At the beginning of my career as an entrepreneur, I endured a three-year training program designed to help me "harness my hustle."
Anyone who has felt the call of the hustle knows it can be invigorating, but also scattered, frantic and undirected. You hustle over here, get distracted, hustle on over there, and by the time you get to the end of the day, or week, or year, you have a lot of hustle but not much to show for it.
The training program I experienced was run by a dynamic duo--a young man and woman. The tactics they used, like sleep-deprivation and physical exhaustion, were extreme and questionable, and yet their training was the single greatest key to my eventual entrepreneurial success.
While the program may not be available for everyone, the lessons I learned as a result are applicable to anyone who wants to focus their hustle for better results.
The program? Motherhood.
It was July of 2010 when, after months of planning, I approached my boss and let him know I would leaving my position and starting my own thing. It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time.
A week after I quit, we found out we were pregnant with our first child. Which meant, not only was I going to be a brandnew entrepreneur, I was also going to be a stay-at-home, first-time mom to a son and, shortly after, a daughter. And so the training began.
I hustled for my dream early in the morning before the babies were awake, while they napped, and, if I wasn't too exhausted, after they went to sleep. With only these small windows of time to work with, success was much less about the quantity of grind than the quality.
I worked like a mother. Here are five things that training taught me that has helped focus and harness my hustle ever since, and can help you no matter who you are.
Work it backward: Like any entrepreneur, I had some very specific financial goals I wanted to achieve. I also had a limited amount of time to commit to the actions that would generate the income. Therefore, I'm sure much to the surprise of my seventh-grade geometry teacher, I did the math. I determined what I wanted to make in a year and divided it by what I estimated my work generated per hour to get the number of hours I would need to work that year.
For example, if you want to make $100,000 a year and value your work at roughly $100 an hour, you'll need to work 1000 hours a year. Equipped with that number, you can make your plan.
Make it visible: Once you have the number of hours you need...