March 24, 2015

Expert Interview: What Hustling Means to Jon Acuff

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Our TA Expert Interview Series highlights a variety of B2B technologies through conversations with industry leaders, in collaboration with our Tech Conference partnerships.

In each conversation we seek to uncover the story behind the technology and examine some of the innovation happening in business technology.

Many of our conversations are with entrepreneurs and tech founders. However no matter what industry or category the company is in, a common theme is the amount of dedication, or “hustle,” they’ve invested in their careers.

There are many definitions of “hustle.” Here’s how Jon Acuff, the New York Times Bestelling Author of Do Over, defined it when we spoke to him at the  Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Jon: I think that one of the phrases I often talk about is that hustle is fuel, it’s the fuel that makes you actually do the things you want to do. So you can have the best intentions, the best hopes, the best dreams but unless you actually do them, they don’t matter. So I kind of look at a dream like a car and the most amazing car that doesn’t have fuel is a really amazingly heavy well-designed paper weight. For me that’s what hustle is and it’s that fuel. Sometimes, I say it’s doing the important things others don’t to enjoy the results others won’t. That’s kind of how I look at hustle. Again it’s about focus, not frenzy. I think sometimes we think it’s become a workaholic and that’s not what it is at all.

Jon also elaborated on the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and interacting directly with your customers.

Jon: At the end of the day business is about serving people. And if you don’t interact with people, you’re just guessing. I think you see that happen all the time where business launch and you can tell they just guess and the market doesn’t respond to it the way they thought they would. So for me, as a speaker, as an author, the more time I spend around people, the easier it is to serve them, and go, ‘oh! that’s a problem they’re challenged with right now.’ I have an idea that matches that versus ‘I’m going to sit in a room by myself for ten hours and try to guess what people need in a book. And then create something that is so far from what they really need.” So I’m trying to do more face-to-face, ask more questions, create ideas out of a need versus just ‘I want to create an idea.’

Speaking of hustle, it’s a topic we’ve covered a few times here at TechnologyAdvice. You can check out our ranking of 100 Thought Leaders To Follow in 2015 to get some inspiration of your own, or look at our breakdown of what exactly an Entrepreneur Is Made Of to find out if you have the right stuff.

Let us know how your planning to grow your business this year, and if you’ve encountered any great resources or ideas, in the comments below.

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