The Dark Side of ‘Hustle Culture’

Mental Models, Performance, Business & Entrepreneurship |

Hi All!

Here is my weekly email discussing mental models, performance, business and entrepreneurship.

1. Subscribe to get this newsletter in your inbox, every week 

2. Join our free slack community, connect with amazing people and up-skill yourself (as well as access free resources)


Sponsor: Brevo (Sendinblue)

Sometimes, growing your business and boosting your revenue feels like climbing a mountain. But with Brevo, it just makes it all easier.

With Brevo, I've been able to take my customer interactions to the next level, responding to customer queries in real time and crafting captivating marketing campaigns. But it's not just about reaching more people—it's about creating meaningful connections with each customer.

With their "Complete Toolkit for Customer Conversion." I've created personalized emails, launched engaging SMS or WhatsApp campaigns, designed visually stunning landing pages, and automated workflows— turning casual browsers into loyal customers.

Get started with Brevo for free by clicking our link below or going to and use the promo code "SUCCESS" to save 50% on your first three months of the Starter & Business plan!


The Dark Side of ‘Hustle Culture’

We’ve all heard about the famous ‘hustle culture.’

It's the idea that success only comes to those who work themselves to the bone, never stop, never rest, and never take a break. While this idea of a relentless pursuit of success may seem inspiring and admirable, the reality is that hustle culture has a dark side.

Think of it like a rocket ship hurtling towards the stars, fueled by the endless grind of work. The engine roars, propelling the ship further and faster, and you feel a sense of accomplishment and excitement as you watch the stars pass by. 

But at some point, the fuel will run out, and the ship will come crashing down to earth. Hustle culture is like that rocket ship, and without proper self-care and rest, you risk burning out and falling to earth.

In my recent conversation with Rand Fishkin, we explored the other side of the coin, the importance of balance in your life. Everyone is always preaching to work harder and work longer, and this conversation was a refreshing breath of fresh air for those who realize that constant hustling is not sustainable. 

In this article, we are going to explore the hidden dark side of hustle culture, how this isn’t the optimal strategy to succeed, and some better ways to approach your work. 

Let’s go! 

Where Does Hustle Culture Come From

Before we delve into the dangers of hustle culture, it's important to understand where this mentality comes from in the first place. 

The idea of working hard and never giving up on your dreams is nothing new - it's been a staple of the American dream for generations. From rags-to-riches stories to self-made millionaires, the concept of hard work leading to success has always been an attractive one.

But in recent years, the idea of hustle culture has taken on a new meaning. 

With the rise of social media and the gig economy, it's become more and more common for people to glorify the idea of working non-stop, always pushing themselves to the limit. The hustle mentality has become a badge of honor, a way to show off your dedication and commitment to your goals.

Part of the appeal of hustle culture is the promise of quick success. 

We see stories of entrepreneurs who work 80-hour weeks and achieve incredible things in a short amount of time, and we think that if we just work hard enough, we can do the same. 

But the reality is that these success stories are the exception, not the rule. For every person who achieves overnight success, there are countless others who burn out or never achieve their goals at all.

So while the idea of hustle culture might seem inspiring on the surface, it's important to understand the dangers that come with this mentality.

The Dangers of Hustle Culture

While the flashiness of the hustle mentality may seem attractive, there are some serious risks that come with pushing yourself too hard for too long. 

Here are just a few of the biggest dangers of hustle culture:


Burnout is no joke. 

It's a state of chronic stress that can leave you physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. When you're constantly pushing yourself beyond your limits, overworking, and under-resting, burnout can take hold. And let me tell you, it's a serious problem that can lead to some major health issues like depression, anxiety, and even physical illness.

Now, the signs of burnout can be tricky to spot at first. 

You might start feeling tired and irritable more often, lose interest in the things you used to love, and have trouble sleeping. But if you don't take action, things can escalate quickly. Burnout can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, back pain, and digestive problems.

The pressure to always be hustling, always pushing yourself to achieve more is a recipe for burnout. It’s just not a sustainable approach.

Hustle culture perpetuates the myth that success only comes to those who work themselves to the bone, never rest, and never take a break. But the truth is, this grind-it-out mentality can have serious consequences for your well-being.

Poor Decision-Making

When you're exhausted and stressed, it's much harder to make good decisions. This can lead to mistakes and missteps that can set you back in your work.

Think of your brain as a computer processor. 

When you're well-rested and focused, your processor runs at full speed, which lets you think clearly and make rational decisions. But, when you're exhausted and stressed from the endless grind of hustle culture, your processor starts to slow down

This can lead to poor decision-making, as your brain struggles to process information and make sound judgments.

As an entrepreneur, poor decision-making can be disastrous. It can cause you to miss out on opportunities, lose money, and damage your reputation. When you're burned out, you're more likely to make impulsive decisions or miss the crucial details, which can set you back in your work and ultimately hinder your chances of success.

The worst part? Poor decision-making can create a vicious cycle of stress and anxiety. 

Making a bad call can leave you feeling regretful and disappointed, which only increases your stress levels and makes it even harder to focus and make good decisions in the future. And for hustlers who are already under immense pressure to succeed, this can be a recipe for disaster. 

