Why the Hustle is a lie

I think this may have been the longest my blog has ever gone without something “new” on it. I ended last year with a post that summed up some feelings I’d been hanging on to for a long time. There was a whole big “I’m a person not a brand” speech which I’m actually rather proud of, if I’m completely honest (which I am, most of the time, my bad). Once I’d got all the words out and released the ugly gremlin inside I felt… nothing. No need to smash on a keyboard and share rad things with you. No weird stress about not having a YouTube video up. It’s Wednesday, my “upload” day, and I couldn’t be arsed to set up my recording equipment.

It was like a big weight was lifted from my shoulders

Basically, that’s why nothing has been on the blog or YouTube or like… most of my stuff. In case you were wondering. After writing that post I landed back in South Africa for a short little holiday over Christmas and New Year and then jetted back to Ukraine for the Contenders Finals. I had content planned from before I landed for my holiday. I was going to smash it out the weekend before I left and start going live with it the moment I arrived back in Europe for finals week. But on the flight home something happened. Well, at the airport in Ukraine, actually.

I walked past a poster with Zoe Kravitz on it

I like Zoe. There’s something about the energy she puts out that just appeals to me. I think she’s cool. Also did you know her mom is Lisa Bonet? Lisa was married to Lenny Kravitz, produced this young woman who I think is pretty cool and then married Jason Momoa (yes, your Khal Drogo Aquaman please leave your wife for me dude). Actually maybe I think Lisa is cool and by association her daughter? Maybe I’m now that age in my life… I digress. Zoe is the face for YSL’s Black Opium perfume. I like Zoe, I think I’ve already told you, I think she’s cool. Ergo, I see a poster in the airport with her face on it for a new perfume and I want to go smell new perfume. Tell me again that influencer marketing doesn’t work.

Yes, we’ve just completely swung into perfume here – bear with me

This is the small travel perfume that came with the purchase. How cute?

I love perfume. Always have. It also happens to be the only thing that no one ever gifts me. My family and friends constantly tell me how difficult I am to buy gifts for… PERFUME DAMMIT. My gran had her signature scent – you know the one – the perfume she wore for special occasions or dinner parties. My mom had her signature scent. It was Opium by YSL… the irony here isn’t lost on me and we’ll get to it in a few. Anyway, I’ve always had this thing about having THAT scent. The perfume you wear to dinner or on a date. But I also had a few other bottles for my mood. I liked the idea of defining my day by the perfume I sprayed in the morning. There was the whimsy and romantic bottle, the “means business” bottle and the “this is way too citrus for me but I’ll wear it anyway because YOLO” bottle. But over time those bottles depleted and I never got round to replacing them. It was one of those trivial things that never became a focus. Oh, if you’re wondering, my signature scent was always Issey Miyake.

Anyway, back to Zoe. I toddled over to the duty free counter and picked up a bottle of YSL’s Black Opium, pretended I knew what I was doing spraying it on the paper slip thing and then when no one was looking sprayed it on me… because I have no idea how those paper slips work. I loved the scent. I don’t know how you explain perfume to someone so I’ll explain how it made me feel: mysterious, confident, quirky and sexy. There. That. I felt empowered. Weird, I know. But perfume does that to a girl. Of course I’d never buy it. Because sensible, working her ass off for two years, save all the money Sam can’t justify perfume for the sake of it. I headed off to find a coffee but the scent lingered. Obviously, because it was on me.

By now you know I bought the perfume.. so let’s move on

I snapped this picture in Freedom Square in Kiev. One of my favourites.

I love YSL’s Black Opium. I wear it every day now. It makes me happy. I splurged on something completely out of the ordinary for no reason other than I wanted to and it was wonderful. And this ties in to the start of my post. So often we do all these things because we’re told they’re what we’re supposed to do:

Go to events

Network

Be “on brand” (🤮🤢🥴)

Keep to your upload schedule

Blah blah blah

But what happens if you don’t want to? I’ve spent so long writing for the sake of having something go up rather than just writing because I want to. Same goes for YouTube. I look back on my last two years and while I’m overwhelmed with the success I’m also sad. I was in Europe working for most of last year but when I was home I wasn’t doing things for me. I was at work events. Doing work things. While chasing this inevitable “hustle” we’re all told to run after, we lose ourselves along the way. We’re all just spitting out the same generic BS because some guy with a stupid surname told us to do it this way in his podcast or whatever.

So I didn’t write blog posts or upload YouTube videos. I repurposed live streams from one platform on to another to try do something… and maybe I’ll keep doing that, or not doing that. I don’t know. But I do know I bought this sexy new perfume that makes me feel confident, reminds me of my mom (maybe in name alone, who knows) and makes me smile every time I get a whiff of it. I’m going to chase more of that in 2019: positive feelings.

Forget everything you’ve read or watched or listened to. F*** the hustle. S*** all the podcasts that tell you to confirm to some stupid digital norm. Go be free and do you you. And a head’s up, I didn’t get this all from a perfume, I used it as a euphemism to try get my point across. Did it work?

7 Comments

  • Reply ColonelJakes ZA January 16, 2019 at 13:46

    Great post. Not because you’re expected to put out a post every once in a while, although we’re already almost in the middle of January, where were you Sam?! 😛

    It’s a great post because people need to see this and read, and understand that nobody’s gonna tell them they gotta do stuff this way or that, just because some guy/girl said it’s the right way.

    I like this new direction you’re going in, which is your own. Do your own thing. Be happy. Be content. Be you.

    Welcome back 🙂

  • Reply Matt Reid January 17, 2019 at 22:08

    Thanks for this post. I’ve had to try come to terms with whole “me as a brand” over the last year once I began freelancing. Coming from a relatively laid back approach to social media, it felt like being thrown into the deep end of the pool of public expectation and fighting a never ending battle for my market’s attention.

    It’s nice to know that there’s another way.

    • Reply Sam Wright January 24, 2019 at 11:09

      I’d like to think there is 😉

  • Reply Heather January 26, 2019 at 08:42

    I’m all for taking a break and just catching up. Just doing other stuff.

  • Reply The Geek Writer January 28, 2019 at 07:44

    That need to say something… Not to become a part of the conversation, but to just say something because you want to… And having no idea what to say… Because you can’t find the perfect adjective to noun ratio that would express anything coherent… That’s my mind state right now. So I’ll just say…Yes!

    • Reply Sam Wright February 1, 2019 at 15:01

      YES! We all need some time to just chill man. It doesn’t matter if you have nothing to say. Sometimes saying nothing is best. X

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