A few days ago, I came across an article that, more or less, said to shut up about how much work you do. To stop talking about and telling people how hard you're working or how much you're hustling. Everyone's hustling, so, according to this article, you don't need to tell people you are. That was the gist.
I think that is absurd for several reasons, but I can understand where the writer was coming from.
If you want to get ahead, particularly as a young adult, you have to put in the extra work to get yourself there. You're not going to rise above average or surpass so many other capable people if you're just working for the weekend. It's called “extra” work because it's more than normal. If you work a 40-hour week, and then give extra outside the office, so to speak, you're standing out because not everyone chooses to do that.
The point brought up by all this is the illusion that everyone's putting in 60-hour workweeks and still thinking about progress during the other 108 hours in the week. That's just not true.
As an example, I'm a young 20-something. The vast majority of those I went to school and also worked with are not spending much additional time and effort to take themselves further. The majority are working hard during their shifts, and that's all. And there's nothing wrong with this; that's just how it is.
I think the article about everyone hustling brings up a few good points, though. It is easier now than ever to get ahead. And because people aren't constricted by mobility these days, the select few doing everything in their power to get ahead are able to find others trying to do the same and foster a community of extra effort. The thing is, these are the people we see every day, everywhere. They're a small percentage of the population, but they're doing the majority of the work.
I've heard the situation put this way before. There are “employees” and there are “business owners.” Employees may work hard, but they're always looking for comfort. This typically involves a steady job, inflationary pay raises, a strong work-life balance and generally feeling comfortable both at work and home. These are all enjoyable things!
On the other hand, business owners are content but never satisfied. They typically neglect work-life balance in an effort to constantly be improving and tend to live with a lot of risk. If you look around, you'll see that most people are “employees.” But the leaders, the people you listen to, see at every community event, watch on TV, whose brands you recognize, etc. are all “business owners.” To take the illustration literally, the business owners are the ones creating jobs and opportunities for employees.
What really irked me about that article on why you shouldn't be telling people you're hustling to get ahead is that most people aren't trying to do that. It's mostly the “business owners,” who you see everywhere because they're giving all the extra effort. It's not that everyone's doing it; it's that you only ever hear from the people who are!
I'm a huge fan of going the extra mile and for telling as many people about it as possible. Once you verbalize what you're doing to someone else, you've established accountability to follow through with what you said. You need to make what you're doing as public as possible if you want to grow, otherwise no one will know about you and the rich value you can bring to the table.
Originally published on Kenneth's personal blog Kennetic Expression, and can be found here.