1. hurry; bustle (Merriam Webster)
2. To have the courage, confidence, self belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life (Urban Dictionary)
Hustle. A skill acquired by every successful individual. Hustle and grit lies in the working single mothers and fathers, the hipster startup up dudes, Lady Gaga, the private high school goody with a 4.0 GPA, the CEOs who have survived passed the seed stage, Malala Yousafzai, the community college kid working 3 jobs, the content writing freelancers and wedding photographers, the humanitarians, Kamala Harris, the front desk chick, the bartender, the digital nomad, the Syrian refugees, the senior program manager, the San Francisco tech transplants, the Berkeley protest organizers, Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections, the homeless child with a sign at Bart who greets me with “Good evening, Miss” every evening, Mark Zuckerberg during the data breach, the student protesters in Bangladesh, and the rest of 7.3 billion beings on our planet.
What’s the Point?
An interesting fact about all of these hustlers mentioned above is that they don’t work hard. They work smart and use their passion’s devotion and willpower to define and execute strategies, pulling from the right resources, always having not only one back up plan but multiple if things don’t work out. Every hustler walks with a deck of cards of several untested strategies, resources, and back up plans held together in the deck by the ultimatum card, the Ace of Diamonds that represents charisma and willpower, the inner drive for a purpose larger than themselves. Roddy Lindsay, CEO of Hustle, exemplified the mastery of the art of hustling by playing the cards with grit.
A Hustling Guru
In four years with test and trial, Roddy Lindsay and his brilliantly talented and driven team created this revolutionizing peer to peer texting app that today now has $41 million in funding and has impacted several nonprofit organizations, companies, political campaigns, labor unions, and enterprises.
After leaving Facebook in 2013, Lindsay was volunteering at FWD.us, this tech organization fighting for immigration reform. He wanted to improve how campaign teams advocated for causes with tech since their emails just got a 1 percent conversion rate. So he decided to get shit done to help other people get shit done efficiently.
It was a simple brilliant idea of improving and implementing the technological tools of relationship building to reach a larger audience through personalized text messaging that allowed for more overall engagement for donors to donate, event attendees to attend, and voters to vote and humanizing the call to action by integrating tech with social impact. These days, people don’t pick up the phone as much and would rather receive a text instead of finding something in sea of emails. With Hustle’s app, volunteers and staffers personally send out text messages to recipients who can later ask more in detail questions about an event or links to donate to a campaign.
The Falling Dominos: Diversified Social Impact
Several college students have been guided on their FAFSA through Hustle’s P2P text messaging platform. They drove LiveNation’s $48K worth of revenue by bringing ten times more pipeline at one of their concerts. Hustle even goes further as to ask how an attendee is doing during the event. Sierra Club, a clean energy non profit got a 24% response rate when reaching out to 2700 supporters to attend a Town Hall. This is what the athletics department at Temple University had to say,
“Phone calls are the most effective way to make a sale, but no one picks up the phone. Texting is the most effective way to get a hold of someone, but people don’t want to give out their credit card number over text. Combine the best of both worlds. Send a text to prompt a phone call to make a sale.”
-Matt Seagall, Temple Athletics
Hustle’s Mission Perks: Utopian Company Culture
A revolutionary tech company with strong corporate social responsibility always works towards improving and beautifying their company culture. With 52% percent women, 48% people of color, 21% percent of LGBT, a colorful workspace, weekly workshops about progressive topics like social exclusivity, and a CEO who equally shares his office space with the rest of his employees, who wouldn’t want to work at Hustle?
Hustling behind the Hustle
Roddy Lindsay continues to work effectively to secure funding, provide enhanced solutions for their platform, and direct the company towards an infinite visionary of creating human connection.
Why does he do what he does everyday despite being recently diagnosed with breast cancer?
For purely these three fundamental things:
“We will care about our health and the environment we live in.
We will seek fulfillment in our work and our sense of purpose.
We will value relationships with friends, family and community.”
– Roddy Lindsay, Hustle Guru/CEO
Lastly, he’s driven most importantly by people who give him hope. The Hustlers. The ones who go beyond their limitations of race and gender to come together as a diverse collective to dissolve war, to feed the impoverished, empower one another, create solutions with shared perspectives, to elect the right leaders, to satisfy customers, to conserve energy, to educate students, and to fight for human rights all under the purpose of unconditional love for something larger than themselves collectively.
Hustling to me means to work smart by starting at the bottom with no resources; cultivating something legendary out of nothing with unshakable willpower and resilience.
Coming to America with only $1200 in his pocket sleeping at a hotel lobby tutoring 5 kids to make enough money to feed himself and getting sponsored by two professors through proving his educational potential, my father exemplified hustling by unconditionally loving and chasing the American dream.
Honoring the Hustlers
I’d like to thank my personal loved ones who mentor me and allow me to vicariously experience their hustle:
Helene Clb, founder of Lives Disrupted, who hustled her way to interview the Hamptons in NY along with other individuals of influence with only $200 left in her account.
Soraya Faloudi, founder of Jara, who gave up 6 figure job offers upon graduation to build her humanitarian organization for children overseas with revolutionizing technology.
Sara Bergamaschi, founder of SAHR (Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights), who smuggled Syrian refugees across the border and bailed herself out of prison overseas to exercise civil disobedience for women’s rights.
Evadora Dezhengia, founder of Project Humanize US, who took a gap year from UC Berkeley to use VR to empathize with Donald Trump supporters in the midwest by creating a VR documentary.
Evan Kelso and Ryan McCarthy, founders of the Global Kindness Initiative, who left college to mediate conflicts in enterprise and education.
Jean Pierre, founder of Chef(x), who survived asylum and jail time before creating a podcast for people to share their most peculiar ideas and experiences.
Myself, a 19 year old Bengali Muslim American, having moved over 20 times all over the US, living independently since 17, who left college to chase my passion for tech and social impact by hustling for work experience at a company that I genuinely love.
Glorifying the Hustle
See, we’re all driven by the illusion of the award waiting at the end of our treacherous journey of working ourselves to exhaustion.
We never see the beauty of hustling itself, the picture frames hanging along the hallway towards the door of success. The memories of regaining inspiration and crashing obstacles; surpassing them with the help of our true companions and our inner drive. For this reason, I find joy playing in the loops of this hustle I have committed to.
We’re not the only ones learning this art. The practice of hustling has been done for ages outside of the human race. In the Sundarban forests of the Bengal region, the largest population of Bengal tigers ambitiously satisfy their unimaginably hungry appetites by devouring 50 to 60 humans per year. This is how they hustled in the Jungle.
In the largest underground ant colony of Brazil, ants carry food 1,000 times their own weight to get raw materials for sustenance throughout the seasons when they know it’s time. This is how they hustled in the Jungle.
In the Union Stock Yard meat packing industry of Chicago, working class Lithuanian fathers tolerated violent blows to their exhausted and fed up heads only to receive 20 cents an hour to feed their starving families. This is how they hustled in the Jungle.
It’s crucial to learn how to hustle in happiness rather than towards it. For the hustle is not a means to a destination and will always be apart of life.
Through this process, we constantly push ourselves to be the best of the best of the best and learn to love the infinite loops of hustling in which we discover talents we never knew we had secretly possessed.
Confucius once said,
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life again.”
This is how we master the art of hustling. To chase our individual American dream and take the means of our current situation and let that be our happiness.