Dream Smarter Podcast Ep10 - The Hustle


Dream Smarter Podcast Ep10 – The Hustle

Below are the show notes/summary for this episode. Please listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify for the full show! Xo, Alex



Today we’re going to talk about the hustle. Basically, what “the hustle” is to me and hustling versus self-caring.


Today’s episode is going to be one of those podcasts days where I just talk. Some days I have an organized plan of everything that I’m going to talk about. Other days I just want to have a conversation with you guys because I think it’s really interesting to hear other people’s opinions on specific topics. So, I hope that you find my opinion on specific topics interesting as well. 


I wanted to talk about this because I have been working all day. I’ve been working really, really hard today. I’ve been working really hard for a few months now. I have been pushing myself to limits that I did not know that I could go. I have been hustling my fucking ass off working on projects, growing my business, implementing new strategies in my business, growing a team, and doing a million different things. And you know what? I know that I need to slow down sometimes. But at the same time, I love the hustle. Today, I’m going to share a bit about why I love the hustle and why it’s so damn important to work yourself silly. 


Why the Hustle Is Important


There are a lot of conflicting opinions on this topic, and I have a lot of people write to me and tell me that I need to chill out, take a day, and have self-care. I totally know that they’re coming from a great place because they care about me and they want me to be happy. And I am happy. I am happy even when I’m hustling my ass off. I’m happy even when I’m working 15-hour days, 17-hour days, 20-hour days. I’m happy because I love what I do, and I am a business owner. We are all entrepreneurs. I’m assuming most of you guys who are listening are entrepreneurs or you want to become an entrepreneur. I understand that when it comes to business in life, there needs to be balance. But at the same time, you also need to go through seasons in your business where you don’t have balance.


I do feel like there are times in your business where you need to put your fucking head down and work. If you want to have a successful business, you need to work really hard, and you need to pick your battles in life. When it comes to the hustle and when it comes to working really hard, you have to pick your battles in life. And for me, there are times where I’m going to have to say “no.” I’m going to have to be a bad friend. I’m going to be a bad daughter. 


I don’t sit and call people, and I feel really bad. When I get two seconds to myself, I spend those two seconds to myself because it’s very minimal. That’s the situation for me right now in my life. I do whatever the fuck is in front of me because no matter what happens, I’m never going to be able to get everything done. And that’s just how it is. And I think that’s probably how it’s going to be for the rest of my life at least until I can grow a strong enough team where I don’t have to be doing or checking on everything all the time.


That shit doesn’t happen overnight.


Growing a business does not just happen. It’s not easy. And I think this is something that everyone needs to realize. Even with me in my business, I have so many people writing me and emailing me and messaging me on Instagram and Facebook, telling me how much they look up to me and what I’ve accomplished. I think many people will look at me and think that I make it look easy or that it seems simple or easy going. I guess that’s a part of the job because you have to make it look natural.


This is something that I love, so I work really, really hard at it. If you don’t love what you do to the fucking core, it’s going to be a lot harder to hustle and grow the business into a million-dollar business, which I am trying to do. I don’t have small goals. My goals are really large, and there’s a reason why, because I know that I can fucking do it. 



Are You Willing?


I remember when I was reading this book, there was a part in the book where it was, it said, “are you willing?” It said, ask yourself, “are you willing to do it to get to the point that you want to be at?” And for me, that’s a question that I ask myself daily.


I ask myself “do I want to go lay on the couch and watch TV” or” am I willing to lay on the couch, watch TV, and have my computer in my lap and work and build something new for my business and grow my business today in this very moment?” Yes! I am willing because I love what I do. And yes, it can become exhausting. But it’s not exhausting in the way where it’s like, “Oh, I’m exhausted because I’m working at a nine to five and I fucking hate my life because I hate my job and I hate the people that I’m working with, and I hate being here.” That’s not the exhaustion that I feel. The exhaustion that I feel is my brain has been working so hard trying to come up with innovative, creative ideas. That’s why I’m exhausted.


That’s how I feel every day, but it’s good. I’m pushing myself in every single thing that I do in my business. Everything I do needs to be better than the last thing that I did because I am not stepping backward. I won’t let myself step backward. I sometimes understand like, yes, I need to take time off, and those days are coming for me. I’m already booked into September, so I can see exactly what my schedule will be like until the end of the year. So, for me, I know that slower times are coming in.


By slow, I don’t mean less client work, which equals being more of a visionary behind High Moon Studio. I don’t ever look at my life as like, “Ooh, yay, thank God I get more time off.” Like it’s time off, but it’s not time off. I don’t sit and take weeks of time off. Eventually, I will. But even when I do, it’s like, all right, I’m going to book a fucking house and go there for a week, do some photoshoots, have some of my entrepreneur friends come. It’s still business. My life is my fucking business. My business is my fucking life. This is what I signed up for. This is what I want. I’m growing this studio to be a multimillion-dollar company. That is my goal.


You have to be all in!


I want to build a beautiful life that I love, that I feel super passionate about every single day, and I want my hands in it all. I don’t want to step back. I want it to be there. I want to be in the thick of it with all my team and all my clients. That hustle, to me, means everything. And I know it means everything to my clients. It even means everything to my followers on Instagram. I get messages every day, hearing from people saying that they look up to me and what I’ve accomplished and all of the work that I do daily. So, I know the work that I put in, I will get out. And all of the accomplishments that I have hit in my business are solely because of the hustle that I have put in.


So, for me, the hustle is everything. And I know a lot of people hate that goddamn word because they’re just looking for balance and the whole self-care movement. I know it’s really important, but I think that I shouldn’t be shamed as an entrepreneur or as a human if I want to work really hard. I know sometimes I’m not the best friend. I’m not the best daughter. Don’t get me started dating because I don’t date. I don’t even remember the last time I saw a male that was single. I don’t want that right now. What I want is my business.


