Hustle and the Green Tiger Beetle

Take a look at the image below. It is not just any beetle. It is the green tiger beetle. It is the fastest creature on earth relative to size.

image credit: will hawkes

To give you a perspective if Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth’s record gaining speed in a spring was 27 miles per hour. If Bolt wanted to match tiger beetle’s speed, he would have to run 18x times his record speed to match the beetle!

giphy

But here’s the thing. At such incredible speeds, the tiger beetle is nearly blind. It runs so fast that not enough light can be drawn into the eyes in movement to make where the prey is just like Quicksilver in X-Men!

gyfcat

So what the beetle does is: stop and reassess it’s position regularly while running until it reaches the last part of the preying where it takes one final stop to assess the prey’s location and then blindly runs and BAMMM!!! Catches the prey!

gif: smithsonian

But why am I telling you this? Remember the word “hustle”? I have believed for a while now that ‘hustle’ is the most abused word in startups. Printing wall posters and plastering the word ‘hustle’ on onboarding swags doesn’t make a startup hustle.

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Hustle is abused coz hustle is misunderstood. Hustle is not speed. Hustle is velocity – speed but with direction.

It is a discipline, a play really, that requires like the tiger beetle, assessing and reassessing while targeting your goals to be sure you are not blindly running in one single direction from start to end. In the grand scheme of things, losing sight of where we are headed is easy.

If there’s one thing that pandemic made apparent, was the habit of reassessing our business strategies in a frequent recurring patterns than ever before.

In a world full of hustlers that don’t stop, be like the tiger beetle.

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