Now I know, "hustle" isn't exactly the first (or even last) word that comes to mind when you're building a purpose driven, creative business. By definition, to hustle is to act in a markedly different way than to be driven by purpose.
Hustle (verb): force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction; obtain by forceful action or persuasion.
Purpose (verb): To intend, design; To set an aim, intention or goal for oneself. (noun): The reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used.
But I'll tell you one thing hustlers and purpose-driven creators have in common: growth.
Whether you are championing a fail fast, scale faster innovation culture in an existing company, starting up a new venture, or simply bringing a new creative idea into the world - growth is always going to accelerate your efforts. Company growth. Growth in a mastery of craft. Connections and collaborative growth. Growth in experience and perspective. So, because I know that the creative 'trep tribe is keen on growing in ways that empower a pursuit of doing more of what you love, here are a few nuggets of wisdom from the third annual Hustle Con, an event for non-technical start up tactics.
Don't know The Hustle?
This event bills itself as a rock n' roll version of TED that "works like business school: You show up and are taught strategies for starting and growing your company. Except at Hustle Con, you’re not paying $50,000 to attend…because that’s just stupid." (Love it, right?) This year's bash was held at a beautiful creative space, the Paramount Theater in Oakland. Now that we've met The Hustle, here are takeaways from a few of the creative leaders who shared their stories at this year's event.
Advice for Creative Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Be it an oxymoron or not, if hustling with purpose wasn't already a thing, these successful founders are proving it is now.
@Dteln, David Renteln, Soylent Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder
In the effort to scale Soylent into an accessible meal replacement while overcoming the backlash of being labelled a bro-tastic Silicon Valley experiment, Renteln says Soylent's strategy was to embrace the weird and create a transparent company culture that treats customers like a community. Word to the wise: Have an authentic brand story and empower your early adopters to co-create that narrative as you grow. You may have to come to terms that what you're creating isn't for everyone, but those aren't the people you created the thing for anyway now is it? Know what is authentic to your creative idea and stick to it.
@Gogodanae, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo Co-Founder
If you haven't heard, Indiegogo is a crowdfunding site with $56.5 million in funding. How did it get there, with aspirations to continue to grow? Ringelmann says there isn't a blueprint to inventing industries, but one thing that can help you create yours is to build a team around innovation, diversity, mission, and culture. Word to the wise: Your brand blueprint "why" will attract purpose driven people that can take your business to the next level. Give them the tools to build out your blueprint along the way.
@Jefenate, Jeff Chapin, Casper Co-Founder
Jeff Chapin and his team of founders set out to disrupt an industry that had seen little to no innovation in decades with the mission of building a company around scaling one great product - the Casper mattress. Chapin says this design-first mission paid off, but not without issues. In the early days Casper supply chain couldn't meet demand and stayed in backlog for 18 months. Word to the wise: If putting your creativity out into the world seems an insurmountable task, it's not. If you think you need to be technical to start-up, you don't. Make a great first impression, make an amazing product before you ship, and make mistakes - just learn from them and iterate.
@Dunn, Andy Dunn, Bonobos Co-founder and CEO
What do pants have to do with the evolution of mankind? Andy Dunn will gladly tell you, with plenty more to say about evolving a business with purpose. Bonobos in it's earliest days went through three years of no's from investors before making the right connection. He says purpose driven entrepreneurs just need to keep going. Word to the wise: enlist tenacity, the ability to evolve, and aspiration to stay driven. If you aspire to be a catalyst for change, finding a creative idea in the ordinary can be more impactful than you expect.
Can't wait 'til next year's Hustle Con? You can click my ambassador link here to sign-up for the daily hustle newsletter. I personally love it, and wouldn't recommend it if I didn't.