The Mindset of Hustle

Be a hustler!

Abraham Lincoln said, “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Traditionally, being viewed as a “hustler” has been perceived with a negative connotation.  Recently, however, I’ve been yearning to see someone hustling on every visit into one of our businesses.  I believe that being seen as a hustler (some may call it a grinder) is not only complimentary, it is necessary to succeed.  It is the mindset shift that will push you beyond average and propel you, and those around you, into excellence.

Have you ever opened a new restaurant?  Do you remember the attention to detail you were taught about guest focus, hospitality, reading the guest cues, food quality, guest perception, plate presentation, moments of truth and the perception of hustle?  Do you recall your first week at a new job and how you wanted to absorb all the right things and impress your boss?  Where did that hustler go?

The one with the hustler mindset gets noticed. 

We’ve all seen that person.  You know the one.  That one person that is simply focused on getting the job done.  Unphased by the chitter chatter and gossip going on amongst the other staff.  The one with the focus and determination to take care of our guests, clear the rail (or screen) of tickets, open the door for guests entering or exiting our business or the leader that notices the little things that changes a mediocre visit into one that generates a positive social media post and a plan for a repeat visit. 

Hustlenomics teach us that: You learn all the secrets to the game (hospitality is your game) on the way up.  Most folks want to skip the process.  When you skip steps, you miss the lessons ~ Source: the late Nipsey Hussel

Hustling in the hospitality business is not just a skill, it is an art.  It takes time to craft and perfect, but, once mastered, it is the most powerful tool in the arsenal.  Aside from being able to brush past failure and adversity (be the buffalo), a hustler is not only one who can get things done but can make things happen.  For a leader the latter is a skeleton key to progress.

In order to drive our business to success, we are not required to do great things.  We just need to do all the little things in a great way.  EVERY DAY!

They say hindsight is 2020, but with 2020 right in front of us, it’s time to take inventory on what we’ve learned about mindset in 2019.  If we implemented any of these ideas into our approach to our business on a shift to shift basis, our workplace is noticeably different from one year ago.  If you have not, it’s not.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.

We began this year by “Burning the Boats” and eliminating the excuses that we make up in our mind. “Be the Buffalo” may have been prophetic of what we would face in the spring, but it also revealed the bovine that were supposedly shoulder to shoulder with us (they ran from the storm).  We set our focus on incremental improvements with simple goals such as: restroom sanitation, teaching servers how to sell vs. take orders, teaching a HOH team member something every shift, practicing genuine hospitality in our dining rooms and making a list of things that need to be done each day….and then more importantly, doing them.

For 100 days we reiterated commitment, focus, taking action, gaining traction and celebrating the success.  We reflected on the WHY….”Because the Guest”,  We discussed the Winning Mindset and drilled down into the attributes that it takes to have that mindset,  Character. Collaboration. Commitment. Communication and Confidence.  We shed some light on mediocracy and went right at the heart when we paused and reflected on gratitude. 

Are you pleased with the impact you’ve made?  Can you pinpoint a thing or two that has gotten better?  Does our guest notice a difference?  Is your team better prepared each shift?  Have your guest counts increased?  Has your staff retention improved?  Are your guest comments leaning positive and your google/yelp reviews on the rise? There has been ample opportunity to improve.  The results of your desire to change is all around you.  Your success or failure is evident……but there’s still time if you start today.

So, as this year comes to a close….we don’t cruise, we don’t coast, we don’t take our foot off the gas, we don’t give up, we don’t give in, we don’t quit.  We HUSTLE!