I had a real life lesson in the different stages of hustle a couple weeks ago when after 10 years of growing my business, after 10 years of working “on the business” instead of “in the business” (like all business coaches tell us entrepreneurs to do), I found myself back behind the counter of my original retail store.
When you hear that entrepreneurs need to hustle, we all agree. Entrepreneurs need to talk about their ideas; develop a product that works; attend networking events; speak to dozens of investors; entrepreneurs need to HUSTLE!! Although, that initial hustle is a real one, it is not the only stage this verb will be realized in the life of a business.
At MODE I have traveled through several “hustle” stages. After creating a retail concept that was ready to franchise, (I definitely hustled to get MODE to that point) I found myself moving into round two as I began to look for prospective franchisees. Finding that first franchisee is a hard task for any franchisor. Finding that brave sole that is willing to take on the risk of signing a 10 year contract with a proven concept but no other franchisees as peers can be a daunting task, but I did it. I hustled and I found that number one and then that number two and then that number three until I soon had just under a dozen MODE franchisees, all rocking and rolling. Amidst that emerging franchise growth I found myself in a “hustle” for a third time. How do you scale a business? How do you stay ahead of yourself, always anticipating the future and its issues and its potential? How do you train a team to lead? You grind though intentional networking and concentrated mentoring. Attending events, cold calling industry experts and asking for 30 minutes of their time or a word of advice, the “learning stage” of the hustle is real and it’s necessary! In this stage you learn to ask and listen.
After ten years of fighting my way through the three stages above I was just ready to sit! Ready to sit in an office (in 10 years of business I have never had my own office) and appreciate the work that had been done. The day after I moved into my new corner office, I found myself staring straight into the face of the “back to the original hustle” stage. That stage when you find yourself not at the corner office desk you have dreamed of for 10 years, but instead behind the original retail counter where the dream was originally born. At first this stage threw me for a loop. My mind screamed “Why me? Why now?” Maybe even a little “it’s not fair!” However, I am an entrepreneur! I HUSTLE! Therefore that “woe is me” attitude only lasted 5 minutes and then I put on my best pair of jeans, I grabbed my coffee and I hit the floor, (the retail floor that is). I choose to take this hustle stage as the one that will give me the opportunity to re-experience the roots of my brand. The hustle that will give my brand the “back to the basics” perspective of why this brand works and grew in the first place. I am choosing to hustle while I take this opportunity to roll up my sleeves and once again work IN the business, all the while still working ON the business. My focus is to hustle in a way that shows my team what a leader looks like and shows my franchisees that the system works when you work the system! This round is a smart hustle for sure.
Go out and find your hustle this week and Get Your MODE On!