Neglecting Relationships

When you're caught up in the hustle culture, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that work is the most important thing in your life. 

You may find yourself constantly checking emails, taking work calls during dinner, and working late into the night. While it's important to be dedicated to your work, neglecting your relationships can have serious consequences for your well-being.

When you're not giving your relationships the time and attention they deserve, you may start to feel disconnected from the people who matter most to you. You may miss out on important events, fail to keep in touch with friends and family, and struggle to make meaningful connections with others. 

Over time, this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can have a negative impact on your mental health.

Maintaining strong relationships is crucial for your overall happiness and well-being. 

Having a support system of friends and family can help you navigate life's ups and downs, provide a sense of belonging, and offer a source of comfort during difficult times. By neglecting your relationships in favor of work, you may be missing out on these important benefits.

Neglecting your relationships doesn’t just affect your personal life, though; it can be a disaster for your business life too. Building strong relationships with clients, colleagues, and mentors is crucial for success in any industry. 

By neglecting these relationships, you may miss out on valuable networking opportunities, miss out on building important connections, and ultimately damper your potential as an entrepreneur. 

Decreased Creativity

Creativity requires space and time to breathe, and hustle culture doesn't leave much room for either. When you're constantly working and pushing yourself, it's hard to tap into your creative side and come up with truly innovative ideas.

When you're in hustle mode, there's no time to chill and let your mind wander, which is crucial for coming up with fresh ideas. Plus, creativity is often sparked by experiences, interactions, and new perspectives, all of which require time and space outside of work.

On top of that, if you're constantly overworking and burning out, your mind is going to be foggy, and you won't be able to focus, which is super important for solving problems and being innovative. If you can't explore new ideas, you'll get stuck in a rut and won't be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

And let's not forget about the danger of falling into a routine. 

When you're so focused on work, you might miss out on seeing things from a different angle or spotting new opportunities. This can lead to a lack of creativity and originality in your products or services, which is not going to help you stand out in the market.

Physical Health Problems

Hustle culture can have serious consequences for your physical health as well.  From back pain to eye strain, these issues can become chronic and have long-term effects.

When you work for yourself, you have to take care of your body just as much as your business. When you're working round the clock, it's easy to forget about your physical health. But here's the thing: neglecting your nutrition, exercise, and sleep can lead to serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

And don't even get me started on stress! 

The constant pressure of hustle culture can take a toll on your body. It releases cortisol, a hormone that can wreak havoc on your immune system and blood sugar levels. That means you're more prone to getting sick and diseases. Not to mention it affects your sleep.

And when you don't get enough sleep, your body can't function properly. You may experience brain fog, memory issues, and accidents. Not to mention, chronic sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system and increase the risk of diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Building a business is a great pursuit, but it’s not worth destroying your physical health over. 

A Better Alternative

So if you're getting tired of the endless grind of hustle culture, and you are looking for a better way to approach work and entrepreneurship, look no further.

Instead of just focusing on productivity and work all the time, it's crucial to prioritize rest, self-care, and a balanced lifestyle. There are 3 key strategies to implement when finding a better approach to work. 

1. Deep Work: One approach that you can try is called "deep work". This means that you should focus on one task or project for an extended period of time without any distractions. By setting aside dedicated time for deep work, you can maximize your productivity and creativity without burning out your mental and physical health.

2. Prioritize Self-Care: Another important aspect of this better alternative is prioritizing self-care. This could include activities like meditation, exercise, or just spending some quality time with loved ones. By taking care of yourself, you can recharge your batteries and be more productive in the long run.

3. Establish Boundaries: You need to establish boundaries and maintain a healthy work-life balance. This means setting realistic goals, delegating tasks when necessary, and disconnecting from work during designated times, such as weekends and vacations.

Ultimately, a better alternative to hustle culture is all about having a holistic approach to work and entrepreneurship. By prioritizing rest, self-care, and balance, you can achieve success without sacrificing your health and well-being. 


The danger of hustle culture is real, and it can cause burnout, poor decision-making, and neglect of relationships. 

While the idea of working hard and never giving up on our dreams is admirable, we need to recognize that success stories of working non-stop are the exception, not the rule. 

We must find a balance in our lives, between work and rest, to avoid the risks of the hustle mentality. Don’t forget that life is not just about achieving our goals but also about the relationships we have with others and the quality of life we enjoy. 

Remember, it's not just about the destination, but also the journey toward it.

If you enjoyed this, check out my full conversation with Rand, as he is a well of knowledge when it comes to this topic. 

That’s it for this week; thanks for reading! 

See you next week for more success stories. 

If you enjoyed this article, I’d love to hear from you.

Write me at or tweet at me @ScottDClary and I’ll do my best to get back to everyone!


Other Partners (They All Have Special Offers For Readers.. Check Them Out)

Shopify —

Brevo (Sendinblue) —

Munch — (Promo Code: Success)

Netsuite —

Blinkist —

Hostinger —

Hubspot —

My Links

Success Story (Top 10 Business Podcast)

Liquidity & Liquor (Top 100 Business Podcast)

Newsletter (100k Subs)

Social Media


Subscribe to get this newsletter in your inbox, every week.

Scott's Newsletter logo
Subscribe to Scott's Newsletter and never miss a post.