The hustle of being more generous than you need to be

Back in January Seth Godin wrote about Two kinds of hustle:

  1. The hustle of always asking, of putting yourself out there, of looking for discounts, shortcuts and a faster way.
  2. The hustle of being more generous than you need to be, of speaking truthfully even if it delays the ultimate goal in the short run, and most of all, the hustle of being prepared and of doing the work

This is a great breakdown. As Seth goes on to note hustle type 2 is largely unused. That’s a shame because it’s this second kind of hustle that makes the world a better place and is more effective in the long term.

It’s interesting that hustle type 1 is often associated with entrepreneurs, and saying XYZ has ‘good hustle’ is a common compliment. Dave McClure even went as far as saying that the ideal startup founding team of has a hacker, hustler, and hipster. I buy into the notion that entrepreneurs should have hustle, but some take it too far. We all know people who hustle too much, and their constant search for quick wins can be wearing and undermine relationships.

Most startups hit tough times at some point, and in those moments when survival is the only imperative there can never be too much of  hustle type 1. At other times there should be a balance, and the more a company grows the more the balance should tilt towards hustle type 2.

  • There’s a fine line between hustle and hassle. If you cross it with potential customers or investors, it’s very difficult to regain trust or respect.

  • James Penman

    Yes, great post. Type 2 takes a lot of time and effort and seems rarely to be mentioned. J

  • Hustle vs hassle. I like that.

  • Hey Nick.. Love those points.. Thanks for sharing them.. Just curious, surely in tough times, that’s when you need to apply more of Hustle Type 1 in order to survive? Isn’t that the whole point of cost cutting, getting the best rates, and asking as much as you can, to get yourself out there, and get the exposure you need in order to stay afloat?

  • Hey Farhan – totally agree. That’s what I was trying to say 🙂

  • Ah great! In that case, perhaps re-word “there can’t be too much of hustle type 1.” to: “there can never be too much of Hustle Type 1”?

    When I first read it, it sounded like you were saying that it’s not good to have too much of Hustle Type 1.. As if, in order to make it through you can’t have that kind of Hustle.. Thanks for sharing!

  • Now changed, along with a title update suggested by Joel Gascoigne. Thank you.