So clearly we completely fell off from Quitting. I could make a bunch of excuses, but why? Excuses are what people make when they dropped the ball and want to feel better about it. Yeah...I'm not going to do that. So apologies for the inexcusably long delay and without further notice, let's get back to the Quitter Challenge. Or in the immortal words of C. Brezzy: LEGGO!!
Quitter Challenge Chapter 6 - There Will Be Hustle
Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits - Thomas Edison (yes, THAT Thomas Edison)
I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that one of longest chapters in the book was about the amount of work you'll have to put in on your dream job while still maintaining your day job. And for some reason conquering that chapter became a formidable task for me. It seemed longer than all of the others combined. Harder to read. At one point in the wee hours of the night as I flew back from (insert location I can't remember here) I found myself wondering if I'd forgotten HOW to read because I was having so much trouble finishing this chapter. "K is a vowel, right?"
But it finally hit me on my 9,736th go at trying to finish Chapter 6 that my laziness was preventing me from moving forward in the book. I didn't want to hustle. Hustling means working harder, faster, smarter. I didn't want the extra work. I want to breeze through BGLU. I want to post something insanely clever, have the right person read it, have the aforementioned person show up at my door like Publisher's Clearing house with a giant check (giant in size AND amount) made out to Tia and Toya and be shuttled away to a furnished loft/apartment/bungalow in the Hollywood Hills, where I can look out on all that I survey and write witty, sometimes pithy anecdotes about being a fun black girl in the city of angels. Ummm...yeah...I just don't see it panning out like that. (Aside: If there IS someone out there who likes our blog and finds it worthy of a giant check and subsequent sponsorship, please know that we are NOT opposed to that. )
The truth of the matter is if you want something, anything, worth value, you're going to have to work at it. You want to lose weight you have to work out and eat well. You want to build wealth, you have to stop spending money on pointless things and save. You want to marry a British guy, move to London...(wait, that's from my personal vault...ignore that.) If you want it, you have to work for it. It's that simple.
"...our desire to complicate [our dream] is all too often just a cover for laziness or fear." - Pg 142
Jon talks about being "terrified of the work involved." (pg 143) I circled that and wrote, "ME TOO!" I work really hard on my day job. Between traveling, long days looking at medical records and late nights writing reports, I usually put in no less that 50 hours a week. It's just the nature of the job. I travel a lot. And while it sounds exciting, lugging a laptop bag and carry-on through airports, sleeping in 8 different hotels since the 3rd week of January, literally waking up and having no clue what city you're in, being recognized by airport workers because you travel so much and they know your face, is neither relaxing or easy. And doing it all for a job that causes your feelings for it to vacillate from mere disdain to abject hatred is not the business. I say all of that to say that because of the work I put in to keep a roof over my head, I'm not often moved to put in more work on something else. But that shouldn't be the case. My day job should spur me to hustle harder on my side gig in order to one day be freed from the tyranny of my 9-5. Isn't the goal of Quitter to eventually be able to "give us free" from the thing that doesn't motivate us so that we can do the thing that does?
I often say, "I do what have to do until I can do what I want to do." That is the very nature of Quitter and Hustling. If I want the blog to be successful then I have to write more and consistently. It's the if/then principle. If I want to (insert dream here) then I have to (insert the nature of the hustle here.) And so for me (and for some of you) that means making more hours in the day by starting earlier. And, real talk, I hate that.
I am not a morning person AT ALL. While I appreciate the quiet and stillness of the morning, I don't care enough about it to partake in it. But several weeks ago I realized that if wanted to have time to do anything other than work and travel then I'm going to have to start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. The first time my alarm went off at 5:30 it went something like this:
As much as I hate it, the morning before the day starts is the perfect time to get things done. There are fewer people at the gym. My work blackberry hasn't started chiming incessantly as if it's about to explode. (Seriously, do I need to be CC: on EVERYTHING?!?!) And most importantly, my doubts and laziness haven't kicked in. My drive hasn't yet been squashed by the TSA agents/300 page medical charts/crappy airport food. In the morning I remember why I love to write because the demands of the day haven't rendered me forgetful. I remember why I continue to pursue the things I love...the things that bring me joy. So like it our not, you're going to have to make time to hustle.(And..ick...it may be in the mornings.) But the beauty of it is, as you hustle more, though you may be busier, you'll find yourself being being busier doing the things you love and that matter to you.
