did on purpose. It was just, I thought that I wasn’t entitled to rest.

And now, I understand because I have achieved certain things that if I don’t rest, in a way that is rest to me, (by the way, might not look like rest to you. It looks like rest to me, we all have our own different ways of decompressing) I can’t write, I can’t do my job, I can’t teach.

So here’s what that looks like, let me give an example. I think a better frame for this would be boundaries. So I was the person that thought you go to the conference, you meet everyone, you take everyone’s number, and then you absolutely call everyone back and you become everyone’s friend and you know all the people, and you maximize!

(laughs) Maximize, maximize!

And I remember the first time I met someone. He was present when we were chatting, and then he tapped out at dinner. He was like, “No, I’m not gonna go at all. I have work to do.” And I was like, and felt the same as you. I was like, “That’s a thing that you can do?” You can do that?

Yeah. 

And let me tell you, I am religious about not socializing now when I’m speaking. If I’m speaking or if I’m presenting, you will not see me at happy hour, you will not see me schmoozing. That is not something that I can do, because that takes away from the core of what I actually need to get done. It just does.

You’ll see me, though.

(both laugh)

But I’m an introvert, right? You’re an extrovert.

Yeah, exactly.

So it builds you up, my husband’s the same way. I can’t do that and I know that about myself. So now I know if I wanna preserve the things that matter, part of my job is going to watch TV or going to rest or doing something that is not my outside persona.

That’s so funny, ’cause I actually have the opposite before a speaking event. 

That’s hilarious.

I have the opposite preparation process, where I will go and have a drink and see people, and get to know who’s there so I feel more comfortable on stage the next day. I will not be running my lines obsessively the night before. I’ll get it when I–

Oh, same.

No, I’m not saying that’s you. I’m just like, this is something that some speakers do. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Where you’re just running your lines and you’re trying to rehearse and you’re getting ready. If I’m going first the next day at 8 a.m. or something, I’ll of course go to sleep earlier and make sure I don’t drink too much. But I think that I need that rest. That is rest for me, to be in a group of people and chatting and just getting comfortable seeing friends and then going to bed. So it’s so interesting, it really just depends on what your needs are.

Your work style, yeah.

And your work style, and what gives you energy. Because again, I think the introvert-extrovert dichotomy, I think there’s (blabbers). Because I think that sometimes, I will also get tired in a crowd of people.

Exactly.

But I think that it’s just really important and as you progress in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s just gonna get clearer and clearer, about what your 6th gear is, what’s worthy of your 6th gear. And also when you need to rest. I worked intensive-style with clients in 1, 3, and 5 days for a couple of years. Miserable. Because what my brain needs is to sleep and to work on stuff in the very back.

Yes!

You will never get a draft from me or anything until I have slept. Because I’m like, “Okay, we did the first draft.”

(Hillary snores)

“All right, now we’ll have the second draft.” ‘Cause if I sit there and work that draft until all hours just to get it in by a deadline, it’s not gonna be good. I’m gonna hate it by the time it gets to you.

Yes, yes.

And though that was in my copy days. But I think again, understanding what your 6th gear is and also when to turn it off is one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves in the experience of being business owners.

I totally agree.

And to that end, I think knowing also just your prime work style. On the flip side of the 6th gear, as we’re decompressing in order to get into that 6th gear, I remember when people used to make fun of me for not being fun on the weekends. And I was so embarrassed by this but I truly, especially pre-kid, I loved spending six or seven hours on a piece. That was fun for me.

I wanted to do that, I liked returning emails. It didn’t drain me, it actually got me excited by 4 p.m, I was like, “All right, let’s get drinks!” That is how I liked to spend my time.

And so I felt so much shame because people were like, “Why aren’t you at brunch?” And I didn’t want to say it publicly. I do now because I’ll tell you what happened. I hate brunch. I hate brunch, I don’t get the point.

(laughs) What did brunch do to you?

Because I’ve been up since seven anyway, so I’m hungry. So is it lunch? I don’t know! I don’t know, it confuses me, it doesn’t make any sense. And if I wanna work out, it messes up my eating schedule. I really don’t like brunch unless I’m hungover. Anyway, I said this publicly for the first time and I got flooded with people coming out of the woodwork being like, “I didn’t like brunch either, I didn’t know you could say that.” 

I fucking hate brunch. (laughs)

Yeah.

