Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast #36: When to Hustle & When to Flow


  1. You have to keep pushing forward because nobody is in charge of that ship except you.
  2. If you’re trying to grow your audience, then this is the time to really keep hustling.
  3. As entrepreneurs, as driven people, there will never be an end to how far you want to push yourself.
  4. Flow doesn’t mean that you’re not working; flow just means that you’re not hustling.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode #36: When to Hustle & When to Flow

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, welcome back to the show. Today what I want to talk about is a difference between when to hustle and when to flow. And I get this question a lot from entrepreneurs who are either totally new in their business, and just overwhelmed and feel like they want to scale it back a little bit and not be trying to crush it every minute, and also from entrepreneurs who are like 2-5 years into their business, or more, and feel like they can’t stop the hustle.

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Today what I want to talk about are times when you should be hustling, in my opinion, and times when you should maybe flow a little bit. I’ll explain a little bit more by what I mean by that. Hustle; I mean, I think it’s pretty self explanatory what hustle is, right? Hustle is the hard work. It’s a little bit of the grind. Hustle is sacrificing a little bit of sleep, even though I’m sure a ton of you listening are health and wellness practitioners. There are hours in the day that some of us need to relinquish to our work that we may perhaps have wanted to use to sleep, or even to exercise. I’m all for keeping the balance of trying to keep your exercise routine going, keep your sleep as tightly watched and tightly maintained as possible, but the as possible is sort of that variable ,right?

I think sometimes people try and protect those things a little too much for the goals that they have. So if your goal is to get your business going, and get it going like a freight train and get it moving ahead so you can slow down and flow a little bit and just ride that train a little, you need to work a little harder. You need to scale back on how much time you spend at the gym, right? So maybe it’s being more efficient at the gym, or maybe it’s 3, 4 days a week instead of 5, 6, or 7 days a week. So there’s a lot of different ways to balance this stuff.

So, alright I’m going to get into my tips for when I think hustle is necessary. First and foremost, you have a brand new business. You have a brand new business, and you don’t also have another full time job. Ok, so if you still have a full time job and you’re dabbling in this other business, then it’s like a mini hustle at that point. Because you’re not really going to be that motivated to hustle while you’re still getting paid from something else. But obviously the sense of desire to do this other thing starts to grow, and it grows, and grows, and grows, and you know, you go from having one toe into your new business to all your toes, and then the top of your foot, and then maybe your whole foot. And then you take the leap.

Obviously, once you’ve taken the leap, if you let your full time job go, and now you’re standing there at the edge of the river at this new opportunity, you have to jump in. you absolutely have to jump in. If you’ve let a full time job go, and especially you’ve got bills to pay, if you have any sort of family to take care whether it kids or a significant other, anybody that’s kind of relying on you for income, this is not the time to flow. This is not the time to slowly figure things out; you need to prioritize your business if earning money is critical to you.

I think that’s a no brainer. I think it’s kind of obvious, but I’ve definitely heard from people who are trying so hard to have a lot of balance while they’ve just quit a job, and they have a family to maintain, and they have a lot of stuff going on. It’s like; I’m sorry, but this is the time that you have to put in a lot of energy, a lot of hard work. You’re going to hit a lot of walls; you’re going to hit a lot of things that you’re not sure how to do them, but you have to keep trying to figure it out; you have to keep pushing forward because nobody is in charge of that ship except you. You have to drive it, you have to keep going.

So if it means that you have to check your schedule and you’re like, ok these are the classes at the gym that I really want to get to, or these or the days I’m going to wake up a little bit earlier to take a jog or do some training, or go to the part, or do whatever it is you’re going to do; that’s cool. And sacrificing sleep; I don’t mean you have to sacrifice sleep all the time for work all the time; maybe part of the sleep sacrifice is so that you can get the workout in, right? Obviously that does mean because you’re doing work a lot of the other time, but this is part of the time when you really do need to hustle is that you are just starting your business, and again I think that’s pretty obvious for most people.

So here’s another time; maybe you’ve started your business, maybe it’s been open for a while, maybe it is starting to earn some money. And take this one with a grain of salt, because I think almost all of us have this sense that; everybody wants to grow their audience, right? Everybody has this feeling like more fans and followers, more people on my list, more people watching! On and on, right? But there is obviously a point when you have a good following, and a good following obviously that’s very subjective. For some people that’s going to be 100 people; 1,000 people, 10,000, 100,000; whatever it’s going to be.

