What was your first hustle?
Do you remember why you started your business?
Was it so you could follow your bliss? Or was it because you wanted to create a business where you could bring your 17 dogs to work with you each day? (I’m the latter.) ?
Before actor Ashton Kutcher considers investing in a startup, he asks its founders, ‘what was your first hustle?’
When I read this, I thought it was an excellent question.
Admittedly, I didn’t even know what a hustler was (I only knew the magazine because I’d previously written for Penthouse in my early 20s ﹘ but that’s a TOTALLY different story).
Growing up in Australia, we don’t really have that term. I knew what I did, I just didn’t know what to call it.
I told one of my American friends about work-related things I was doing, and he replied, ‘you hustlin’. I thought, ‘is that what that’s called?’
But then I remembered when I was 11, we had to look after chicken eggs as part of our grade 6 class.
If we could successfully look after the eggs for a week, then the next week we’d graduate to real-live chicks and look after them.
We had to carry around chicken eggs for a week and make sure they didn’t break. I had mine in a plastic container cushioned by wads of fabric.
At recess and lunchtimes, my classmates would venture onto the playground or to play cricket.
I was more of a non-sports type, so I stayed near the rotunda.
I would then have friends ask me if I could mind their chicken eggs for them while they would play.
I agreed and they’d line up their eggs in various containers and I would babysit, or eggsit.
By the second day, I had more eggs to eggsit. By the third day, I had decided to charge a fee for my egg-sitting services.
Five cents per egg.
I didn’t know it, but I had started my very own business at the age of 11.
I was hustlin’.
I think I made about 50 cents a day. But still, playing mother hen paid off.
Since then, I’ve gone from helping small business to large entertainment brands and non-profit organisations grow their brand through copywriting, social media and branding. What I like to call ‘the total package’.
And you, as a fellow business owner, understands how important the whole package is!
So, now I want to know about you.
Why did you start your business?
Do you have a ‘mother hen’ or first hustle story?