Last Saturday, a man knocked at our door. These days, people who knock on your door are usually trying to sell you something, and indeed he was. But he started 10 feet away from the door and after greeting me, immediately offered his hand out for me to shake. There was no awkward script, he gave a one sentence overview and the next thing I knew he was kneeling on the concrete whipping out a spray bottle and toothbrush to show how his cleaner could get rid of the rust stains on our walkway. No theoretical justifications for a purchase, but practical proof that I needed his product. I didn’t even know we had rust stains on our concrete.
In under a minute, he had complimented our house (flattery), expressed his desire to move up in the world (connection) and shown the efficacy of his product with real applications (proof). I have turned down many salesmen that have come knocking at our door, but this was the first one who I felt met the definition of a hustler:
an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.
By the end of a few minutes, I wanted to buy something from this guy. The product was a cleaner, not too exciting, but his hustling was impressive. He was quick-witted and connected. I was seriously impressed by his skills.
Being a sales person is tough – he puts himself on the line at every house he goes to and I’m sure many turn him down, even though he mentioned several times that many of my neighbors were choosing this product(social proof). It was like seeing the book Influence in action.
Being a hustler doesn’t only apply to sales, it applies to all of us who want to deliver value. Ideas are great, but getting things done, making things happen, that’s what creates value. Hustling requires initiative and a willingness to fail. It requires a putting ourselves on the line and influencing others. It requires getting things done and making things happen.