The word “hustle” is never very far from the lips of many entrepreneurial influencers (and many, many more wannabe thought leaders). It’s a funny word, because it has two meanings. It could mean a period of frantic activity – which very much suits the small business environment. Or it may be used to describe a fraud or a swindle – not something most entrepreneurs would want to associate themselves with.

So, just how do you hustle your way to business success?

Well, if you constantly find yourself telling the world via social media that you’re hustling, you’re probably mistaking the word for “procrastinating.”

Note: If you’ve got the time to tell people how busy you are, you are probably not as busy as you would like people to believe.

True hustlers don’t hide behind sound bites and buzzwords, or tell the world how busy they are; they just get on with it.

Exceptional hustlers can be identified by their “can do” attitudes.

Keep Hustling

I’m reminded of an old friend who, many years ago, built a successful publishing business with very little upfront investment or previous business experience. He told me how much hard work it was at the very beginning and how he had to “duck and dive” to make sure things happened.

He told me at one stage, he completely ran out of money and his phones were cut off, but he persisted and found a way around the problem (literally knocking on doors of prospective advertisers) until he could afford for them to be reconnected.

Eternal Optimists

True hustlers never find the time to complain. When things don’t go quite their way, they dust themselves down and just get on with the job, often finding success in the opportunities created when one door is closed and another is opened.

Instead of just giving lip service to the concept of hustling, you will find that real hustlers do the following:

  • Network: Entrepreneurs love the company of other entrepreneurs who understand the thrill of the chase and know how to bypass the roadblocks that get in the way of progress. There are no negative people in a hustler’s network.
  • Experiment: Hustlers know that experiments never fail if they learn from the experiences. Everyday experimentation can help keep a lid on risk and demonstrate potential before really rolling out.
  • Document Everything: When your life is this exciting, why wouldn’t you want a record of your achievements? If it cannot be photographed, videoed, podcasted or blogged about, was it really worth doing?
  • Share: Sharing ideas and offering support to like-minded people should be second nature to an entrepreneur. True hustlers know that the best advice isn’t just inspirational, but it’s also practical and useful, and it creates opportunities.

How have you hustled your way to business success? Share your story in the comment section below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Image: Alonzo