Are You Hustling Smart?

Hustling often has this dark connotation, like you are out on the streets doing shady things in the underbelly of some dingy city. But it also can have a good side because it means you are out promoting yourself and by association your business.

Here is a definition when used as a noun:


  1. 1.
    busy movement and activity. “the hustle and bustle of the big cities”
  2. 2.
    NORTH AMERICAN. informal
    a fraud or swindle.

It’s interesting, but when I don’t hustle my business sags, when I hustle it does really well.

Answer? Hustle smart. You shouldn’t be working like a dog, you should be experimenting with what does and doesn’t work and abandoning what drags you down or eats up your time or doesn’t feel inspiring to your soul.

In other words, figure out what you want in your business and go for it in a strategic way.

If whatever you are doing isn’t working, try to reshuffle your hustle and find something that does. And think way, way, way outside the box. Then you will come up with a novel way to market your business.

I’ve never gotten most of my business from networking groups, but a few came along that I thought I would try. I went religiously and did what I was supposed to but not much happened in either one. Everyone kept saying it takes time. I think it takes some time, but not a lot of time.

I assessed where I was going and decided it just wasn’t a good fit for me and my hustle style. Someone told me about a different networking group and I felt good about it on day one. We will see how that ones goes. If it doesn’t work, I will try something different.

And there are many business owners who do not deliberately network at all and do quite well. I call this organic networking. You just go about your daily life and meet people in that process.

I have to say that is my favorite and what has worked best for me over the years.

The Farmers Market has also been wonderful for my business. People are drawn to my colorful paintings and funky booth. They stop by all morning long. It’s a lot of fun showing my artwork and talking about art. When they buy some of my paintings, I feel good about it.

Think about your hustling strategy, even if it has been off your radar until now. What does it look and feel like? How can you make it feel better if it isn’t quite right.

What can you do more of or less of to enhance your strategy?

I know from experience that a quote embellished on a piece of wood I bought at the store really works. It says, “Good Things Come To Those Who Hustle.”

If you are afraid to hustle or get yourself out there, figure out why and see if you can overcome that in some way. Maybe it is smarter for you to hustle on-line rather than in person or vice versa. It depends on your personality and comfort zone. Some like to be out of the zone, others prefer to be near the edge to hang on.

Thanks! G.

Are You Scheduling Quality Downtime?

Most business owners work, work work. Even play gets somehow turned into work. But are you actually getting things done during the work, work, work phase? Reports show that in an eight hour day, most employees work about three hours. The rest of it is taken up with eating, texting, searching for new jobs. Lots of diversions that don’t necessarily make us feel good because they are not quality downtime or even considered downtime.

What if you realized you blow a lot of good time and instead decided to carve out that time to do something you really wanted to do?

Parents can feel guilty doing anything for themselves. Business owners can be feel guilty not being available 24/7 for clients. Employees can feel guilty for not looking like they are uber-working even if they are actually working.Why don’t we just admit that humans need quality downtime and that is a good thing? And if we live in a nation of overschedulers, something many learn in the crazed school system with its ringing of the Pavlovian Bells and constant learning metrics, why not schedule it in?

Try scheduling quality downtime into your week. There are 168 hours in a week and 10,080 minutes in a week. Certainly, you can start out by carving out 10 hours for your own rejuvenation?

If you add up all the time you spend doing things you don’t even care about, it will astonish you. Try doing this for even one day. And a lot it occurs during times you have convinced yourself you need to be productive or a working as an employee or on your business.

I’m all for moving up our downtime – which can be something fun or even a meditative snooze – closer to the tops of our “things we love to do lists.”

You can think ahead to the end of your life and take a look at what you spent your time on. This exercise will show you how much time you could have spent doing things you wanted to  – quality downtime.

Perhaps, make a list of things you consider downtime, but that you’d enjoy doing. Could be drinks with friends in an outdoor cafe, a walk along a garden path, a creative venture, a phone call with someone you’ve been meaning to call for three years.

Then make plans with yourself to do them, almost a self-date. Let’s face it, you are going to spend a lot of time almost rebelling against the “be productive every second of the day” mantra, why not acknowledge that and transform your life into the one you want it to be.

Take time to relax and rejuvenate, however that manifests itself for you.

If I didn’t walk every day (barring snowstorms), I’d be a crazed lunatic. I consider it scheduled quality downtime. Also going out to dinner. Not a cook, don’t enjoy chopping things up and sauteing them in a pan. But I do like going to a restaurant and eating someone else’s food.

Ask yourself one question: What will take me away from my business for a few hours that will actually lift me up so I’m better at my business?

Yours in restfulness!


ps: In your newfound downtime, consider my fun program: Wild Imagination Painting. Think of it as Rejuvenation For The Soul. Two hours of downtime to relax with art and conversation. And leave with your own magnificent creations (Up to three!).

Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Place: Cheryl Cohen’s Mosaic Art Center

Attitude: Liberating, Replenishing, Fun

$54 for new participants, $49 for returning and for those signing up with more than one friend, and those 65 and over.
Thank you …

What The Hell Are You Waiting For?

One of the number one reasons small businesses fail is because the owner waits too long. S/he keeps waiting for permission to do things, like get their ass out there and network, or create that new program, or pick up the phone and call someone and ask for business.

When I had my latest essay published in the Boston Globe, I took that essay and sent it to several libraries and got writing gigs there. Poof. Just like that.

It took me many years to get comfortable being “forward,” “aggressive,” or whatever other negative term people choose to dissuade people from taking action.

Today, just picking up the phone and contacting someone is taking action since so many are afraid to do that. Why are we afraid to contact someone? When I worked at a corporation, I had people call me up and ask for work. It took a few tries, but after several conversations, I’d invite those people in and often I did choose them as the vendor.

If they had not called, I wouldn’t have known they existed. I became friends with one person who “cold called me” until he died. He helped me get my first logo design job when I opened my own business.

People should not be afraid of talking to people on the phone they do not know when it comes to promoting their businesses. (more…)

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