You spend enough time with enough startups and you genuinely come to appreciate the importance of The Hustler.
The Hustler plays a few levels above where he* should, but gets away with it because of sheer willpower, ego and perceptivity. Tweet
The Hustler learns the rules quickly — breaks those he needs to — and dances around those he shouldn’t. Tweet
The Hustler is focused on big vision, but marries that with strategy, telling a compelling and actionable story at all times. Tweet
The Hustler also gets into the nitty-gritty. He’s not just there to wave his arms around and mesmerize people with a vision — he gets things done. Tweet
The Hustler does not network for the sake of networking. The Hustler does not attend conferences to hang out, or pitch his startup every which way. The Hustler isn’t in stealth, he’s just smart about the use of his time. Tweet
The Hustler goes into every meeting knowing exactly what he wants out of it. Tweet
The Hustler is insanely focused. I’m talking crazy, crazy, crazy focused. If you meet someone that seems like a real Hustler but is unfocused, be careful … you’re most likely talking to a Schmoozer — someone who walks and talks like a Hustler but never gets anything substantial accomplished. Beware of bullshit artists. Tweet
The Hustler isn’t a loudmouth. Tweet
The Hustler surrounds himself with talented, complementary people. He knows what he’s not good at and makes sure to bring on the best. Tweet
The Hustler leads by example. Tweet
The Hustler is decisive. He surrounds himself with great advisors, gathers input, but makes the final decisions. And the Hustler does so quickly. Tweet
The Hustler is bold almost beyond reason, not because he’s insane or delusional, but because he knows that’s what it takes. (OK … he’s a touch delusional too!) The Hustler is confident but not an egomaniac; it’s a fine line that The Hustler walks. Tweet
Startups need to be run by a Hustler. The Hustler can’t survive on his own, but I’m not sure a startup without a Hustler is worth pursuing at all.
* I’ve written “he” throughout this post, but it can just as easily be “she”