It silently destroys people’s potential. And I’m freaking sick of it.
Hustle culture is the idea they sell you to forget your dreams.
It’s what the dreamkillers want you to believe so you’ll go work for them on minimum wage and get treated like an Uber driver at the mercy of some tech god platform run by tech bros. No thank you, yo.
Hustle culture is an excuse.
It’s a convenient lie people use to let themselves off the hook and hang up their boots after 5 minutes of real work.
A reader said this to me yesterday in the comments:
This sounds a lot like the hustle culture I purposely try to avoid. You can get things done without being a machine.
The essay was about how we shouldn’t wait until “someday” to do what we really want to do. We should bring forward our goals and act on them while we’re alive.
Still, normies didn’t get the message…
Hustle culture is not one of the things I want.
I’m not striving towards millions. I just need my version of success with heavy doses of joy sprinkled in there. We all have different bars we’d like to measure up to.
Newsflash: hustle culture is needed to survive.
If you don’t believe in hard work and play hard games in life, you won’t only miss making millions — you’ll be left eating the scraps and begging the gatekeepers for opportunities.
And guess what? The 9–5 gatekeepers now have AI. They can legally discriminate against you and your resume with an AI resume-checker designed to be ageist, racist, and every other form of terrible.
Watcha gonna do? Sue the robots in court? Good luck.
Stop letting hustle culture be an excuse. There are no “sprinkles of joy in life” if you achieve zero and leave your family starving with money on the mind all the time.
No “version of success” exists without passion, purpose, and obsession. You won’t read biographies of interesting people who drowned in self-care and took comfortable little bubble baths every night.
The hustle culture victims miss one key thing.
All the stuff about side hustles, starting online businesses, writing online, solopreneurship, multipreneurship, etc, isn’t about working 12-hour days and taking cold showers while wearing blue light glasses.
It’s about rethinking work.
Because work is broken. The average American hates their job. They can’t wait to get out of their cubicle hellhole and be stuck in traffic for an hour while listening to Joe Rogan or Tim Ferriss.
Traditional work has become a nightmare.
It lacks creativity, it’s driven by the old world, and it’s based on the concept of time for money instead of outcomes for money.
So all the new talk about productivity has nothing to do with hustle culture. It has to do with more meaningful ways to earn a living. And with AI right on our doorsteps, the information age is officially dead.
Knowledge workers with degrees are going to struggle. And working harder isn’t going to fix their problem, and neither is self-care and more work-life balance.
Success = Hard work
But here’s the rub: when you work hard at work you give a damn about, it doesn’t feel like hard work.
When the average person on the internet hears I can write for 12 hours straight and not burn out, they scream “HUSTLE CULTURE, BRO.”
What they misunderstand is my writing obsession doesn’t feel like work. I do it on holidays. I do it on the weekends. I even do it by the pool that I don’t own. I retired from 9–5s at 34.
And now I choose to write 24/7. I don’t define it as work.
Hustle culture is obsessed with fixating on how hard work is bad. What they should give a crap about is working long hours on work they hate to collect a peanut salary that can’t keep up with inflation and the high cost of living.
They won’t talk about that though. It’s too deep for their little brains.
There’s nothing more I can say.
Hustle culture is a big, fat lie designed to take your attention off the real issue and get you to become a consumer.
Self-care and work-life balance simply leads to eating more junk food, taking it easy, piss-farting around, staying at the pain-in-the-ass job forever, keeping the Netflix subscription, and being a compliant factory worker.
That’s my definition of hell and I’ve lived it.
The only path out of this life is to look past hustle culture and chase something meaningful that is hard and doesn’t feel like work.
Imbalance is beautiful. It leads to insanity. And that helps you not follow the sheep off a cliff and live a life of broken dreams.
Say it with me now: No. More. Hustle. Culture.