But before you think it's all hustle and rainbows and lollipops, hear me..or rather hear Jon: Pursing your dream is work. Closing the gap between your day job and your dream job is a hustle. You have to put in work. And regardless of how much you love your dream job there are going to be times when it is hard and frustrating and you want to throw the book about Quitting out the plane window for stating such. (Just me...?) But there must be diligence. There must be practice. There must be hustle. I know that I need to write and write and when all else fails, WRITE. I need to put in the time, the material, the everything else if I truly want BGLU to become good enough to be my dream job. So while I may currently want to shoot the bird that is so happy about the coming sun that it WON'T SHUT UP, the fact that I'm up early enough that I am subjected to the the wretched creature so that I can blog brings me a bit of satisfaction. And I know it's hardly a huge step. But it's a step.
There's a whole section about doing your dream for free. I'm going to let Toya address that further. I feel she's got some special insight on that. Moving on...
I am the eldest of 3. I am Type A with smatterings of Type B. I am pretty organized. And I am often grossly competitive.
And you know what...I'm fine with that. But up until very recently, I felt the need to be good at everything. If I couldn't be good at it, I didn't do it. I had to be right. *coughPRIDEissuescough* So when I found myself seeing the success of other blogs that hadn't be around as long as ours, I'm embarrassed to say that I had some hater issues.
"Pitting your dream against someone else's is a fantastic way to get discouraged and depressed. Nothing good comes from measuring your dream against your competition." - Pg 162
There is a blog that I'm familiar with that will remain nameless and for a time I was completely baffled by the success of the blog. I genuinely wasn't trying to be a hatress. But I just didn't get it. Why did this blog have so many followers? Why did the author get to do a bunch of cool stuff? Our blog is way cooler. (Did I just admit that out loud?)
I came to realize a few things. 1. I seriously need to work on humility and my pride. 2. The author of the blog is the DEFINITION of a HUSTLER. 3. The reason I found the blog so boring is because it wasn't geared toward me. I am not the target demographic. But thousands of other people are and the author of the blog knows that. S/he works his/her tail off, posts regularly, networks incessantly and does what needs to be done to ensure the success of the blog.
"Comparing your unique dream against someone else's is like comparing apples to skateboards. The two will never measure up precisely." - Pg 163
So while we and the aforementioned blog may have some things in common, to compare their site and their numbers/followers to ours does BGLU a complete disservice. That's not to say there shouldn't be some sort of measurement. But what should you and I be using to ascertain importance, scope, progress? Say it with me now: HUSTLE
"Measure hustle first. I think measuring the effort you're putting in is a much more honest gauge of your progess. It's the only part of this process you can control." - Pg 168
I can't be held captive by the number of page views we get. If traffic is down, it's probably because we haven't posted in a while. And if we haven't posted in a while it means we're not hustling. And if we're not hustling, then we can't be mad that we're not progressing. Do you see what I did there? I can only be mad at my own laziness if I don't succeed. While there's something to be said about page views, re-posts, Twitter followers and the like, even if all of those things are down for a time, if I know that I have given everything that I've got, pushed past my exhaustion and disdain for early mornings and screeching birds, and in general hustled like a champ, then I can rest assured that I didn't miss the mark unnecessarily.
So there will be a Hustle. There will be work. There will be late nights and early mornings. But the goal is the dream. And one can not simply dream. One must also hustle.
Alright, y'all. I must now get to the hustle of the 9-5 portion of my day. Love you all like cooked food.