And I was like, “Oh, my god!” And not to say the food, I like brunch food. But I don’t wanna eat at 11 because I wanna do stuff with my day.

Yeah, brunch always knocks me out. Day drinking, I’m nappin’ by–

Yes, totally!

I’m just a sleepy person, man. I’m a Taurus, I’m an earth sign, I’m grounded in the earth. And I need to take a nap.

I think it’s interesting and we gotta give each other a lot of space to have our own processes too, because you can have a good work-life balance and still just enjoy the act of working on the weekends, especially if you have a kid. Once you get into the anti-hustle culture rhetoric, it’s really easy to be like, “Make your weekends sacred!” ‘Cause that’s the policy for me, I refuse to work on weekends ’cause I physically can’t.

I was helping on a shoot a couple weekends ago, super early on a Saturday morning, 

and I worked until about 3 p.m. I was dead for the entire rest of the week. The entire rest of the week was just shot because I didn’t have two full days of rest and I know that about myself. I was able to do it ’cause I was like, “Okay, I don’t normally work weekends but this is a 6th gear moment, let’s do it.” 

And then for the rest of the week, I was like, “Okay, we’re pushing my launch a little bit. “Team, I need you to handle X, Y, Z. I’m gonna stop with my morning writing practice this week, and I’m gonna catch up on sleep.”

I love this so much because there’s so much self-understanding and compassion while also being ambitious. We don’t want anyone to feel ashamed of their ambition. If you have things that you wanna achieve, do not let anti-hustle culture get in your head. Know yourself, know when you need to rest, trust those signals. But also understand that a lot of these things you figure out as you go. You develop boundaries by violating them. (laughs)

Yeah, and it’s okay to be wrong!

It’s okay!

It’s okay to be wrong, too. I think I was really hard on myself for a long time ’cause I was like, “Work, work, work. Hard worker, workhorse, part of my identity.” And then when I started learning more about it and thinking more critically about it, I got really ashamed. ‘Cause I was like, “Wow, I’m such a fuckin’ loser for wanting to work hard and for talking about it and for not always looking for ways to work smarter.”

And I was always just white-knuckling and doing the thing. But it wasn’t wrong. It got me pretty damn good results in the moment. It’s not the way I work anymore ’cause I’ve learned, but I had to go through that.

So if you’re in that zone where you feel like you’re hustling a lot and you wanna get out of it, there are so many resources available to you.  It’s gonna be a journey and that’s okay.

Either side of the spectrum, if you wanna learn how to work a little harder if you wanna learn how to work a little less. It’s all a process of testing and trying, so be with yourself.

Be with yourself and if you’re like, “Yeah, I actually love working on weekends!” And then in a couple years you’re gonna be like, “I can’t believe I used to work on weekends.” That’s okay, too. This is evolution, people, all part of it.

Yes, let yourself change. I love that.

I think that the more grace we can have with ourselves and how we change over time and just knowing who we are, what we want, how we work, how we optimize…and the bottom line here is, people, watch your health. Your mental health, your physical health, because this stuff is not benign. If you are not okay, that affects everyone around you. It affects your staff, it affects your customers, it affects your family. It is not okay. You driving yourself into an ulcer is not good, but you also just sitting around and being like, “Why isn’t it working?” Both extremes are dumb.

(Hillary laughs)

Right?

I don’t wanna do anything.

Yeah, exactly, yup.

Both extremes are dumb.

Listen, we want to hear from you. We wanna hear what your 6th gear is. What does it feel like when you’re sprinting? 

When have you been spinning your wheels and confused about what it means to actually work hard?

Were you or have you always been a white-knuckler, and did you change, or are you still that way, and is it working? And what does working mean?

There are so many things about this discussion that I think are so personal to each one of us. So the advice that I really, really love and I’ll share here was, “Stay in your lane”. 

What someone else is doing and what’s gonna get them to the top of their mountain is none of your business, right? We each have different things that we care about and that we value and so, the more you recognize who you are and what you need to optimize your goals, the better.

The better!

Absolutely.

So talk to us about them in the comments.

I’m Margo Aaron.

And I’m Hillary Weiss.

If you liked this episode, please like it below. Share it with your friends and subscribe to our channel. We will see you in two weeks.

(imitates gear shift)

♪ Hey ♪ 

Photo by Juliet Clare Warren

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