Book Report: Hustle Harder Hustle Smarter

The book cover of the book Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis Jackson
Hustle harder, hustle smarter

I just finished up this book and damn, I really enjoyed it.

It was a really interesting read to get some insight into how Curtis’ mind works.

A lot of the concepts and ideas that he shared are the same concepts and ideas that you find in a lot of books around leadership, but communicated in a way that I found really easy to relate to in a way, the text wasn’t boring or dry. It was very readable and digestable.

He really has that hustler mindset to get what he wants. Keep on winning, keep on improving, if it doesn’t work the first time, there’s always the next time, and the time after that.

Reading his thougths around events that aired out in public were interesting. I think a lot of people get way too invested in the public persona and can’t look past that. 50 offers some insight for us into what he was thinking during these situations which I don’t think would have been what anyone would have thought at the time.

Heck, I don’t take all his accounts as 💯 facts, but I don’t think he’d be taking the piss too much, he’s gotta present himself as his best self. He was able to leave the ego alone for a minute and admit where (some) mistakes were made. I loved how he still able to throw a couple jabs Ja Rule’s way though, that was funny.

My key takeaways

I took a lot of notes while reading the book, these were some of my favourites.

On success.

The goal is not just to be successful. It’s about learning how to sustain that success, too.

On facing fears, what I refer to as difficult situations.

The difference is I refuse to allow myself to grow comfortable in those fears. Comfort, I’ve learned, is a dream killer. It saps our ambition. Blinds our vinsion. Promotes complacency.

On taking hits, don’t let them keep you down.

I’ve accepted that the punches are going to come in life, and some of them are going to land. But I’m always going to survive and keep fighting for the things I want. That has to be your attitude, too.

On commiting to a clean lifestyle.

All that I’d ask is that you are honest in your appraisal of the role drugs and alcohol play in your life.

I was suprised to learn how 50 doesn’t subscribe to that life. He likes to keep fit, stay sharp. I do find that I will let alcohol get in the way of some of my health goals at times…

If alcohol or drugs have that sort of pull on you, it’s important that you address it head-on. It’s going to require a lot of discipline and focus, but you can build a lifestyle for yourslef that doesn’t need to be fueled by booze and drugs to get things done.

It’s made me rethink the idea of always having a stocked fridge full of beer…

When you break those habits, you’re going to be amazed by how much you can accomplish when you free up your focus and put everything you have into your work.

He’s not wrong.

On focus.

The one question Issac’s story should make you ask is “What could I achieve with the same level of focus in my own life?”

On constructing your crew.

You must surroun d yourself with people who can help support, grow, and articulate your vision. Pick the right people and you can build a team that will take you to the top. But pick the wrong people and it can derail your vision before it ever fully gets on track.

Once you do feel confident about someone’s loyalty and work ethic, that’s a person you need on your team. It’s a rare combination in the business world, but one that’s extremely valuable.

Being a fair, but firm leader.

If you’re going to maintain control of your team, you must make people respect the repercussions. Even if it means ending a relationship.

No matter what position you’re in, when you make rules that benefit the collective good, you need to enforce them. Don’t let someone who’s focused only on themselves ruin it for everyone else. They can be hard rules to live by, but doing so will always pay off in the long run.

Handle and resolve problems.

No matter how high you build your empire, you’ll never be able to maintain it if your hosue isn’t in order.

Positively motivate them.

In addition to maintaining discipline and stability within your crew, to be a trulely effective leader you also have to be able to motivate people with encouragement.

Be clear, set expectations.

If someone is not responding to, or taking advantage of, the opportunities you’ve created for them, you’re going to have to take them to that place. That’s literally what “leading” means. You cannot construct a team and then expect everyone to instinctively know what position they’re supposed to play. That’s how confusion and later fustration, sets in.

Everyone has different needs.

Accept that everyone on your team is going to have their own hang-ups, issues, and insecurities, and then address them with the appropriate energy. You can’t have a one-size-fits-all mind-set when it comes to effective leadership. You need to tailor a specific approach to every single person on your team in oder to get the most of them.

Check your ego.

It’s great to have confidence, but never let your ego blind you to an association that can take you further than you’ll go on your own.

Look at the larger picture. Take the time to think of things holistically.

Focus on the potential - not the pay day.

Play smart.

You should always fight for your worth, but never take offense that you have to fight in the first place. When you do that, you’re moving off of emotion. It might not be fair, but to get what you want, you can only move off of strategy. Anything less will leave you hustling backward.

Keep emotions in check.

I’m not interested in excuses. What I’m interested in is analyzing information and coming to conclusions.

Keep a growth mindset.

No matter what you do, you have to be able to accept that your role is going to change. When you first break into a space or industry, you view that inevitability as a positive. If a company’s or organisation’s staff didn’t evolve, you’d never get a chance in the first place. That endless evolution is the key that opens the door for you.

There are some people who always try to position themselves to be the smartest person in the room. They do that because it soothes their insecurity. They’d rather present the impression of bein important than actually put themselves in the position to grow.

Never be that person. ALways challenge yourself to be around people who might be informed in different ways than you are, who have had different experience, and, most imporant, aren’t intimidated to share that information with you. Those are the people who are going to supercharge your evolution into your best self.

Be confident in yourself.

The most important character trait they’ll demonstrate is confidence. Every time they hit a hurdle, or seem to be on a dead-end road, that confidence will be what gets them through.

Don’t take the piss.

Even as you’re telling the world you don’t need a thing, you can never forget there are certain people who ayou are always going to need on your side. Don’t try to run the game on them. Always have a select few you remain honest and humble with.

It’s always better to empower the people around you to live their truth. When you force them to perpetuate a role, eventually people will see it.

Admitting when you’re wrong.

The first and most important step in learning from your Ls is identifying that you amde a mistake in the first place.

Take control of your environment.

There is no version of hustling harder or smarter that involves relying on the assumption that someone is going to do anything for you. You must accept that it’s all on you.

I remind myself that while it’s okay to feel conflicted about a situation, depression is a luxury that I can’t afford. I cannot allow another person’s lack of success start undermining my own.

I’m describing the feeling of my energy being sapped. My enthusiasm being dampened. My passion being depleted by someone else and their proven lack of hustle.

Make yourself available.

Be the person who is smiling and open to interacting with co-workers instead of putting on headphones and hiding behind a computer screen. Be diplomatic, and try to identify a resolution when your co-workers aren’t getting along.

I’m going to make sure to check back on these lessons when I need a bit of inspiration in my own journey.

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