Why 20 Somethings Suck at Getting Jobs: The Hustler’s Guide to Drug Dealing and Changing the Course of History

by Alexander Heyne · 11 comments

“Most people believe they are ambitious, I think. But there is ambitious, and then there is 70-hour-a-week obsessive, driven, hungry ambitious. Can you make it if you are just kind of ambitious? Probably, in some cases. But most successful entrepreneurs I know paid some serious dues. They did not want to be successful, they needed to be successful.”

-From a recent NYTimes article Six Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs

hus·tler/ˈhəslər/ An aggressively enterprising person; a go-getter.

I know a guy who works four jobs.  In fact, he’s pretty much always working whenever I talk to him — but he does it for a reason.

It’s not because he’s bored.

It’s not because he’s a workaholic.

And it’s not (entirely) because he has horrendous financial intelligence.

It’s because he wants a certain lifestyle — the high life — and he wants to live it no matter what.

He doesn’t care if he works as a janitor at McDonald’s or if he’s working at Goldman Sach’s — he does what it takes.

And doing what it takes is called hustle.

And hustle is notoriously absent in 20 somethings today, something I had no idea about until it was repeatedly mentioned to me at job interviews:

Young people today are notoriously unwilling to do the grunt work, to hustle, to bust their ass and work their way up. There’s this whole feeling of entitlement, the idea that just because I went to college and have my four year degree I don’t have to start from the bottom *Laughs*, you’re not like that are you?

Uhhh. No? I don’t think so? Maybe?

So I thought about it. And I realized that there are 3 qualities of overall-successful people (hustlers) that are notoriously absent in most of us 20 somethings.

3 Key Qualities of Hustlers

#1 Will do “whatever-it-takes-yes-that-includes-being-a-bitch” work

That means shedding your pride taking a night job at McDonald’s (Yes, even if you have a 4 year degree from Harvard) if that’s what it takes to get your startup going.

That means not going out with your friends more than once a month to save money.

That means quitting your job, middle finger to the world sticking it to the man…. only crawling back 6 months later to a desk job once your self employment venture fails. Yes, it’s painful. But hustler do it if that’s what it takes.

If it takes sending out a 100 emails to prospects a day for your biz to get momentum, then you do that.

#2 Hustlers are business savvy – they work smart first

Hustlers are “people who are forced to use their brains to make it in this world.” 

The truth from Urbandictionary:

“A hustler is the way one lives his life. Going out on the streets or wherever making money and working hard for it. A hustler is not lazy he’s consistently out earning money. He gets the money by using his smarts and outcunning everyone out there. A hustler has ambition and a more serious approach to life then that of a gangsta or a pimp. Hes more mature, and doesn’t neccessarily carry a gun. It can apply to any race, and its the way you uphold and carry yourself.

Eric: Yo 50 cent is a hustler 
Jermaine: Definitely, not a great rapper but look at the way he hustles those white suburbia kids out of their money 
Eric: Damn!”

A hustler constantly wonders if there is a better, different, quicker  path than has been taken previously.  A hustler is constantly thinking ” if everyone is doing it, there’s definitely a much better way .”

A hustler regularly does an 80/20 analysis to see what provides the best bang for his buck. A hustler is always looking to save time and be more efficient.

A hustler believes that “paying your dues” is an excuse used by the mentally lazy.

3# Hustlers are always busy “doing” and are not armchair experts or philosophers 

There exists a strange paradox today because of the extreme amount of information available:

People are armchair experts at everything.  And by armchair experts, I mean most of us don’t know squat. Yet we talk like we do.

Everyone’s a diet expert, everyone thinks “I could do that”, everyone thinks success happens overnight and it’s a cakewalk.. but no one has actually tried it.

Hustlers are always in the arena. They could care less about the speculation because they are busy getting shit done.

Instead of saying “I can do that” a hustler says “Well, I’ll let you know when I’ve tried it” and then spends the next 6 months learning in the trenches

Instead of saying “What you should be doing is xxxxx” a hustler keeps his mouth shut if he doesn’t have any experience, and if he does? ” Well, this worked for me, here’s how I did it”

Instead of joining in on the “I can’t wait till I make my first million” discussions at the dinner table, a hustler uses that as a reminder to go back to his office and get back to work.

Because hustlers know that smart time in the trenches produces wealth, not isolated events.


So incase you are wondering why things aren’t working out for you, incase you’re lying to yourself and saying “I tried my best” (You didn’t) , and incase you’re ready to step up your game and really be successful, ask yourself:

Am I really a hustler? 



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