The Six-Figure Hustle: A Misleading Sales Tactic
I am just going to give a little disclaimer that this post might seem off putting or might be in contrast to what is written about in our industry. But, it’s been something on my heart and mind and I thought…”What’s a better place to verbally process this than the blog? Nowhere.” Just kidding. But, in all seriousness, I feel like this needs to be talked about.
In the early stages of my business, I created the hashtag #lesshustlemoregrace because I felt like the metric for success was hustling all the time and working nonstop and being ultra BUSY. You were successful if you were hustling. And at the time, that was hard for me to get on board with. I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling the pressure to produce and be productive, and it was toxic. I was always left feeling the need to do more, more, more. So, the unspoken pressure to hustle, hustle, hustle was too much for me. And I began my rebellion. My chase for grace instead of hustling. It actually caught on and a lot of people resonated with it. Now, you can see lots of people preaching about work smart, not more. And that hustling does not equal success.
And recently, I’ve felt a similar tension rising inside me that I felt several years ago as I chased grace and began to let go of the hustle. It’s a new metric I feel we (in the creative industry at least--that’s all I can speak to) are measuring ourselves to. It’s what I like to call the six-figure hustle. And it goes something like this: “You are only successful if you make six-figures. You are seen as a distinguished educator if you made six-figures in the last year. And all launches should be six-figures.”
Does anyone else feel like the six-figure hustle is being shoved down their throat?
It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is boasting about making six-figures and giving me 10 reasons why I should purchase from them. Because clearly their success means they can teach me to make six-figures.
But what if making six-figures isn’t one of my goals? Or what if I can’t work 60 hours a week. Or what if I don’t WANT to make six-figures?
Well, to be truthful, it feels like I am a lazy entrepreneur. If I am not reaching for more, more, more, doesn’t that mean I am not trying hard enough?
These are the narratives that form in my heart and mind and I am INUNDATED with Facebook Ads and blog posts about making six-figures and how I can (and should!) do it.
Truth time: I did not make six-figures last year. I probably won’t make six-figures this year. That’s okay with me. But, honestly, I feel like the fact that I am writing this somewhere for ANYONE to read, will result in my “street cred” as an educator floundering.
All the marketing and podcasts and blog posts about “How I made six-figures in my first year of business” are creating a metric of success in the creative industry. I believe it’s toxic.
We aren’t being taught to care about our customers or clients. We aren’t being taught how to run businesses that are centered around people. We are being taught how to run businesses that are focused on money and how to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. We are being taught that more money equals more happiness, more success, and more credibility.
We are being taught that what matters in business is making money. And lot’s of it.
But, what about the entrepreneurs that want to impact lives and don’t focus their business around a paycheck? What about the mompreneurs who can’t work 60 hours a week?
Does that mean we are less than or that we aren’t reputable?
I certainly don’t think so. But, I can’t speak for the thousands of people who are telling me to make more money. I mean, it’s an attractive marketing strategy. Money is attractive. But at what cost (ha, pun intended)? I could easily get sucked into the mindset of making money just to make money. I mean, that’s like a new car or new jeans or a bigger house. Yes, please. But, I am learning to be content. Content with where my business is at. Content with how much money I make. Content with who I am.
In the middle of writing this blog post, I hopped over to this FB group and posed this question to thousands of entrepreneurs. I was surprised to find that most people didn’t think making six figures was a new metric for success in the creative industry. But what I DID find was that people DO NOT like “make six figures!” as a sales tactic.
What I also found from this post is that most people see success as reaching the financial goals that are perfect for the individual. Success is building a business that supports the life you want/need.
These perspectives were refreshing to me and I believe I was able to see that so many people are reaching for their OWN financial goals. And isn’t that what we should be chasing anyways?
I’m here for that!
What I hope to see in the coming years is a sales and marketing strategy of educators that focuses on the business, not just the profits. Profits matter, 100%. But, those numbers should not just be arbitrary or reaching for six figures because that’s the next stepping stone.