Post image

Children have natural hustle, says Patrick Vlaskovits

Hustle author and start-up mentor Patrick Vlaskovits says kids have natural business sense and can help inspire anyone setting up a business…


Atop a moss-covered limestone ledge, my four-year old son Shane tightly grasped his five-gallon bucket within which lurked a heavy coil of twine and a smelly hunk of bacon.

I was spending a happy, hot and humid afternoon with him, tramping around a creek bordered by verdant, low-slung oak trees not far from our home in Austin, Texas.

Shane was soundlessly surveying the clear water for any sign of crayfish. With my hand on his shoulder, I knelt down and peered into the creek’s leaf-littered bottom. A few moments later, as I stood up, I explained - in the way only dads can - the patently obvious. ‘Shane, I don’t see any crayfish here today. I think we’re out of luck, bud’.

Learn from your children and don’t wait for certainty before taking action. 

Shane let go of the bucket and jumped from the ledge into the shallow water. He shuffled his feet through the piles of rotting oak leaves, as dozens of crayfish, hitherto invisible, exploded out from underneath his sandals.

With a smile as wide as the creek itself, Shane looked up at me, still on the ledge, and explained, ‘You just have to jump in and move around to see them, Daddy.’

I beamed as I met Shane’s gaze, and it dawned on me that, by teaching me a lesson about hustle and manufacturing luck, the four-year-old student had become the master.

So, how did Shane find crayfish that I didn’t see, and what can we learn from this?

In the course of choosing to hustle, we come to grips with the idea that maybe luck isn’t some mystical, capricious force beyond our reach after all.

It is a commonly held belief that luck, chance, and good fortune are entirely random events or even manifestations of some mystical force. In this way of thinking, some people are just luckier than others.

This worldview is captured in sayings like, ‘Right place, right time’ or ‘It’s better to be lucky than good’ or ‘Count your lucky stars’. I take a different tack in my book, Hustle. My co-authors and I look to the work of neuroscientist Dr. James Austin, who suggests that there are four distinct types of luck. By simply hustling, moving, and doing, we can harvest more good fortune and capture serendipity more regularly. Dr. Austin’s classifications of luck fall into these categories, two of which are below:

Type 1: Random Luck. This is what many people call dumb luck, the kind that happens without any effort or influence on your part. Think of it as a gift. You’re 45 minutes late and you cringe as you pull into an overcrowded parking lot at a hip music festival. As Florence and the Machine rock the stage, you and 3,000 others circle the tiny dirt car park slowly. Hopelessly, you turn a corner and find a wide-open empty spot right next to the concert entrance with nary a car in sight. You squeal like a two-year-old on Christmas Day as you cannot believe your luck.

Type 2: Hustle Luck. This is the kind of luck that’s created by your momentum and motion. Like four-year-old Shane, when we stop standing still and ‘stir up the pot’, random ideas are able to surface, get mashed up together, and recombine in new, interesting ways. Some of them will lead to success in solving various everyday challenges or in achieving goals when setting up your own business. A conversation at a coffee shop leads to a job interview. Your self-published book brings you a traditional book deal. You call up a customer and they’re inspired by your knowledge, requesting you to do private consulting work with their team.

Learn from your children and don’t wait for certainty before taking action. Most important is movement; don’t ruminate. Do something. Anything.


:: HUSTLE - The Power to Charge your Life with Money, Meaning and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler (Vermilion) £12.99


Nice thought Patrick! The book must be quite interesting if it has many such practical insights.