Tuesday 2¢: Find Headspace in the Hustle

In this week’s Tuesday 2¢, inspired by walks, lunch with chums, a blog post from Robert Rose and a tweet from Dennis Shiao, I say it’s time we found some headspace in the hustle.

Yesterday I had lunch with some industry chums, both accomplished agency folks and fine marketers, we are all at a similar point in our careers, we’ve been around the block a couple of times and over a glass a wine the topic turned to anxiety. A feeling that you would think would ease as you move on in your career, become more confident in your craft, lead teams and become established – but of course, it doesn’t.

Today we live in the age of the hustle, where it seems if you have not made your dotcom millions, fully leveraged your personal brand, aren’t the top-rated Twitter influencer, written your book, or whatever door we feel we feel we’ve left unopened in this wonderful world of opportunity, we wake up in a cold sweat thinking we should really be getting on with it.

(While in the meantime being better human being, father, mother, husband, partner, wife, friend, cook, gardener, cocktail maker, decorator, film buff or whatever else is in your life.)

Plus, if you are in marketing (or marketing your own personal brand), it’s a business discipline that is never done, we can always create more ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust), there is always another tweet to tweet, blog post to write, connection to connect, tactic to learn, technology doohickey to err… hickey?

Folks like Gary Vanercheck throw fuel on this fire with daft, maybe even dangerous advice to always be hustling:

“When you come home from the office, it’s time to get to work and not drown yourself in booze and Netflix”

Noooo… god that sounds exhausting…

My content marketing hero, Robert Rose, recently wrote about the importance of being bored, sharing how hard it is for marketers in his workshops to do nothing:

I love to have the teams in my storytelling workshops take a 15-minute break before the creative part of the day. It’s not really a “break” as much as it is “designed boredom.” I ask them to spend it alone, without external stimuli or focused activity. They must spend the 15 minutes with just their thoughts. Attendees tell me it’s one of the hardest things they do in the workshop. And it’s only 15 minutes.

Wait… what…?

The hardest part of the day is to DO NOTHING!  

Are we so addicted to the hustle, to be connected, to be busy, to be on our phones, to be checking in, to be doing something, that we feel a painful withdrawal when we do nothing?

Should we feel guilty when we put down our work and indulge in the joy of our culture, the “Netflix and booze” (or whatever you call Friday night)?

Or in my case this week, a trip into London for a nice lunch, rather than a salad at my desk in my home office.

Of course not.

Could I have done more hustle if I’d stayed connected yesterday?

Definitely.

Am I a better marketer for having disconnected, walked to the station and then across a sunny London with nothing but my thoughts, enjoyed the company of fellow marketers, a laugh and a story or two over a nice bottle of wine (or two)?

Probably.

The best ideas come from these inspirations, a walk, a chat over lunch, a film, TV show, commercial, daydream, 15 minutes of nothing in Robert’s workshop, reading a blog post, a novel, or maybe, as marketing consultant Dennis Shiao shared on Twitter a long walk with his dog.

Experiences connect us, make our content marketing come to life – who wants to read the work of robots?

As creative marketers – to do our best hustle, we need that headspace.