Hustle Porn Is a Cultural Menace

On social media lately, I’ve noticed more and more friends taking to the internet to post a litany of their “accomplishments” during a single day. The practice – known as “Hustle Porn”- is supposed to leave our minds boggled over the sheer breadth of chores one person fits into his or her 24 hours.

But don’t mistake these lists as pleas for sympathy! We aren’t allowed to question the wisdom of losing so much sleep or eating so irregularly or neglecting one’s personal life in service of vague ambition.

No, we indulge these gratuitous activity logs with a few “way to go!”s left among the comments. After all, it’s just another semi-heroic diary blurb by somebody “doing it all and having it all.”

I won’t muse on the impossible paradox of “doing it all” while “having it all.” Besides, that’s not the loudest bee in my bonnet. I worry most about the independent business owners who perpetuate this phenomenon while seeming to internalize its deadliest implication: I do, therefore I am.

Let’s say there are three large buckets of responsibility (or “to dos”) shared by nearly every small business: Product/Customer Service, Inventory/ Accounting and Marketing. You are not an expert in all three. NO, you’re not. And amid the maelstrom of different demands you address each week, doing it all means you’re doing some of it poorly. There’s the obvious (and sad) hazard to your home life, of course, but there are also real dangers to your business.

It’s important to breathe – and stop measuring yourself against all the other dicks in the shower. (Women, please permit the metaphor). Just maybe you’re not a mogul or a titan of industry specifically because your world needs you to be something else.

Small businesses remain the back bone of our middle class because they deliver sustainable support for families. Local independent ventures represent attainable opportunities to learn and grow and live as part of a healthy community. Is it in society’s best interest for everyone who opens a shop on Main Street to assume it will be featured in Forbes if they just put in the work?

The “I can do it all” quagmire is a theme we’ll revisit again in this forum. After all, PoasterBoard is also a small independent business. Work/life balance is central to how and why we launched this enterprise.

I can’t do everything well. But I can learn to embrace what I don’t know along with the help of someone who isn’t me when I need it.

Author: MDG

Chief Marketing Officer, PoasterBoard.com

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