Hustle vs Balance: How Do I Choose?

Hustle vs Balance: How Do I Choose?

When I was in Corporate America, everyone talked about “work-life balance” and how to achieve it. Now, in the world of entrepreneurship, it's all about the hustle, the grind.

So, how do we know which is best, hustle or balance, and how do we choose?

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hustle vs balance which is better

A few years ago I was introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary's message is all about hustle. Show up, put in the work, and hustle until you get what you want.

Then, just a few weeks ago, Michael Hyatt put out a post about how hustle is dead and we should focus more on maintaining a work-life balance.

The different ways of thinking are like tanning and how our culture's perception of having a tan has changed quite a bit over the last hundred years or so.

At first, wealthy people who could afford to not do manual labor had lighter skin because they weren't out in the sun. Then, as more jobs moved inside, there was a shift in trends, and it was cooler to be tan because that meant that you didn't have to be cooped up in an office all day and could travel to exotic and tropical locations.

So, on one hand, it's wonderful to hustle toward your dream, and on the other hand, it's as equally wonderful to not have to hustle because you already have the life you want.

So which is it? Hustle, or balance?

While at the Thrive conference a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear Elena Cardone speak from the stage. Her message was clear: you are either building or destroying your empire. Everything we do, every decision we make, either builds or destroys.

Before marrying Grant, yeah that Grant Cardone, Elena had a successful career. She was in TV shows, lived the movie-star lifestyle, was a strong and independent woman, and she decided to give all of that up to pursue a business of her own and her partnership with Grant. She said no to the good things, so she could say yes to the great things. She had a vision and went after it.

And, scheduled for the same weekend as the conference was a national shooting competition in which Elena had earned a spot to compete. Competitive shooting is something she had worked for a long time to get good at. However, she gave up her shot at winning to join 1000 entrepreneurs in Las Vegas to talk about business and building an empire.

Shooting is a hobby; her business is her legacy.

You're either building or destroying

Elena also made the point that anytime our friends try to distract us from achieving our mission, they're not acting like true friends.

What do you think about that?

In my head, I see it as someone who is morbidly obese and on their mission to achieve a healthy lifestyle and body. Then, in the middle of their fitness and weight loss journey, their friends invite them over for ice cream and pizza, all under the guise of friendship. You have a goal, you're going after it with everything you've got, and your “friends” are trying to derail all of your progress with a night of “fun.”

One thing I tell my coaching clients is that when you have a goal, you must weigh every decision against whether or not it will get you closer to achieving that goal. You're either building or destroying – you cannot do both.

In the context of weight loss, does one night of ice cream and pizza mean you won't get the body you want?

No, probably not.

In the context of building a successful business, does a night off or taking a vacation mean you won't get the business you want?

No, probably not.

But, is one night of distraction worth it if it's going to set you back a week?

No, probably not.

But, if you look at every decision through the lens of getting closer or further from your goal, or through the lens of either building or destroying your empire, every decision takes on new meaning.

And, at least for me, it makes the decision easier.

So, which is more important, hustle or balance?

I don't think anyone can answer that question for you. But, for me, as I write this at 10:25 pm on a Saturday night, the question isn't about hustle or balance. The question is, do I have everything I want in life?

And the answer is no.

So screw balance. I have goals, and I haven't achieved them yet. For me, the answer is hustle.

What about you? Hustle? Or balance?


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  • Jim Woods says:

    Interesting post. We all have different seasons of life. Hard to achieve balance or hustle (or destroying or building) if you have a newborn or you get sick, right? Focus on your priorities and remember that none of this is a competition–that’s what it all boils down to for me.

    • Ellory Wells says:

      Hey Jim! Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, we do all have seasons of life, but I think most people mistake ruts as routines.

      Regarding sick kids, I think your comment reflects the mindset of a solopreneur/freelancer vs the mindset of a business owner. What are your thoughts on that?

      Also, it’s been a while since your comment; how has this post sat with you over the past 2 months?

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