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Seven tips and takeaways from Hustle & Flows

By: Janiece Campbell & Kristopher Phillips

Hustle & Flows is a podcast that explores the uprising Generation Z refusing an unfulfilling 9-5 job and instead, diving head-first into what we refer to as unconventional careers. All guests on the show are young entrepreneurs under the age of 25 that aim to pursue ambitions that majority of society would regard as impractical.

In the two episodes recorded, we interviewed LAZz, an upcoming Toronto rapper and Mimi, a medical aesthetician and business owner. Due to COVID-19, a third episode could not be recorded. Instead, we’ve chosen to reflect on past conversations and provide tips on what it takes to be a successful boss-in-the-making under the age of 25. 

Here are a few tips and takeaways from Hustle & Flows to help you start or improve your entrepreneurial skills. 

Stay in your lane

How can you maintain driving straight if your eyes are off the road, staring into the car next to you? This is an alternative way to say, “mind your own business!” This was a huge piece of advice coming from LAZz, as he stresses the importance of focussing on your own projects and to stop watching others. 

This statement is not to prohibit experimenters from trying something new, but rather to say beware of internal covetous behaviours. It’s easy to be jealous, especially when business plans may not be working in your favour, but it’s important to remember that envying someone else’s success or worrying about why you haven’t achieved as much as the next person won’t get you far in your industry.  

The early bird gets the worm 

Let’s be honest, waking up early isn’t always easy, especially during Canadian winters where 6 a.m. looks like midnight. Although the thought of putting the alarm on snooze and rolling over sounds appealing, it’s amazing how many more things you’re able to complete by extending your mornings by a few hours. Many don’t take into account the number of accomplishments they can achieve while the majority of people are still asleep. 

Outside of enhanced productivity, being an early riser allows for more quiet time. With a lack of distractions, the world falls silent, giving you extra time to meditate and get motivated. For Mimi, she finds that waking up just before sunrise is the most peaceful part of her day. Opening your eyes is the very first thing on your daily to-do list, so getting that task done earliest is essential to setting the tone for an efficient day of work.   

Write down your goals on paper

In this instance, seeing really is believing. For those who believe in speaking your dreams into existence, don’t forget to write them down too! According to Forbes, people who vividly describe their goals in written form are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish them. This tip involves a little science in relation to how the brain memorizes. 

Writing things down includes external storage and encoding. External storage is essentially storing information in a physical location that’s easily accessible to review anytime. In this case, Mimi gives the example of writing things down on a whiteboard, a way of visually seeing what has to get done. Encoding is a cognitive process in which writing equals a greater chance of things being remembered rather than only reading it. 

Words are a powerful tool to manifest our energies in the right direction. Remember to affirm your goals by writing them, it can leave a huge impact on how you succeed.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Stepping outside of our comfort zones can leave us in a vulnerable position, and who would want to feel like that? But being courageous and dipping your toes into the waters may be the key to expanding your business to newer horizons. 

LAZz told us about his initial fears with incorporating singing into his rap songs. With a strong religious background, he used to sing in church, though he wasn’t sure about adding vocals to his music. With a sprinkle of auto-tune, he knew he could make hits and he reminded listeners that, “the one thing you wouldn’t try could be the one thing holding you back from success.” 

With Mimi, she was hesitant to apply for a $3,000 medical aesthetician course. She had no background in dealing with skin and was afraid of failure. As she second guessed her abilities, she then thought “why not? It’s only going to make me better,” and pursued it anyway. Today, she says that it was the best decision she had ever made in her life, and it completely changed her direction in life. 

Don’t let the unknown stop you from experiencing new things. Spontaneity may open the doors to a fulfillment never before felt.  

Work hard, hustle harder

Getting rich quick sounds appealing, but many times, aiming for fast money takes away the initial passion from the art. If there’s no suggestion of care towards the outcome of your product, consumers may feel a lack of quality.

“Everyone wants to be a boss, but no one understands the struggle it takes to be a boss,” says Mimi. Many self-proclaimed “business owners” will begin ventures but will not take the necessary steps in order to verify their business or credibility such as registering the business or taking necessary courses and certifications. 

Take all precautions to excel your business. If you want to be seen as reliable, the effort should shine through! 

Invest in yourself and use your resources

Investing in yourself may be the most profitable investments you might ever make. We don’t necessarily mean monetary investments either. As a young entrepreneur, realize that you are a crucial asset. In order for your life to change for the better and your business to thrive, take the time to develop your skills and effectively utilize what’s available to you. 

The Urban Arts Program offered in the GTA assisted in nurturing LAZz’s confidence in his craft. This community program helped him in his artistic journey as it provided him with a healthy and positive space to build a career in music. Researching and taking advantage of local programs and showcases is a great way to work your way up and to take your expertise to the next level. 

Mimi describes her previous working experiences in retail as a great opportunity that kept her on her toes. Remembering what it was like to demonstrate excellent customer service, it has molded skills that can now be applied to her current business endeavours. 

Build a strong team

The people who surround you aren’t always necessarily the same people who have your best interests in mind. While teamwork is important, having the right people who are willing to push the envelope with you is critical.

In LAZz’s interview, he says that his most recent body of work Dreams of a Hustler was inspired by his team and the season of their lives they were in during the planning stages of the EP. 

Mimi had a similar story. As a co-owner of Wahala Co. her decision to collaborate with her business partner came with a striking revelation. Aside from their joint intentions of creating clothing that showcased black pride for the community, she realized that there are many people you can converse with, but not many that you can trust and break bread with. 

Having the right people in your corner can create an innovative and successful work environment beneficial to your excelling. Building a team with likeminded individuals that reflect your values is essential to your business’s growth and for support, especially due to factors like age, race and gender.

Both of these hustlers looked at the situations they were in, found what was available to them and figured out how they could positively implement them into their businesses today. Don’t be afraid to build your confidence, set goals and choose what makes you happy. Invest in yourself, we know you can do it.