But if you are in a significant period where you’re growing your audience, then scaling back is not the right step. Getting that hustle on because you need to talk to the people who are with you in any other form of social media that you have; maybe you’re feeling like, you know, somebody told me I should schedule only touching Facebook once a day for this much time; only going on Instagram once a day for this much time; or two times a day, and somebody is giving you these rules; first of all, do they even remember what it was like to hustle? Sometimes I wonder if people are forgetting what they did to get where they are, and the type of hustle that they did. Granted social media wasn’t what is now even 5 years ago when I was starting this business. But I tell you, I was still hustling with a whole bunch of different things.

Unfortunately social media can form a lot of distractions, but the flip side is that we get to know each other so much better via social media. I can get to know your first name, I can answer questions for you and help relate to you. And I would rather have a smaller number of you reading what I’m doing, following it, and getting value because I’m interacting with you than a broad number of people who never interact and don’t feel like they’re getting any value from it.

So if you’re trying to grow your audience, then this is the time to really keep hustling. There are so many ways to do that; I’ll definitely talk on another episode specifically about growing your audience, different tactics and strategies for that. It’s a whole other ball of wax that I could open up and talk about.

Alright, so the next time I have kind of bundled together as a time to hustle would be, if you have a ton of burning ideas and you have not created many things. So whether again you’re working at a full time job still, or you’re just starting out and you’re sitting around and you have a million burning ideas. Like, a million.

Ok, I have a lot of burning ideas, but currently I wouldn’t say it’s a million. I think it’s mostly little tweaks and things that I want to do to optimize things, but I wouldn’t say I have a million burning ideas of new things to make right this moment. That’s just going to lead me to the next side of this topic.

But if you’ve got a million burning ideas, you have to start getting some of that stuff done. Because I’ll tell you what, as a creative entrepreneur, it doesn’t go away. Those burning things that you’re sitting, thinking about. It won’t go away until you do something on it. Here’s the thing though; let’s just say you have 10 big ideas that are burning for you. If you start to move on one of them, you might get really far. If you start to move on another one of them and find that you’ve hit a wall, and you’re like; oh, I don’t really want to do that thing, and you change your mind.

So if you’ve got a million burning ideas, this is definitely a time to be hustling, because what you want to do is flesh out which of those ideas you actually want to carry through with. Which of them are the most viable? Which of them are going to be great ways to create content for people, and which of them are going to be, maybe a money maker for you.

The last thing I have for a time to hustle; these are not all encompassing, the only times to hustle, but this is the last one I have for you today. If you need to create content, and you just don’t have enough. If you’re finding that you don’t have places to point people for answers. If you’re on Facebook and you’re like, I don’t know what to share today, I don’t know what to post. If you don’t have enough resources; if somebody asks you a question and you’re finding that you’re typing up an answer to this question every single day, and you keep repeating yourself instead of sharing a link and saying, oh I wrote about this, you should check out this blog post. Or I have a video about this. Or whatever the resource is, then that’s a time to hustle. And in this point, creating content is what you need to do.

If you have not yet answered your top 10 to 20 most frequently asked questions in some form of content that you can share over and over again, that’s a time to hustle and get that done. Ok, so think of the 10 questions. Often when I do a scope on nutrition, even when we do scopes on business; you guys ask the same questions all the time. That’s cool; we get new people here all the time. New people listening to the podcast all the time; new people entering into the paleo/real food sphere all the time. That’s cool; I welcome it, I want to help everybody. But I’m used to answering those questions, so I’ve always got a quick answer because I’ve answered it before, and I can also say in my answer; hey, check out this blog post. Hey check out this book. Hey check out this podcast because I’ve created the content to answer the question.

So that’s what you need to do if you are not sure; do I need to hustle or not? Well, if you are rewriting and reanswering the same question over and over and over again, you need a better resource for it. Go ahead and create that content.

Alright, so here’s what I want you to keep in mind for when I think it’s time to flow. So if you’ve had your business open for a little while, and you have income coming in. From your website, from your product, whatever it is. A lot of times, as entrepreneurs, we can get this sense that it’s not enough or that there’s more for the taking, or there are opportunities that are left out there untouched or money left on the table. It can be really overwhelming. There can be a lot of affiliate opportunities that come across your desk or your email. There can be a lot of people kind of throwing things at you, and saying, hey, can you help promote this, you can earn great money. Or maybe you just have more ideas of things that you could create that you could sell, on your website or wherever.

But if you have money coming in, and you’re paying the bills, and you’re paying for your life, and you’re feeling ok, you don’t need to push yourself to some higher level of that that’s like an unknown. Because as entrepreneurs, as driven people, there will never be an end to how far you want to push yourself. Did you guys get that? As an entrepreneur, if you truly are an entrepreneur in your gut, you are driven so hard all the time. And it’s in our nature to just keep pushing and keep pushing.

