The Hustle Mindset: Missing Opportunities in Business

I’m not the smartest guy in the room.

About fifteen years ago, while I was designing a website for a local hair salon, a stylist’s husband, an IT business owner, proposed a partnership to offer local IT services. His expertise was setting up computers for small businesses, while mine was building websites.

Despite his proposal to combine our skills for small businesses, I declined, arrogantly stating that I no longer dealt with hardware.

At that time, as a web developer for a major ad agency, I felt superior and saw this as merely a side job. However, looking back, I regret rejecting his plan.

Even a few thousand extra dollars and the experience would have been a valuable business opportunity and lesson.

Lesson learned.

Since then, I have tried to connect with everyone seeking opportunities to make additional income. I’m also trying to educate the next generation that a little extra work goes a long way toward your future.

Here are a few more examples.

Consider Jay, a friend of a friend. I offered him a freelance job to upgrade my website, but he declined. Even though he just had a child and could have used the extra money, he said No.

Take Lexi, a legal associate who handled my copyright infringement case. Despite being on the opposing side of the table, I was impressed with her and offered her a side job to write a weekly blog about intellectual property rights for musicians. Even when I suggested she could use it as a platform to promote her services and get clients, she said, “I appreciate the offer, but my schedule is quite full at the moment.”

Here’s what baffles me… Jay and Lexi didn’t even discuss the potential benefits of these opportunities.

Why do some people resist forming beneficial business connections with the possibility of earning a side income?

Now, let’s fast-forward to the present.

Over the past year, I’ve approached various individuals and businesses to collaborate and make money in different areas of my life. Here’s another example.

A 50/50 Business Partnership:

A colleague and I outlined an educational course in his field. We conceptualized and agreed on the content, started a rough draft, and decided it had potential.

When we talked terms, though, he rejected a 50/50 split. I thought, okay. This is new to him, and he might think he’s sacrificing too much.

In my mind, though, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Needless to say, the project still lives in the ether.

One more example:

A fence/gate company wouldn’t provide an estimate for a project I planned and budgeted for. They didn’t even explore finding a solution that could fit my budget.

This lack of initiative eliminated a potential sale and a customer who could have brought them to repeat business and referrals.


I worked with another company and ended up doubling the project’s scope. This means that I happily paid double my initial budget!

Moving Forward

The hustle mindset is not about working harder but working smarter. It is about seeing and seizing opportunities, even if they seem small or insignificant. Here are some action items to consider:

  • Explore various sectors and industries for potential business opportunities. Don’t limit yourself to what you’re familiar with. New industries might present new challenges and, by extension, new opportunities.
  • Regularly review and update your skills. The world is changing rapidly, and so is the business landscape. Keeping your skill set up-to-date will ensure you can seize opportunities.
  • Build and maintain a solid network. Networking is essential for business growth. The more people you know, the more opportunities you will come across. Remember, your network is your net worth.
  • Keep an open mind. Opportunities often come from unexpected sources. Be open to different ideas and proposals, even if they don’t appear attractive.

Remember, the key to the hustle mindset is not being the most intelligent or skilled. It’s about being the most receptive and adaptable to change. So, keep hustling and seize those opportunities!

How was my approach

These are only a few potential money-making opportunities that I initiate annually. With a bit of imagination, they could significantly improve your financial situation.

The question arises: Did the few who didn’t work with me feel there was no opportunity because of how I presented the proposal, or were they simply uninterested?