Hustle vs Work vs Grit

In the entrepreneurial age, we are force-fed words such as “work,” “hustle,” and “grit.” In the midst of it all, I think we have lost the true meaning of these words. Guest blogger, George Elias, helps us understand this phenomenon.

I had the great privilege of crossing paths with George last spring in Southern California. I was doing quite a bit of traveling as a sales rep and I was looking for a video guy to help me capture a few events in Los Angeles.

I was referred to George, or “G” as he likes to be called, by a mutual friend. Our relationship has grown over the last year and I’m honored to count G as one of my friends. I now consider him a business partner and an informant insider on growing technologies.

I’ve done several photo/video shoots with George over the last year. You’ve probably seen his work already. Many images I use come from ole G!

George has a great mind and we’ve shared many conversations together that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Look for him on the podcast soon. But, for now, enjoy stepping inside G’s mind about work, hustle, and grit.

Enter George.


“It’s attractive to say the word “hustle.” You’re put in the same circles as people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Sean & Benji, Andy Frisella, and other miscellaneous people online. Originally, it meant to put your nose to the grindstone and get to work regardless of how tired you were. It meant to continue the struggle because you know in your gut it’s going to be worth it. However, not all hustle is created equal.”

In recent times, “hustle” became as overused a word as “theory” or “literally,” and just as misunderstood.

Most people who use the word “hustle” and claim to be putting in the hrs are really just getting a taste of what it really takes. What I’ve come to know is that hustle is the cost of entry for entrepreneurship, and just because you have enough hustle to stay ahead of your “normal” friends doesn’t mean you’ll be able to survive the leaf-blower induced barbecue that is entrepreneurship. It’ll throw you to the ground and rip you a new one before you can finish the first syllable of whatever word you were about to say.”

[ Nick’s Interruption: “…the leaf-blower induced barbecue that is entrepreneurship…” this part cracks me up, mostly because it’s true! If you want to see what this looks like, click here to better understand the concept.

Entrepreneurship has become the next cool thing. If you’re an entrepreneur, you fit in with the cool crowd. Personally, I hate titles and semantics. When I started my journey in 2014, I never considered myself an entrepreneur. Honestly, I still don’t. But, for me, it doesn’t matter. I’m gonna do what’s necessary and I’ll leave it up to the fans to call it what they wish. ]

Ok, Back to George:

“The word hustle has become glamorized and popularized to the point where it’s lost some of its initial meaning. It’s become a regular lyric in most D-Grade rap songs, a tattoo you get at the discount tattoo parlor, and license plates for people who just want to fit in to this current entrepreneur trend. That’s what this really is, a trend. A trend that has diluted the real meaning of hustle.”


“This is where the words work and grit come in to play. Work is hustle’s less attractive older brother. It may not insinuate images of fancy watches, fast cars, & getaway islands in The Bahamas. Heck, when I say work you probably think of that place with the demanding boss and idiot coworkers that are content living in the 9–5 lifestyle of get up, work, go home, party, repeat. It’s like the joke on how the computer programmer died in the shower.

However, work still holds its ground as the purest gauge of your progress. You can’t expect to get anywhere if you don’t put the work in. The cliché “the barrier between who you are & who you want to be is the amount of work you put into yourself” absolutely holds. If you want to get better, you have to put the work in to getting better. It may not be sexy, but it’s as necessary to growth as eating & breathing are to living.”

[ Nick’s Interruption: I agree with G here. Putting in the work is not sexy; it must be done. As far as the 9-5 thing goes, personally, I see nothing wrong with it. If you have a job you like, it allows for the time to spend with family or enjoyable activities, by all means do not fall into the pressure of you must be an entrepreneur.

Lately, this quote has really gotten on my nerves,

“Build your own dreams or someone
else will hire you to build theirs.”
– Farrah Gray

I get the feeling that this quote implies that if you work for somebody else, you’re not going after your dreams. Furthermore, it feels that if you work for somebody else you are inferior to those who choose to go after their dreams.

I’m grown to get a weird feeling in my gut when people bring up ‘dreams.’ The harsh reality is that most people won’t achieve their dreams; they won’t even come close. I don’t believe that they’re not capable. Personally, I think they lack the determination and courage to take the leap of faith necessary.

Lastly, if you’re happy helping other people achieve their dreams, rock on! Don’t feel like you have to quit what you’re doing to pursue something else. Truth is, the people who are accredited for great things needed many, many people to bring it to fruition. Nobody accomplishes things alone. ]

Back to George: 


“Finally, there’s Grit. The compromise between hustle’s popularity & work’s anti-glamorus stance. There’s a reason why the word “hustle” conjures up images of NYC or Silicon Valley but the word grit makes you think of the Southwest.

By far one of the hardest professions you can ever get in to is the Agricultural Industry. I don’t care what anyone in Astrophysics or even Neuroscience has to say, if you can’t physically create the food you put on your table, you can’t survive. Fortunes were made & lost over the rights to arable land, and it took grit to make the land produce its bounty.

An aspect of grit that’s often overlooked is that, while it sounds attractive to say it, people with grit are quite possibly the most humble people on this planet. They keep to themselves, working on their skills, honing their knowledge, and aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and manually remove a tree stump with their bare hands if they have to.

While hustle likes to brag about having a full house, grit keeps the poker face and knows that no one else deserves to see what cards you’re holding. Whether it’s a Royal Flush, or the worst hand on earth.”

[ Nick’s Interruption: I really like what G adds here in the last section. Typically, grit is seen with humbleness and even generosity, in my experience. Those who could be described as grit-y often don’t make any noise. No complaining, no protesting, just accepting things the way they are and getting the job done however necessary.

I think grit ties in nicely with relentless. They both have the same dark, edgy feel to them. They both seem to have a gentle, humbleness to them as well. Maybe that’s a leap but that’s how I feel about them. ]

George Conludes… 

“Of course each of these words have their place in the list of words an entrepreneur says on a daily basis, along with cursing Facebook to the eWaste bin. However, each word has it’s place. Hustle is the cost of entry, grit is what takes you through to the end, and none of it would be possible without the countless hours of work one puts into themselves or their business.”

Enter Nick…

Not much left to say here. George raps it up beautiful in the concluding paragraph. George’s article continues to say some very kind words about yours truly. I didn’t feel right about posting in this guest blog. I wanted to highlight George and his Relentless Mindset.

Thanks for letting me use this article George. I know it’ll bring many readers great value. To see the article in it’s entirety and without my interruption, click here!


To see more of George online, scope out the links below:

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter 

Fig Tree Cinemas



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