The reason that this is easy for me to talk about right now is that I am in a flow state right now. Granted that doesn’t mean I don’t do work. It doesn’t mean I don’t talk about my books, or market things, or whatever. But I know that I don’t need to do it to earn money to pay the bills, or to pay for my life or just support myself. It’s not that; I have this desire to create, because that’s how I am as a creative person and a creative entrepreneur.

However, the last maybe 3 to 4 weeks, I feel like I have not created or even done that much tangible work. I’ve been here on Periscope every day, and I’ve been doing the podcast twice a week because I’m dual purposing this. So if you’re listening on the podcast, you missed the live stream of this where you could have interacted and asked questions live. But those are commitments that I make because I love this stuff, and I love looking back and seeing that I sat down and talked for 15 or 20 minutes and there’s something show for that, and I captured that, and there’s a way to share that with people thereafter. So that goes back to that creating content.

But we’re in a flow over here. This is not a huge, turn things out, things are coming out tomorrow. It’s not like that, and that’s personal to me. Now my team; I do have a team, they’re working on a lot of things and we do have things that will release soon. But for me personally, I’m like, you guys let me know when it’s like 99% ready, and when I need to check it over again, I’ll come back in. step back in. but I’m not in the hustle and the daily grind on it.

Ok, so that’s the first one. If you’re making money, you’re paying for your life, and you are not like; oh I need to earn this money because I’m not paying for things, or I’m in debt, or something else is going on. Cool yourself down for a minute, because you will need to find ways and times to be able to do that. And if you have experience with doing it; if you have experience with the flow, then you’ll recognize when it’s time to do that again. You’ll be able to recognize when you are just pushing too hard and you don’t need to be. If you really don’t need to be pushing hard and hustling, then stop doing it. Because you’re just going to burn yourself out that much faster.

Alright, so if you launched something really huge, like within the last month; again, this is the nature of us as driven, creative entrepreneurs. We love the creation process, right? We love making things. We love having something new. For me, the process is like the most fun part. As much as it can be grueling, I love to learn new things about how to do things, and when the launch happens, I’m kind of like, ok what’s next. Right? It launches, maybe people start buying it, whatever. Like, I’m definitely excited to see if people are buying the thing that we made, or engaging with it or whatever the case may be. But I’m kind of like; that’s not what I’m here for. I’m like; ok what do we make next? Like, that was fun. What’s the next ride?

So if you’re in that place where you’ve launched something within the last month, then that’s a good time to kind of kick back a little. Monitor the thing that you launched; right. So let’s just say you launched a new program, and maybe the first week of it was a big push, big marketing push. But then it’s evergreen; it can sell thereafter. Take some time to monitor what it’s doing. Check in on it. See where people are talking about it. See what the experience is. Go back to that listen phase of the listen, labor, launch that I talked about in a previous episode. This is a good time to give you a little bit of space and have that flow.

Ok, so here’s the last one, and this one is going to rely on a lot of intuition and this is something that I was just kind of touching on a moment ago saying that I’m in the place a little bit now. It doesn’t mean; flow doesn’t mean that you’re not working; flow just means that you’re not hustling. And it’s kind of like; in the flow, you’re putting yourself to bed at a normal time. In the flow, you are making your exercise a priority and going to that extra class, or doing whatever it is. You’re making that stuff a priority over the hard work. Right? That’s really all I mean. I don’t mean you’re not working. I’m definitely working. This is work; right now. This episode is work.

But if you feel like your inclination is, I feel like I should probably slow down, then you should probably slow down. Because if you are an entrepreneur, you are so apt to be doing the hustle. You don’t even know your hustling, and you’re hustling. Ok? So if you have any inclination that maybe you should slow down, then you probably should.

Again, that’s like going through all the hustle if, and you’re like; nope that’s not me. And if you get to this point you’re like; mm, maybe I should slow down a little bit. Maybe I just need to step on the brakes a little bit, cool it off, then that’s a good sign that it’s time for you to flow.

What questions do you guys have about that? I’m just curious what your take is. Are you with me? Do you think this stuff makes sense? I just kind of was thinking about that this morning. I just kind of think; what’s on my mind.

“How do you transition to more online products and programs as opposed to just one on one clients?” Laura. What? What do you mean how do you transition? I don’t know what you mean by that? You created an online product or program, and I don’t agree. I think clients are a financial drain because the amount of money you can exchange per hour is limited, and the amount of time that you spend with each client, and before and after working with a client is just insane. So the change; hang on to that I want you to ask that one again, and I want to know what your name is. But, we need to talk about this a little bit more.

