The biggest difference between a hustler and a legitimate business person is long-term thinking. A hustler just wants to get what’s in your pocket right now because they can’t see past their momentary greed. A business person, on the other hand, is interested in establishing long-term relationships with their clients and customers.
In their effort to build these relationships, the business person does the best job that they can to make sure that their clients are actually happy with their products or services. This psychological approach to business is well reflected in the Apple store experience.
Fast-talking hustlers come and go, but business men and women build institutions that their children can potentially inherit. Young people who look up to hustlers are more likely to become old people with no vital institutions. This hasn’t stopped popular culture from raising the hustler to the status of demi-god and social icon. I can’t tell you how manypeople between the ages of 18-40 have looked me dead in my face and proudly declared “I’m a hustla!”
Most of them have been intelligent men and women. While I respect the hustler’s resourcefulness and initiative, I wouldn’t trust one with anything that is of critical importance to me. You can’t trust someone who only aspires to be a hustler because they have little or no integrity. They can't see beyond the bottom line. The word “hustler” was originally used in reference to male prostitutes in large cities who sold their bodies for a few dollars, usually to older men of affluence. If my brothers find themselves between a man's sheets, then let those sheets be the pages of Black EnterpriseMagazine.
There are business people don’t have a great deal of integrity either, but those are usually the ones who severely compromise their own success. They never make any strides. They take three steps forward, then five steps back. Successful business men and women can see beyond their immediate lusts for money long enough to at the very least think twice about robbing their partners and clients. They see the big picture.
It would do us well to study successful business people like Reginald F. Lewis, author of “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun.” The fast-talking street hustler paradigm is passé. It's for the birds. I’m more interested in building a cultural legacy of service and dependability. As I start a family of my own, and I design my family Coat-of-Arms, I want the image to instill a sense of pride and carry spiritual meaning among my descendants and within the community I served long after my physical body has expired.
Building businesses to hand down to our offspring so that they don’t have to depend on other people to employ them is also an expression of responsible parenting. I know that we all have the power within us to do this. However, we would be fools to think that we could thrive as long-term business owners while clinging to a hustler’s mindset. To the “natural born hustler,” I say hold on to your fire. Never let it leave you. Still, you must broaden your world view and mature in your entrepreneurial approach. The hustler in you must die.
Let’s do business and exercise good character in our endeavors. I think we’ll be delighted by how Abundance will go out of its way to come find us.