Why you need a Week of Hustle

Days slip away so quickly.

You have big dreams for your business. If you're smart, you've also validated an idea for something that people want, and will pay for.

And yet the days keep slipping away.

There are many reasons we don't work towards the big goals for our businesses: there's customers to help, emails to answer, phone calls to return, fires to put out, maintenance to do, employees to train, computers to upgrade, invoices to send, meetings to schedule, flights to catch...

These are all legitimate things; but they don't move you forward.

This is the problem with being busy: it's a whole lot of movement that results in zero mileage. It's really frustrating, because you're trying to get somewhere. You have a destination, but you're stuck at the train station.

How to break free

This month I held an experiment at my workplace, in parallel with members of JFDI (a community I run for solo-bootstrappers).

I called it a "Week of Hustle" (hat tip to Amy Hoy who had a "Year of Hustle" prior this).

Here's the idea: think about what happens when you go to a conference. You've booked that time off, you jump on an airplane, you arrive in Las Vegas. Everyone at the office knows you're at the conference, so they don't bug you. You've put your "Out of office" reply on your email. With all of this done, you're able to focus on the speakers, meeting people, workshops, etc...

What if you could take time away like that, but focus on working on your business?

The Week of Hustle is taking 7 days away from your regular routine, and focusing on finishing a project (or shipping a product feature). You choose to ignore the maintenance, the bugs, the emails and phone calls for a week, and just focus on moving your business forward.

If you're able to put on your "Out of office" reply, that's good. But it's even better if you get out of town. No one disturbs you when you're traveling. Clients, co-workers, and family members understand that you'll be away, and respond accordingly -- for that week, you're essentially "out of range".

It helps if you have a daily reminder, a checklist, and accountability. With JFDI, there was an email that went out each morning: it was a reminder of what we were trying to accomplish, and how many days we had left. Each of us set a goal for the week, and then worked backwards to create a realistic checklist for each day. And finally, each night we'd report back in the forum. We talked about what we were able to accomplish, what obstacles we were encountering, and what we planned on doing the next day.

What were the results?

Here's a few quotes from people that participated:

"Week of Hustle was the best. Without a doubt, I definitely felt more productive and accountable." - Carl Alexander

"I made more progress on my app in one week than I did in the prior 6 weeks or so. I’m very happy about that." - Matthew Crist

"The hustle put some fire under my butt to get my work done." - Deyson Ortiz

It was powerful for me too. It felt so good to ship something after months of standing still. The Week of Hustle was able to jolt me into daily action: I knew that I had to ship something small each day, in order to achieve my goal by the end of the week.

I think this approach could work for both an individual and a company. If you, or your team, is feeling stuck, a Week of Hustle might be the remedy. Feel free to email me if you have questions about it: words [at] bizbox.ca.

Justin Jackson

Published on November 23rd, 2013
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