do the hustle

Time and time again people ask investors the question which is what are they looking for when they invest.  My answer is pretty much the same each time.  I invest in people.  People who have a fire in their belly, that will stop at nothing to succeed, who are curious and tenacious.  I also have to like the business too.

There are so many stories that I can all tell about companies we invest I have invested in.  The company is hanging on by a thread then capital comes in the door and everything changes.  They company continues doing the same thing over and over again and one day they lean a little bit to another side and the business takes off.  One person joins the team and everything changes.  Story after story after story.  I learn from each one.

Sometimes I think about the game whack-a-mole although that game might be a better analogy to just growing the business.  Just when you think everything is running along at a good clip something pops up out of nowhere.  The day to day exhaustion and problems seem to settle down as a business grows but there is always a little mole out there waiting to rear its ugly head.

I heard my husband speak the other day about how great entrepreneurs hustle.  This past week I have been blown away by a few entrepreneurs that I work with. Their hustle blows me away every single day.  The song, The Hustle, which was part of my childhood keeps rumbling through my head so I just needed to post it.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sunchowder

    I really adore you. That is all…

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. Janet Aronica

    Like this. And hustle is important for early employees too… but hard to vet for in interviews. Always tell people the #1 reason to join a startup is because you’re obsessed with the process and up for the journey of building something from nothing.

    1. Gotham Gal

      You have to be obsessed

  3. Brandon Burns

    I struggle with how the startup community admires “hustle.” I think people (in general) mostly use the word to refer to an attitude, as opposed to specific actions or results.I see a lot of hustle amount to wheel spinning. Entrepreneurs who hustle, have a ton of palpable energy, tackle a ton of projects, reach out to a ton of people — but then I wonder, what’s the conversion rate on all those efforts?I think we all need to work in the way that best suits us. I’ve realized that when I’m at my best, people respond to my efforts because of how thorough, thoughtful and academic I am in the way I approach things — not because of my hustle or energy level (which usually comes off pretty low, as that’s my in-person disposition). The energy a hustler displays working a room is energy I save for working on the work.Not that one is better than the other, but I’d personally rather work with my natural disposition than fight against it. If I get negative points for not being a “hustler,” then so be it.Though maybe that’s the wrong attitude. I’m not 100% sure.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Have a hard time with this also. I tend to subscribe to hybrid…hustle with meaning, or maybe growth with purpose. IMHO “amazing idea that just had to happen” often = tons of work preparing, setting environment for the growth.

    2. pixiedust8

      I often feel that “hustle” is just code for “busy all the time” or perhaps “persistence” (which would make more sense to me). I know someone who would appear to have “hustle” but he’s all big ideas and no execution (not that that’s a bad thing, if he’s paired with someone who can make the ideas happen). I could see VCs throwing money at him, though.That’s why I sometimes get frustrated with this blog (although I greatly admire Gotham Girl). I think there are a lot of cliches thrown around in the start-up community–more than any other community.

  4. pointsnfigures

    Agree. At a seed stage you invest in great ideas. But the reality is you are investing in the people that will operate and execute the business. I love the analogy to jockeys and horses. Seed investors have to bet on jockeys. VCs can bet on horses.@brandonburns says hamsters on wheels hustle. That’s true. It’s knowing how to row the oars to get the boat moving forward, not just the rowing. Sorry about the metaphors.

  5. Pranay Srinivasan

    Hustle is helped by timely advice / connections. Boosts our efforts and renews our energy.thanks for being a great enabler.