what is hustle culture? Does an anti hustle advocate ever get tempted by hustle culture

What is hustle culture? “Sagan, as an anti-hustle advocate, do YOU ever succumb to hustle culture?”

How does an anti-hustle advocate navigate the TEMPTATION to succumb to hustle culture? In this vlog, I'm sharing about how I used to deal with hustle culture temptation, plus how I CURRENTLY handle it, and how you can avoid the temptation of hustle culture, too...

Links mentioned in this vlog:

Quick overview of what's in this video...

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 0:30 What is hustle culture?
  • 1:50 Answering the question, “Sagan, as an anti hustle advocate, do YOU ever succumb to hustle culture?”
  • 3:40 A couple examples of how the temptation of hustle culture has come up for me in my business and life
  • 6:40 How I used to deal with hustle culture temptation,
  • 7:20 What you need to know about taking breaks the “right” way vs the “wrong” way
  • 8:35 How I deal with it now that I’m an anti hustle advocate
  • 10:20 How this comes back to identifying core beliefs about what it means to be a good worker, a hard worker, an ambitious business owner, etc
  • 11:25 Why this is NOT about being perfect or doing it 100% of the time… and what you need to know if you want to avoid succumbing to hustle culture
  • 13:20 How avoiding the temptation of hustle culture can happen FAST, and even at the subconscious level
  • 14:00 How you can measure your progress with anti hustle methods
  • 16:00 Wrap up


Does an anti-hustle advocate ever succumb to hustle culture? In this video, I'm answering that question. 

My name is Sagan Morrow and I'm an anti hustle Productivity Strategist and internationally board certified Success and Life Coach who specializes in working with solopreneurs. Be sure to grab my free training Anti Hustle Secrets to Solopreneur Success.

Let's get into today's video. I want to answer this question that sometimes comes up, “Sagan, do you ever succumb to hustle culture?” 

This is a great question, so I'm really happy to answer this. 

First of all, let's take a quick step back… 

What even is hustle culture? 

Hustle culture is really that glorification of busy tasks. It's about applying virtue to working just for the sake of work, rather than being intentional and strategic. It’s when you’re applying a lot of that sort of virtuous mentality of working 24/7, working on weekends, working in the evenings, sacrificing your personal life for your professional life, all of those sorts of pieces. 

Hustle culture is also about measuring your value and your worth based on how much work you can do, how much work you can accomplish, how many tasks you can check off of your to-do list. 

Hustle culture is also associated with a lot of guilt and shame and self judgment when you take breaks — so it can involve a lot of overworking and constantly prioritizing your business tasks over your personal life. That especially happens at the detriment of your personal values or your personal life goals, or the people in your personal life or your own self care. 

So that's hustle culture in a nutshell!

And I think that it's really natural for people to assume that because I am an anti hustle Productivity Strategist — I'm a Productivity Strategist and a Success and Life Coach who is passionate about anti hustle methodologies — so it’s really natural for people to assume that it must be a non issue for me to succumb to hustle culture. Right? It must be something where I never get tempted by hustle culture! It's a total non issue for me. 

Is that something that you have believed? 

Let's debunk that! 

First of all, I did not start out being really productive. I did not start out with this whole anti hustle mentality. I used to be completely burned out! I used to give into hustle culture all the time. I was really into that whole toxic productivity mentality. That is what my business used to look like back when I first started my business (I have had my business for over 12 years). 

I've learned a lot along the way over those years throughout my solopreneur journey, and that is how I began to really create and implement these anti hustle methodologies. So if you're wondering, “okay, Sagan, do you ever get tempted by hustle culture nowadays, even after going through this whole journey of overcoming hustle culture and really embracing anti hustle methodologies and essentially living and breathing it,” …If you're wondering whether I ever get tempted by hustle culture… the answer is YES, I do. I'm not perfect! 

What does it look like when I get tempted by hustle culture? 

I want to give you a couple of examples of this. The first example is that I will get tempted to postpone my personal passion projects, because of that sort of underlying sneaky belief that working is more important. 

