Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doing the Hustle

In doing some client work the other day, I found some use for this old quote that I used to have on my website:
"Things may come to those who way ... but only the things left by those who hustle."
The source of the quote? Abraham Lincoln. Yeah, I've always been skeptical of that. It's hard to picture the Great Emancipator -- or anyone in the mid-19th Century, for that matter -- using the word "hustle."

I think I hit a wall today. All the hustling is dragging me down. I would love just a few things served up to me on a silver platter. Handed to me on a velvet pillow. Presented to me wrapped up in a bow.

I was reminded of this today when a PR industry publication that I've been pitching since August (August!) finally ran an article of mine. I'd love to link to it but it's in print only. Old school.

Of the 7 articles I've gotten published and posted, just one came through an invitation. Of the 5 speeches I've booked, just one was offered up to me. And that doesn't count all the unsuccessful pitches I've made. Which I guess I haven't actually counted, but it feels like a lot right now.

And it's never quite enough. Success only begets want. I was super happy when I booked that TV appearance in DC. For about an hour. But then I started feeling like I had to book a second one for later in the day and now that's my yardstick, and while others may be impressed, to me, just having one will be a bit of a disappointment.

It's not that I can't be happy with what I have. I have had a number of awesome projects and accomplishments that I would call a home run and that I was over the moon about. I guess that's what I want. More home runs, fewer base hits.

Or, I suppose, with a little more of that Abe Lincoln-style hustle I could be converting those base hits into inside-the-park home runs. Like this guy -- the original Charlie Hustle:

But really, I would just like one day where I go to the ballpark and the other team forfeits, handing me an easy victory.

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