"As studios have trimmed expenses and cut loose longtime producers, [Joel] Silver, 62, is part of a growing fraternity of big-name players who have been forced to raise money for their projects on their own and hustle to sell them in a tough market. " - Kim Masters, "The Epic Saga of Joel Silver: Money Struggles, Feuds and (Another) Second Chance," in Hollywood Reporter, April 29, 2015.
Joel Silver could have a comeback. How he did that - hustle - used to carry a stigma. That wasn't cool. And if you were good in what you did you were expected not to do that. Ever. WASP gentility ruled.
For example, at the end of the 1980s, when I was cut loose in a major layoff at Kraft, a cynic in the company buttonholed me and observed, "Now you will have to hustle." That was meant to be a put-down. But, hustle I did and that potential catastrophe had a happy ending. For decades I operated a successful executive communications boutique.
What counts now is not that we are "forced" to hustle. It's the strategies which we leverage. Yes, there is bad and good hustle. Bad hustle is to blanket prospects with unsolicited emails, telecommuting and glad-handing at trade association meetings. Good hustle is to figure out how to create fresh value for employers, customers and clients. And then present that proposition in a compelling manner.
Given that the rules keep mutating, our modus operandi in hustling will also have to continue to change. An example is that we are expected to be more concise in our pitch, whether it be for a full-time job or a new customer/client. Also, it shows the right kind of push to do what's known as a "trial close." We ask what it would take to be hired or get the account.
It's ironic. Before affluence and the rise of the middle class in America, the majority of us were reared to hustle. There was a seamless process of pushing to get what we and our families needed and our little personal lives. Work/life balance? Hell no. It was plain-vanilla survival.