Fun fact: On the side — when I'm not teaching and coaching about anti hustle productivity, when I'm not doing live coaching sessions or solopreneur coaching — I enjoy writing novels. I'm a romantic comedy novelist. I actually have a podcast all about my journey as an indie author. It's called Indie Author Weekly and you can check out some of those videos here on my YouTube channel. what is hustle culture? Does an anti hustle advocate ever get tempted by hustle culture

Sometimes I get really tempted to not work on my novels because I think to myself, “I should be working on you know, my online courses, my teaching business, my coaching business, those are the areas that I should be working on.” 

Writing books, writing novels is much more of a passion project, right? So that can definitely come into play. Hustle culture is definitely a temptation in that sort of sense. It can really become a block when I want to work on that more passion project sort of side of things. 

Another example of when I get tempted by hustle culture is how I can kind of get distracted by feeling like I “should” be doing this or that in my business when I'm taking a break…

I take lots of breaks in my business. I have chronic anxiety, chronic insomnia and chronic nightmare disorder. So because of that, you know, I can't work super long days; I can't work super long days. On average, I'm working about 25 hours a week right now. I don't work in the evenings. I don't work on the weekends. And I also often take a full week off in the middle of a month. 

(I live outside in a different province than my family so they will come visit me or I'll go and visit them… So over the past year, I've taken a week off almost every single month due to, you know, family and travel and things like that.) 

As a result, that sort of insidiousness of hustle culture can definitely come up; that temptation of hustle culture, where I might be thinking “I'm on a break right now, but I should be working. Is it okay to take this week off?” Those types of thoughts can definitely come to mind. 

So I want to share how I deal with it when that temptation comes up to hustle to do work. There's a difference between how I used to manage it versus how I do it now! 

How I used to do it — back when I first started my business 12 years ago, and for a considerable period of time; there were quite a few years for her where I was really into the toxic productivity and glorification of busy work — Here's how I used to do it… 

First, I would just do work. So that was really what I did. I would just do work. I would prioritize my business tasks, which often meant sacrificing other things in my personal life. And it also meant getting burned out and stressed out along the way. 

That's actually how I was first diagnosed with anxiety: I thought that I was just super stressed out from work, and then my doctor was like, “Sagan, no, you have anxiety!” But it really led to so much stress and burnout, from engaging in toxic productivity and all these types of things. 

And what this also meant is that I would not take breaks in a way that was helpful for me because I was so focused on toxic productivity; because I was so focused on just checking tasks off my to-do list and working and everything like that. 

I wasn't taking breaks the right way. 

I see a lot of solopreneurs making this mistake as well: I'm often needing to coach my clients through it when they first come to me because they have a really hard time taking breaks. 

Most people take breaks the wrong way. And what that means is that when you take breaks, you aren't really enjoying the break itself. Your breaks are not refreshing you, they are not replenishing your energy. They don't feel restful or peaceful. You might be thinking about work the entire time — and not in a fun enjoyable way, but in a stressed out worrying sort of way. 

This was definitely a big problem that I faced in the past. And it's something that a lot of my clients struggle with when they first come to me. 

So that's kind of how I used to manage it. That's how I used to manage hustle culture when when the temptation came up, I just gave into the temptation. 

Here's how I manage it now: 

Now that I am an anti-hustle productivity strategist, now that I've created and designed these anti hustle methodologies, this is how I handle that temptation when it does come up... I recognize it when the thought patterns come up and stop them in their tracks. 

Alright, so I've gotten very good at identifying when that temptation is coming up and halting it before I get into it. So this is how I have been able to take that full week off work every month for months on end. This is how I've been able to enjoy that quality time with loved ones without getting distracted by work or cancelling plans or cutting them off early in order to get back to work. That's how I've avoided that sort of temptation of doing it.

This is also how I’ve been able to make a ton of progress on my business with those shorter work weeks that I mentioned. This is how I stay very centred and grounded in both my business and my life, so that it doesn't have that sort of stressful worrying sort of piece coming into play. I can actually take breaks in a way that is very restful and enjoyable and replenishes my energy. 

When the temptation to succumb to hustle culture comes up for me, I honour those thoughts and those feelings. I've gotten very good at identifying when it's happening, and then I take that moment to acknowledge and accept the thoughts and feelings that are there, and then let them go. 

