Book Review: Hustle by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler

(Rodale Books, 2016)

By Deepi Harish

Most people talk about their dreams, yet few people do anything to achieve them. From start to finish, Hustle is a burst of inspiration to “do something. Do something that moves you. Do something that excites or energizes you. Don’t talk about it. Don’t dream it. Don’t plan it. Don’t plan to plan it,” say authors Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler. All three authors are entrepreneurs who come from immigrant families and faced plenty of ups and downs as they experimented with their career choices. Now they are considered the top startup consultants in the United States today.

The phrase “Hustle Generation” refers to people who have gone from dreamers to doers, and it is a common thread throughout the book. Examples of self-made millionaires include John Paul DeJoria, the man behind Patrón Tequila, and Ursula Burns, the first African-American woman to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Several other examples are sprinkled throughout the chapters.

On the surface, the word hustle carries a negative connotation. For example, the person who commits fraud hustles. However, the person who honestly works hard, takes risks, doesn’t sit around waiting for opportunities but rather creates them also hustles.

In the startup community, hustle is a buzzword that means “getting things done.” Hustle is a skill and a mindset that entrepreneurs adopt to stay motivated, to get out there, and to build something bigger than themselves—at least that’s how I see it.

This book is a blueprint to discover your talents, if you haven’t already, through tools and exercises that will shift your way of thinking, to silence the path of least resistance and to say yes to risks. Patel, Vlaskovits, and Koffler introduce the concept of the Personal Opportunity Portfolio (POP), a plan you create to make sense of the types of “hustling” you are currently doing, and to map out how to do what you would ideally love to do. Through answering a series of questions you will uncover and increase the credibility of your work and learn how to connect with the right people and projects for future gigs. This is a great exercise to help freelancers and editors choose projects that match their specific skill sets.

Hustle doesn’t cover topics that will resonate specifically with editors or freelancers. It’s for anyone who wants to start a business or change their current life. I read a lot of books on entrepreneurship and startups, and there’s nothing unique about the authors’ advice. However, it’s engaging, anecdotal, and encouraging for those of us who need a little push to try something new in our careers or strive for something bigger.

Freelancers, like entrepreneurs, are accustomed to pursuing clients and finding new avenues to get paid for their services. Hustle provides action-oriented advice for the business owner, the self-employed freelancer, and the aspiring business owner alike.

Deepi Harish is a seasoned storyteller who currently blogs for The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Medium. She has over eight years of experience as a writer and editor, and holds a postgraduate certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University.

This article was copy edited by Nicole North.

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