Mario Andretti was someone who knew how to not just reach, but crush, his goals. A world champion, Andretti is one of only two drivers to win races in each of the four major types of racing: Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. Not only was he a major winner, his career spanned decades. Andretti was the only person named United States Driver of the Year in three separate decades with awards in 1967, 1978 and 1984.
How did Andretti achieve such amazing, long-term success? Here’s the secret in his own words: “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” In a few words, he was committed to the hustle mentality.
What is the hustle mentality? It’s a commitment to get ahead, no matter what, and never give up when faced with insurmountable challenges. It’s a resourcefulness and creativity in finding new methods of success. When you adopt and embrace the many facets of the hustle mentality, you’ll set yourself up to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Hustle mindset: innovation and resourcefulness
Someone who is a hustler does not have to carry the full load themselves. As someone with the hustle mentality, you make innovative and resourceful choices about how to work smart, as well as hard. One aspect of this is that you become an expert in human psychology. You understand how to exert your influence in just the right way, and you analyze the other person’s reactions and how they feel about the situation. You’re able to use your influence intelligently because you understand social dynamics and negotiation. It’s not about making 500 contacts, it about making 300 smart contacts.
Hustlers are also agile when it comes to their approach. It’s been said that no plan survives contact with the enemy, and that’s especially true in business. When you embrace the hustle mentality, you recognize you can’t possibly know what challenges will come throughout a year. You plan to adopt resources to make changes, rather than planning as though nothing will come up.
Finally, the hustle mindset is also about resourcefulness. Many entrepreneurs are bootstrapping their companies, and those that aren’t have to make good use of the finances they’ve raised from investors. Whether it’s about striking a deal to lower the price of a needed service or working an alternate plan, resourcefulness is vital to reaching your goals.
Hustle action: put in the work
Gary Vaynerchuk wasn’t always a successful businessman with a huge online following. In the beginning of his career, he marketed his business, Wine Library, locally. He describes how he went door to door, handing out flyers to get exposure with local businesses. The businesses he entered didn’t know who he was when he showed up, but by the time he left he had made an impression. He hustled.
Putting in the hard work is a key attribute in mastering the hustle mentality. I personally worked a ridiculous number of hours when starting and building my businesses. I’m not alone in that feat. Great entrepreneurs work an average of 60 hours a week, with some clocking much more than that.
Putting in the work helps you be ready to seize opportunity when it arises. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Never believe that others are successful because opportunity fell out of the sky for them. They hustled. If you do, too, you’ll be ready for your “luck” when it comes.
Hustle persistence: never quit
Successful entrepreneurs — even Andretti — weren’t born successful. They became that way because they were ambitious and persistent. Oz Pearlman has been hustling with his sleight of hand for two decades, but his current success on America’s Got Talent finally earned him national attention. When asked his secrets of success, he lists asking for help and never giving up as being vital steps.
Pearlman may not be in the traditional business arena, but his hustle is much the same as a successful entrepreneur. He started out part time and made a goal to pitch one event planner or hall per week. He focused on building rapport rather than selling up front, and he really listened to the other person instead of thinking only about his pitch. Even then, success wasn’t easy: it took more than 20 years to reach a national spotlight. But he never quit.
Reaching your goals isn’t an easy or simple process. It’s about adopting and embracing the hustle mentality through innovation, resourcefulness, doing the work and never quitting. Are you willing to do what it takes?
What part of the hustle mentality is your biggest challenge? Share in the comments section below!