Now, this comes back to identifying my own core beliefs around what it means to be a “good worker” and a high achiever and an ambitious person etc. Working through, unpacking and processing them, reframing them, and doing a lot of self coaching to overcome and change my thoughts and behaviours, all of that is part of it. 

Because I have done all of those things throughout the years, it now happens super, super quickly, very, very quickly. This is the type of thing that I do with my solopreneur coaching clients as well: the solopreneur clients that I work with are high achievers. They often have core beliefs about hard work being more virtuous… so we work through all of that type of thing in our coaching sessions. 

This really enables them to overcome those beliefs and simultaneously improve the quality of their work and their life. So if that interests you as well, then you can book your spot in my Solopreneur CEO coaching program!

It's really not about being perfect. It is not even about doing things 100% of the time. This is about continuing to practice it. 

Anti hustle is a lifestyle and an ongoing practice. 

It is not a finished product, or a final achievement that we check off the list. It is an ongoing practice and a habit that we do every day all the time. And it's also not about doing it 100% of the time; it's about doing it 95% of the time. It's about giving ourselves grace and acknowledging it when it is happening. And probably most importantly, it is about how we handle it when it does arise. Having that grace for ourselves, creating that space for us… This is about how quickly and accurately we recognize it when it happens, as well as the way that we view it, the way we approach it and deal with it and the ease and the speed with which we get out of it. So this becomes very automatic. 

It is an ongoing practice and a habit but it can become something that you don't even need to necessarily do at a conscious level it becomes ingrained in you it becomes an automatic habit, this automatic reaction the way that you approach it, just like the way that you have been or currently are approaching your work right now, where you're getting into hustle culture without even thinking about it. You're automatically succumbing to hustle culture without recognizing what's happening. You can also take that and flip it on its head and start incorporating anti hustle methods; to be and live an anti hustle lifestyle and an anti hustle business without needing to consciously think about it, it becomes this automatic reaction, which is so cool and delightful. 

So with my clients and for myself, when this hustle culture comes up, we can very often deal with it without needing to consciously work through it and consciously process it. Or, when it is that conscious process when we do need to kind of work through it, it can happen within a matter of minutes. It can happen so quickly that we see that the temptation is there, we address it, work through it, and we're good. And then it's not an issue. It is not an issue. So that is pretty fantastic. 

Now what happens if you are the type of person who's like “but I like checking things off my list. I like being able to measure something. I don't want anti hustle to be something I need to do every day. I don't want it to be something that's an ongoing basis. I want to be able to have it as an achievement that I work toward and I check it off my list and I am done with it.”

…If that is where you are at, if you are that type of person, I completely understand. And in that case that's also where my Productivity Powerhouse e-course comes into play. 

Productivity Powerhouse is my signature e-course that makes anti hustle fun and measurable for you — so that it can become this automatic, ingrained habit. It can be this ongoing practice. AND you can actually measure your progress with it as well if that is the type of person that you are. 

Productivity Powerhouse includes my approach to making anti hustle so much easier and more automatic in your business and your life. It is all about improving productivity, the anti hustle way, reworking your business structure, incorporating really good time management and energy management habits, all of these different types of things. And again, you can actually measure it through some of the tools that you get within that e-course. 

It's a lot of the deep inner mindset work as well as the practical actions, the tangible action steps that you can take, and you will be able to do very practical audits and assessments and use tools that can help you along the way to measure it, so you can see that progress happening. 

There you have it: Yes, we all get tempted by hustle culture at one point or another. But there are absolutely ways to navigate this and make it so much easier and even automatic to be able to resist that temptation!

If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to my solopreneur YouTube channel, give this video a thumbs up, and also drop a comment on YouTube sharing your favourite takeaway from today's video.

Don't forget to attend my free on-demand training, Anti-hustle Secrets to Solopreneur Success. It teaches you a whole lot more about how to fix your solopreneur problems so that you can skyrocket your success, PLUS you'll get a little sneak peek of Productivity Powerhouse while you're at it. Enjoy!