If you’re new to the startup game, chances are you’ve heard plenty of new and unfamiliar terms. Startup and entrepreneur culture have become increasingly intertwined in the past decade, and so too has the accompanying lingo.
‘Hustle’ culture has become the norm in the vernacular of entrepreneurs and startups, everywhere. Entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk built their personal brands around hustle culture. And if you need further proof of hustle’s ubiquitousness, look at how many uses #hustle or #teamnosleep have on Instagram (the answer for both: millions). But what exactly is ‘hustle’ culture?
Hustle mentality permeates startup and entrepreneurship culture, and despite the promise of success isn’t always met with open arms. More specifically, the freelance job site Fiverr produced advertisements that were met with much criticism. They posted ads on the New York subway system that marketed their service to “doers”, or caffeine addicts who thrive on little sleep that do what it takes to succeed. These ads have received criticism for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle as the recipe for personal success. While encouraging personal enterprise is great, it shouldn’t come at the cost of health and well-being. There’s a fine line between hard work and overwork.
As startups mature, hustle culture becomes more complicated. While startups require rapid growth to survive, larger companies operate differently. They have sizeable client bases and reliable streams of revenue, so they aren’t always operating on the brink of collapse. Consequently, they can afford to pay more attention to employee well-being in order to attract the most talented and efficient team members. If growing startups don’t change their company culture to suit their new size, they risk normalizing overwork. If this happens, they risk turning away talented individuals who expect better work-life balance.
Don’t be afraid to embrace hustle culture, but be mindful of its dangers.