I think client work is good if you want to keep learning more about who it is who is coming to you. Maybe you don’t have yet, a paleo rehab program for adrenal fatigue, or hypothalamic pituitary axis dysregulation, dysfunction. {laughs} I forget the way that you put it was. If you feel like you don’t know enough about your customers, your readers, your listeners, your fans; if you don’t know enough about them to know what else to create as a program, then working one on one with people is probably still a good idea because it gives you more experience and it lets you get to know them.

But I would bet that you’ve got folks within the adrenal program who, you’re hearing more questions and problems coming up for them that are different that are kind of like parallel to what they’re doing there, but maybe you could help them. So maybe it’s like, maybe it’s a macros program. You have to just pay attention to what it is that you find most interesting and most helpful for you, first of all. The reason I created the 21-Day Sugar Detox is I had issues with sugar. Maybe it’s not an issues thing; but maybe for you, right now, tracking macros is super interesting, you feel like you’re learning a lot, and it’s an experiment, and maybe it’s something that you do or do not want to introduce to people down the road. So maybe you create a program that outlines how you were doing things along with, obviously, your expertise and education as a dietician that you can create a new program if people are interested.

Every time you’ve posted a picture on Instagram, you’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe how many people are interested in this. Right? Go back and listen to that episode from PaleoFx where I talk about listen, labor, launch. That’s the listen. It seems like I’m listening to what your people are saying pretty keenly, and I’m just looking at a couple of posts, right, and I’m looking at the comments. I have a strange thing with my attention; I’m like hyper aware, and I’m very attentive to a lot of things that maybe I shouldn’t {laughs} or don’t need to be attentive to. But I read between the lines when I see what people say on things, and when I see what a person says, or the fact that you’re getting a lot of comments, to me that’s not like; oh wow, she’s getting a lot of comments. That’s like; oh wow, people are really interested in this. They want to learn more. So that’s something to look at too, when people are commenting a certain amount. If it’s something you’re interested in.

If it’s hard to turn away the business, that’s because you’re scared that the money won’t come, and that’s a personal, internal issue. You will never have enough time to do what you’re going to do if you’re trying to see clients however many hours a week. You have to let them go, because they all take up 2-3 times the amount of time that is on the colander. Yeah, you just have to let it go. I would sing if I could; I would sing that let it go song, but Idina Menzel I am not. {laughs}

Someone asked about how to get a first assistant started, are you still here and what is your name? Deja, is that how I say it? So if you’re having trouble relinquishing things, we all have that trouble. We all have that same feeling that we have to do it, no one can do it as well as we do. It’s just a false sense of requirement of the job. You definitely don’t need to be doing all of that.

The very first thing that I tend to tell people to relinquish is email. Because first and foremost, I think email takes over a lot of our time and energy, and so that’s the first thing I would have an assistant help you with. But it depends on what your business it. It depends on what you need them for. Maybe you need them for running errands. If you’re sewing, maybe you need an assistant, like a personal assistant, to just go to the store for you. Or maybe you need someone to; who knows? Whatever is taking up a huge amount of your time that even though you think you’re the best at it because you’re the most experienced and it’s your business, but answering email is low on the totem pole in terms of high skill level tasks. At this point, maybe you need to still be doing the sewing maybe, and then eventually you can teach someone else to do what you’re doing. But that’s where I would kind of start.

Yeah, you could hire someone to do some social media. I definitely still recommend that you personally do interact with your social media in some way, at least on an almost daily basis. People will know if you just have somebody managing it. I have somebody who manages 21-Day Sugar Detox, but she’s; it’s like a personal thing. They know her name, they don’t think it’s me, and I think that could make a big difference. But my social media, it’s me responding.

I think the thing about social media, too, is that it’s such a great place to listen. It’s such a great place to figure out what people want, what they’re responding to, all of that.

Entrepreneur books; Chelsea, would you believe me if I said no? I don’t read a lot about this stuff. I read, I don’t read a lot first of all, I listen to audio books. I’m not one of those people who read every book on entrepreneurship and personal development; I don’t know where this stuff comes from. This is intuitive for me. I do love Gary V, but I don’t read his books, either. I listen to them on Audible. But when I listen to them, I’m like, this is cool. And this is going to sound weird and obnoxious, but I was already doing everything he said “you should do this”. I’m like, I’m doing that. But it was cool, because he kind of put words to it, and I liked that. That’s cool. But for me, this stuff is totally intuitive and second nature. So I’m trying to do my best to find ways to put words to it for you, and backtrack and put words to the way I think so I can impart some of the instinctual wisdom on you guys. I feel like I’m just a marketer of yore reincarnated I don’t know how it works. {laughs} I don’t know.

Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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