My business is my baby, my boyfriend, my bestie. 


That’s the situation that I’m in, and the reason why it’s growing is because of that mentality. So, I don’t ever want to be shamed again about working really hard and putting in the hours and being really tired. Eventually, I know I’m going to get to a place where I can be a better friend and better in my relationships. I know that I kind of suck at responding to texts and caring about what they’re saying, like coming up with a true, valid response. I just can’t. I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed in my life because I’m so busy with the hustle of what I have in front of me that I can’t even separate myself from that for two seconds to give my attention to others right now.


And it sucks. I understand it as a human. I understand that this is how I am right now, and I feel bad, but at the same time, I don’t feel bad because I don’t need to feel bad. At least I can tell my friends like, “Hey, I’m sorry, I’m busy.” They get it. Like the people who love me get it, and they support it, and they know that it’s not because I don’t love and care for them. They know that it’s just because I’m growing my business. The hustle is real. The hustle is necessary for me. And I know there are so many people out there who don’t believe this and believe that there should be more balanced and all this shit. And I totally get it, to each their own. But I just had to come on here and talk about this because I was so sick of hearing people not shame me.


I know they’re coming from a good place, but there are so many outlets and people talking about self-care and slowing down and finding balance. And you know what I say? Fuck that. Not all the time. Not all the time. But you have to go through periods of hustle in your business. That’s my opinion. If you don’t, your business is going to suffer. I sit here, and I think about all the things on my to-do list and in my head, and no matter how fast or how slow I accomplish or get through those tasks, I still have to fucking get through those tasks. 


There’s no like secret pill to take to make you get farther along in business. 


You have to sit down; you have to learn; you have to fail. That’s like a huge part of it. There are so many things that I failed at, but I fail fast. I fail fast, and I move on, I pivot, change my perspective, and change my offering. I change. I am where I am today because I move fast, and I move forward. Never backward. So, this is a tip for all of you guys who are sitting there getting lazy; start fucking working because the minute you start working hard, it’s becomes a snowball effect. It’s like when you work out for 21 days. You get used to it, and it becomes a habit. Working hard and hustling is a habit for me now because I’ve done it for so long. Make that habit in yourself and work really fucking hard for like six months and see how far your business will go.


Last year over the whole course of the year, I got 1000 followers on Instagram. This year it’s May, and I just hit I think 6,500. So, I’ve gained 5,500 followers in not even six months. When last year, I only had 1000 followers in a year. Last year I was not hustling like I am now. Last year, I was still hustling, but it’s a bit harder when you’re just starting. You don’t have all the clients. But once you start getting the clients and once that snowball effect starts, don’t stop. Don’t get scared. Lean into it. Work really, really hard. If something doesn’t work in your business, switch it up. Fail fast, move forward. 


People ask me all the time, “how did you grow your business so fast?” It’s because I’m constantly working. I barely sit down and eat real meals. I barely hang out with anyone. That is why my business is where it’s at. I’m single. I don’t have a family. I live alone. I have a dog. That’s it. I want to grow my business to a point where I don’t have to do this every day for the rest of my life because when I get married and have kids, I want to be there for them. But to do that, I need to hustle. Right fucking now.


So, sit down, put your head in your computer, and work really fucking hard. Better yourself. Better your craft. Every single client that you have put your all into it. Every single inch of your creative ability put into that client and see what happens. Because if you do that, if you genuinely do that, they will appreciate it, and they will share it, and then you’ll get more clients because of that. And then more clients and more clients and more clients and it’s just a snowball effect. And then you can start offering more passive income style products and services, and your business will grow. 


Shoot for the Moon!


I already hit 100K this year. I’ve already hit six figures this year in May. I’m hoping this year to hit $500,000, which seems to be an unrealistic goal. But you know what? I’m an unrealistic motherfucker in person, and I’ve always have been. I shoot for the moon. And you should too. But to do that, you have to put in the work. If I don’t get there, it’s like, okay, at least I knew that I did every single thing that I could. I worked hard, I hustled. I can self-care next year. 


I am starting to give myself time because I also realized different things. As my business grows, I realized where I need to be as a business owner. Like I am a visionary. I love coming up with innovative ideas. I’m super, super good at business, and that’s something that I’m starting to learn. I need to start being a CEO instead of a designer. I love designing for my clients. That’s how I got to where I am today. But I need to start becoming the CEO of my company.


I need to start being the visionary. I want to come up with ideas nobody in my industry has ever come up with before. I don’t overprice, I overvalue. That’s why people keep coming back because they know I put in the work; they trust me. I’m not trying to take people’s money; I’m trying to make them money, and that’s what you have to do as a business owner. You have to put in the hustle, you have to try and make people money, solve their problems, and they will continue continually pay you more and more and more and more and more. 


I’m always educating myself. I’m always pushing myself to be better. I never stop. I hustled hard, and you should too. I mean, if you want to be the person who doesn’t, that’s totally up to you. But I have seen in my business how much hustle can actually do. It’s okay if you want to work hard, and I am done feeling bad for working really hard, and you should stop feeling bad for it too.


So, if you’re a person right now who’s sitting there thinking, wow, I realize that I don’t really love what I do, and I am sad every day. Go figure out what you would love to do. Take that time, sit with yourself, journal, meditate, figure out what you would love to do. I would do what I’m doing right now for free. If nobody were paying me, I would still fucking do it. Go figure that out for yourself.


What do you like to do for free, and how can you make money off of it? And I promise the hustle will just come naturally to you. 


Click here to listen to the full show on Apple Podcasts