Al and I met a little over a year and a half ago when I hired him to design a website for my virtual assistant business. We hit it off instantly. We had a shared passion for craft beer, but we realized we also shared the same drive and intensity around building the future we wanted for ourselves and our families. Since that time, Al has become one of my best friends and traveling companions on this entrepreneurial road. I’m honored to feature his “Why I Hustle” story here.
If you’d like to see your own story included here, let’s talk!
Without further ado…
First of all, I have to get over a little problem I have with the word “hustle”.
My problem with “hustle” is that it often goes hand in hand with “grind”, and “grind” just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me. I see it all over social media- people posting “It’s 3am and I’m still hustling, getting up at 4am to grind some more… Who’s with me?”.
Who’s with you?
Not me – I need my sleep!
My philosophy in life has always been “if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong”.
But if “hustle” is used to mean focused activity towards a particular goal then I’m all for that. And as this is Tracey’s rodeo, I’ll play along.
So, I’m Al Clunnie, and this is why I hustle:
A while back I wrote a post on my own blog explaining that “I just want to wear shorts.”
That post goes on to expand on this, and shorts means a lot more to me than just baring the lower halves of my slender runner’s legs.
If I can wear shorts I’m in control. Not too many employers let their employees go to work in shorts, so as a freelancer / solopreneur I get to set the dress code. Likewise if it’s shorts weather most of the time, I must be living some place nice all year round, or at least have the option to travel as and when I please.
Wearing shorts is my way of expressing what others have called “controlling the Ws”.
What I do
When I do it
Where I do it
With whom I do it
I could leave it at that, but since 1/1/16 there’s been a whole ‘nother reason why I hustle. My family grew from 2 to 3 with a wonderful little boy coming into the world, and so the hustle-muscle grows stronger.
My wife and I, as I’m sure all parents do, want to provide our son with a wonderful upbringing full of joy, and whilst money can’t buy you happiness, it sure does help. And as they say, I’d rather be unhappy in a Bentley than on a bicycle with no seat.
Far more important than the economic side, however, is the fact that I have the freedom to be there on my terms. Be there with my wife and son. In fact, I’m writing this from 35,000 feet in the air, flying home from 5 weeks in South Africa.
How many employees do you know that can take 5 weeks off to go to Africa?
I’ve done my fair share of jobs – from serving in a roadside café to life-guarding in my local pool, from packing boxes in a warehouse to credit control and accounts receivable (for the same company where I worked in the warehouse), from bartending to teaching high school Spanish, and there’s one thing I know for sure – I’m not a “job person”.
I need more than that. I “need” the hustle.
And now, while you’re here, why don’t I tell you about the other side of why I hustle?
Of course, you’ll need to know how I hustle first.
I hustle in 2 ways:
- I’m a #lifestyledesign coach
- I’m an SEO consultant and web developer
And I do both of those for broadly the same reason.
In my coaching I work with people from all walks of life looking to build their own ideal lifestyle, often through freelancing or building a business. In my SEO work I help small business owners talk to their customers, and ultimately make more sales, allowing them to focus on their business and work towards their ideal lifestyle, too.
So there you have it.
I hustle in pursuit of the ideal lifestyle for me, my family and my clients.
But really I just hustle so I can wear shorts.