The war on hustle culture is bullshit

Translation: competitive advantage

Last Sunday I had a 12 hour flight home to LA from Madrid. Most people couldn’t imagine a worse way to spend a Sunday, on a holiday weekend no less.

But my genuine attitude towards it was — lets fucking go. Legit, I had been looking forward to that flight all week (I’m a psycho, whatever).

I grabbed a cold brew at the hotel in the morning, a double shot of espresso at the airport, then popped an addy while boarding the plane. And I was absolutely flying, literally and figuratively.

Give me 12 hours of uninterrupted focus time (powered by the Big Desk Energy playlist of course) and I’ll unlock levels of productivity previously thought to be impossible.

  • I wrote and edited last week’s newsletter

  • I wrote the very newsletter you’re reading right now (go figure)

  • Finalized plans for the Mastermind in Costa Rica

  • Wrote full product overviews for 3 new upcoming features

  • Planned our entire Q3 product roadmap

  • Outlined our new weekly scorecard metrics and goals

  • Wrote the monthly investor update for May (by the way you can signup to receive these here)

  • Created tickets for a handful of recent bugs

  • Outlined a new growth initiative we’re going to launch in July

  • Wrote a novel of a team email to kick off the upcoming week

  • Hit inbox 0 and caught up with almost all of my DMs on Twitter and LinkedIn from the past few months

  • Hell, I even built something new with ChatGPT (coming soon)

No this newsletter isn’t sponsored by big pharma (yet). And I’m not here to brag about how much work I got done while you were being normal at Surf Lodge.

Rather, I’m writing this because I am constantly looking for competitive advantages. And as a founder, you probably should be too.

I’m not the smartest, wealthiest, or most connected person in the world. I’m not even the smartest, wealthiest, or most connected person within a mile radius of me. But I’m willing to sacrifice my time to the extent most others aren’t.

When I’m not on a 12 hour flight — my safe haven for the past few years while building beehiiv has been Friday nights.

We’re a remote company. Despite our focus days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the week is dominated by meetings, notifications, interviews, fire drills, and countless other distractions.

Working from the west coast has its perks (sometimes). By 2pm on Friday, most people on the east coast have signed off for the week. The emails stop coming in, the chatter dies down in Slack, the world typically carries on and begins their weekend.

I find myself to be more productive between 2pm and 2am on Friday evening than any other day of the week. It honestly feels like a cheat code, but a lot of people aren’t willing to give up their beloved Friday nights.

Translation: competitive advantage.

I don’t fully understand it, but somewhere along the way it’s become cool on Twitter to hate on Scott Galloway. Maybe it’s his bold predictions or brash style of communication… but the guy gets it. He’s a tremendous writer and I’ve been a huge fan of his for years. He was also an early angel investor of ours.

Scott always has his diatribe du jour… whether about his criticism of higher education or the lack of regulation around big tech.

Lately, his new shtick has been about the cognitive dissonance of his MBA students:

  • Almost all of them believe they will be in the top 1% of earners, globally.

  • They also claim the most important aspect of their careers is work-life-balance.

To which he argues — you can have them both, just not at the same time.

Translation: if you’re optimizing your life for balance, you likely won’t be as successful as those optimizing theirs for success. There is no free lunch.

In just the past few months I’ve written about…

But none of those alone can replace putting your head down and just doing the damn thing.

Be careful which threadbois you take advice from online — the war on hustle culture is bullshit.

If you enjoyed this post or know someone who may find it useful, please share it with them and encourage them to subscribe:

Credit: me

Would you intentionally angle your computer to flex both the bookshelf and the city view at the same time, or just pick one? Perhaps alternate days?

Reply with your own AI generated office and I’ll feature it in an upcoming issue.

Turn on, tune in, drop out. Click on any of the tracks below to get in a groove — each selected from the full Big Desk Energy playlist.

Some of my favorite content I found on the internet this week…

  • As someone who is stressed constantly, here’s a thread on the impacts of stress and “neuro-hacks” to help (Twitter)

  • How to become more likable by Polina Pompliano (The Profile)

  • Listicles are so dumb and click-bait but here I am sharing because the rankings of this list of the 20 best cities for food is terrible (TimeOut)

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Until next Tuesday 🕺🏽