Hustle myth busted - redefining hustle / by Marlous Teh

Big hustle myth busted = Time for a celebration! Cheers!

Big hustle myth busted = Time for a celebration! Cheers!

Asked me this time two years ago and I would’ve been ALL ABOUT #HustleMeTender #HustleMeSweet #WorkingMyButtOff #WhosGotTimeToEat/Sleep/EtcEtc

And I’ve probably thought about hustle this way all my life considering I grew up with a migrant family who (still) carry the notion of scarcity and hustle our butts off every single day from their 'hustle or die days’. Which I’m grateful has instilled the work ethic I embrace today. Anyway, back to my point. HUSTLING.

So here I am today.

Eye to eye with my old all time favourite story, which is FINALLY looking like it’s outdated and badly needs rewriting. 


That we have to #Hustle #24/7

That we have to sacrifice our sleep.

That we just have to push push push no matter what the circumstances.

That we must put our career above ourselves if we wanted to accomplish something. 

That #nothustling equals being lazy af

That it's a weakness if we don't sacrifice our health.

Let me repeat this last one in full. 

To think that it's a weakness if we don't sacrifice our health...  Biggest load of crud I used to think was true.

As I've continued my training to becoming a life coach I had the honour to be coached by the magnificent Miish Grixti over a 12-week series and I set myself some big big goals. And boy I've had some BIG ahas. (More sharing to come!)

For the so-many'th time I'd been feeling like it's been the busiest time of my life.

And feeling like that busy-ness has been getting in the way of truly living how I want to live.

In the way of my gym time, my healthy eating habits, my energy levels, my focus, my quality time with my loved ones, fun time, creative time, etc etc.

I’d been telling myself “if only I had X, I’d be able to live and be the best version of me.”

Fill in X with: more time, money, skills, experience, a better figure, more confidence, mentors etc.

And I've been so sick and tired of that story.

Because if there’s anything I’ve learned over my 8 year career and global expat-like lifestyle, life will always find a bloody excuse to get in the way.

There will always be a busier time…

More/better jobs to get as if our career fulfilment desired it.

More KPIs to achieve as if our jobs depend on it.

More promotions to go for as if our pay rises count on it.

More weddings, birthdays, socials, workshops, festivals, once in a lifetime events etc like our FOMO feeds off it.

More responsibilities or duties that call upon us.

Welcome to the hustle of life, baby.

I’ve realised I'm no longer saying "I'm busy" with that sense of pride I used to have.

The look-at-me I’m working a 9-6 job, volunteering for the community weekly, running this charity event, have weekly socials and doing this online course and also I’m learning to sing/dance/juggle/make furniture in one hand, while I make pasta in the other.

That "see how busy I am living it” kind of pride, highly triggered by my wonderfully insatiable multi passionate nature. And I love my multi passionate nature! <3

(HOLD your horses btw! Nothing to blame my multi passionate nature for - talking busy hustle here! Focus!)

BUT without really realising it at the time, that busyness in actual fact moved me further away from what really matters to me.

The way I'd been hustling has been so out of alignment with how I truly want to live my purpose and values. 

Because truth be told, I have burned out many times in the past. I’ve put my health, friendships and relationships to the test oh so many times for my “obsessive hustling for career success”. I’ve had my health do plenty of 90/180 degree changes to points where I was deeply overweight and unfulfilled, to try and thrive in careers that in reality tried to keep me small. I used to wear this hustling like it's some status badge of hard work and success, often driving myself being on the verge of a burn out. And I’m done with it. Because for one, it doesn’t really fulfil me and two) it’s not healthy, and hey I gotta own this body like it’s a once in a life time opportunity.


Oh yes, I have worked and will still work my bum off as being a hard worker doesn’t mean I can’t be a human and take what I have the right to - my rest, qt with loved ones. And yes, I may still have days where I will feel like I must churn out those 15 hour days. 

But now more than ever, I want my life to be about the balance for all the things I care for.

That means health first, sleep and exercise first, loved ones first. 


If I want to live my best self and bring my best game every single day, I've got to bring it all and take it every single day. I need to live my best self and values whenever I can. Every. Single. Day. RIGHT NOW.

And so reflecting on this in my own experience as multi multipassionate entrepreneur and employee, observing my role models, learning from mentors and coaches, I conclude:

  1. Driving yourself into the ground is not a status symbol of success.

  2. Hard work doesn’t equal driving ourselves into the ground.

  3. Navigating circumstances and challenges change the way you hustle. Can’t always go 110 miles an hour.

  4. Without sustainability there is no real success. NO SUSTAINABILITY = NO SUCCESS!

  5. We must hustle for that sustainability. Because that is the harder thing, my friend.

  6. We must put ourselves first and own it, because if we don’t hustle for ourselves. Who will?

  7. Hustling means fighting for ALL THE THINGS you value most right now.

  8. Hustling isn’t getting it perfect - it’s getting it in. Enough for it to matter in line with your most important values.

How do you define hustle? What are all the things you’re hustling for? Leave a comment as I’d love to hear from you.

Marlous xoxo

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It’s my mission as a life coach to serve you by sharing my own learnings and I’d love to help:

+ Defining your own success and getting crystal clarity on how to get there

+ Uncovering your fears and empowering you to be a powerhouse for good

+ Expressing your unique gifts, talents and skills to create a life and business you thrive on

Because my wish for you is that you thrive in everything in your life that you hold dear. Every. Single. Thing. Want to learn more about coaching with me? Email me at marlousteh[at] and ask me anything you want to know. I look forward to connecting with you.