Stop Telling Me Hustle Culture is Dead.

Just because we are more aware of it doesn’t mean we have eradicated it – we are just more able to point and stare when we see it.

It’s like the car accident on the side of the freeway; we slow down and say, “how terrible, I hope no one got seriously hurt.” Then when we pass, we hit the gas to keep up with everyone else’s speed.

The negative impacts of hustle culture and the burnout epidemic deriving from it are well publicized. Books and articles abound, decrying the long-term and short-term ramifications.

Entrepreneurs are building new products and services to help with the symptoms. Companies are providing access to yoga and meditation apps to help their employees cope (maybe,) to retain them (absolutely.)

The Hustle is so deeply ingrained in our day to day. It is in the language we use, the things we celebrate, and the people we exult. It is wrapped up in our sense of belonging and our identities. To say it is complicated to dismantle is a simplification.

  • We can chip away at it, and we are, but please don’t insult all the people struggling to find their way through by saying it’s dead.
  • The people who are trying to leave a toxic industry that makes up 90% of their identity.
  • The people untangling themselves from relationships that collapsed under the unrelenting pressure of achievement.
  • The women who were told they could have it all and are now buried under the weight of the labor necessary to make that happen.
  • The kids who are being conditioned to get A’s or else.

Getting through, or getting out from under, is hard. It is isolating. It is painful. It will ultimately make us happier and healthier and live longer, but there will be loss along the way.

Hustle culture will never be dead. It is too embedded in the birth and growth of our country. But it may lose some of its market share. That is my hope.

If enough of us:

  • Restructure our relationship with achievement.
  • Find new ways and places to support ourselves financially.
  • Find out what we actually want instead of just wanting it all.
  • Celebrate more of the brilliant, beautiful, everyday non-hustlers who make an impact. Here’s to hope.