Anti-Hustle Movement and Austin Kleon

Last year I discovered Gary Vee and man was I CHUGGING the kool-aid.

I really wanted this blogging/social media/content creator thing to work and Gary Vee said I had to do the work. Every fucking day. Do the work! Gary Vee said I should be posting MULTIPLE times a day. He said to document, not necessarily create which made a lot of sense because it is a hell of a lot easier to document your life and what you’re doing than it is to try and come up with content on a regular basis.

I was listening to the podcasts, reading the books, subscribed EVERYWHERE. I loved his message…. except…. it was fucking exhausting.

And I know, I know… anything worth doing will be hard and tiring and require a lot of time. But Jesus H Christ. I already had a full-time job, I am a mother and a wife on top of them. I wanted to fucking watch Netflix and sleep and not walk around with my face in my phone all damn day. And I was getting tired of putting all this shit out there and getting nothing in return. I know that sounds pretty shitty. But when we ourselves out there we want a return on our investment. And if you tell me I am wrong I will say you are full of shit and get off my page. BYE.

For the most part then, I gave up. I got tired of the quote unquote hustle. I did not even know what that meant. I did not even know what I was trying to do. What in the actual fuck was I hustling towards.

I did not have a great idea, or a product I was trying to sell. Yeah, I want to make a difference in the world. But at to what end? Not sleeping and grinding away at nothing did not seem like time well spent. “Burning the candle at both ends” does not seem like a great idea. What is left if you do that?! These are things I think of in hindsight.

Honestly, I do not want to be working all the goddamn time. Then I stumbled across a video on YouTube on Rejecting Hustle Culture.

And so I realized hustling to hustle is not the point.

Shortly after I realized I was following an author by the name of Austin Kleon on IG. No clue who is he, or how I started following him. But evidently I was it looked like he was prompting his recent book, Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. Interesting, except I do not find myself to be a very creative person. I am actually quite literal (I see where my son gets it from). So I worked backwards through his books…. Show Your Work! and his most popular, Steal Like an Artist.

In a two week period I devoured all three of his books. Books that gave me so much insight to the creative process. Instead of working like a damn dog and just putting shit out there, Kleon says (in his first book) copy from the people you admire. Unlike some hustle culture influencers, Kleon says to FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT. Nothing is original and that not everything needs to be side-hustle. We should all just have hobbies.

A hobby is something creative that is just for you. You don’t try and make money or get famous from it, you just do it because it makes you happy. A hobby’s something that gives that does not take.

This idea resonates with me so much. I read, I write. I read as a hobby – to take me away from real world issues, or to learn about real world issues. But reading is a real business. Just look at IG and the number of sponsored ads on just books – who would have thought. Stacks on stacks on stacks of books from publishers and it seems like everyone is trying to reach a point with their bookish accounts where they are getting those stacks and being approved for those review copies.

What happened to just reading…. to read a good story.

I feel like it’s not a thing anymore to just be. Everything we do now as a society has to have a greater end point and goal; everything can be and has been turned into a side-hustle.

The free time activities that used to soothe us and take our minds off work and add meaning to our lies are not presented to us as potential income streams, or ways out of having a traditional job.

He does not advocate quitting your day job. A day job is actually encouraged because the romantic idea of the starving artist is just that – a romantic idea.

My take away from Kleon’s three books is that you should take your time. There is no rush, there is no need to rush. Think about your work, put your work out there if you think it is useful. If it does not add value, do not put it out there.

STRIKE THE ADJECTIVES FROM YOUR BIO. “Don’t be cute. Don’t brag. State the facts, unless you are actually a ninja, guru or rockstar”.

I guess the point of all of this is that no one knows what they are doing. What works for one person, usually will not work for someone else. We all have to find our grooves. We all have to find our way. We all have to find what works for us. Look for inspiration, but working like a dog, not sleeping, posting 86 times a day and drinking too much coffee might not be the way. Sometimes, you’ll just need to stop.

  1. Excellent. Just excellent. I love Gary Vee too. But one day I woke up realized what world I live in and understood its only me and my life that can guide me best on what works best for me. Influence is good, mentoring is good. But what will be best will be knowing when to stop it. You are your best hope. Believe in self.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.