Your Success Hustle vs Mine

Most mornings I listen to podcasts and have done so for quite some time.  Once I get through the New York Times Daily, the next thing cued up is usually something entertaining (shout out to 2Dope Queens!) or businesspirational <—I think I just made that up.  You know, something that pertains to, success, entrepreneurialism, marketing (I am a marketing professional) or something inspirational – sufficiently addicted to The Moth and Ted Talks.  Often, I find great success stories that tell of hard work, climbing over obstacles and the like.  I am wowed by those who have reached beyond my wildest imagination of success to build these large companies and empires as well as overcome great personal adversity.

But lately, I find myself clicking off in the middle of podcasts I had been listening to. I thought, maybe it’s time to find some new ones.  I stumbled upon a few that essentially are really quite good (Side Hustle Pro is really above average).  Then, I noticed that I started clicking those off as well, even though I would listen to most of the show.  Today, however, I not only clicked off of not one, not two but THREE shows fairly early on. I also find that I’m rolling my eyes…Not a good sign. Fast forward an hour or so later, and I am chatting with a friend via text. I start to rant. That rant has turned into this blog post. Before I really “go in”, I just want to state that I am not angry with the show hosts or producers and certainly not with the guests. These are excellent shows with great programming and interesting topics and guests.

With that being said, I am sick of them and their “getting to the top just takes hard work and determination” stories.  GTFOH with that!  Yes, it takes that; but in every one of these stories, there are some significant differences between their story and mine.

  1. I am in my forties.
  2. I do not have a college degree.
  3. I do not have someone to bankroll my great ideas.

I hate excuses. I do. However, I am going to lay mine out for you anyway…

I am in my late forties; and while I have had about 30 years worth of really great ideas, I haven’t either had the confidence, money, or time to make that “great idea” work…whatever it is.  I spent my 20’s and 30’s raising children.  Sure, I’m a hustler and have the “can-do” attitude; but my hustle wasn’t ever a long-term strategic plan because I was always hustling to house my family in nicer neighborhoods, feed them with Whole Foods, educate them in private schools, clothe them with Gap and Northface gear or whatever else.  I was hustling to keep up. Here I am with no college degree.  Hindsight is a punch in the face.  Now, I understand why that was so important.  I have more experience in my pinky than a lot of the 20-something I have worked with over the last 10 years. They come in with 2 years of experience and a degree which is more desirable to hire versus me on paper.  If my path led me to college and the opportunities that would have been opened to me, who knows where I would be now, right?  I also have ADHD, school and confidence was a challenge, day-to-day was a challenge…oh and I had a baby at 22.I come from a solidly middle-class family, maybe upper middle class, who knows. My parents kept things close to the vest – it was their money, not mine.  The point is, it’s not like I don’t come from some kind of money, but I don’t come from the kind that will bankroll a half-cocked idea either.  

Those are my excuses. Even I don’t buy it. There ARE people in this world who have overcome those simple issues plus a whole lot more; but for purpose of this conversation, where are the success stories from women who started their successes AFTER raising a family or waiting until later in life to focus on the “what next”? I know they are out there. I feel like women need inspo stories that started later and tips on how to get started now. Maybe it’s not even about getting inspired. Maybe it’s about how to have an idea and not doubt it.

My quick story: I was in my late 30’s when I decided that I wanted to start a side hustle in digital marketing (back then it was called “social media management”). I did it while I worked full-time.  After a blessing of being cut from a mid-size (unsuccessful) startup in 2015, instead of having doors close in my face because of my lack of degree and age, and with an amazing family support system, I decided to give my side hustle full-time attention for a year and see how it would go.  Last month, I celebrated 10 years of my company-3 years running it full-time.  I think that’s pretty inspiring! I mean, I am still out here hustling every day; but I absolutely LOVE it!  Some months are leaner than others, but I am happy because I figured out a way. 

I just feel like, maybe we need more stories like that. Stories where it ends with happiness, if not millions.  Maybe there are stories out there that end with both!  

Do you have that story?  OR do you feel me on this at least?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.