There are a lot of things that we can learn from kids and much time has been spent on this. We should explore like children. We should play like children. We should be as carefree as children. We love saying cute things about kids but one thing we forget is that kids can be ruthless. They take what they want without any concern for others. You don’t have to teach a kid to be greedy, to hit another kid, or to take something that’s not hers. No, you have to teach a kid to share, to keep her hands to herself, or ask for permission before taking something. As the comedian Louis CK puts it, “Kids are self-absorbed.”
One thing that I made sure before landing an internship at Dwolla and then subsequently landing the gig full time was that I made sure I was hungry and I’m going to get things done for the sake of wanting it. Sure, you need to put yourself in a position of opportunity. You need to be smart about your actions. But all this talk of hustle in the startup world is really just about being hungry. Things don’t land on your lap. You get up and take it.
Bypass all the sensational, feel-goodery talk, and what’s left is raw, laser-focused, animalistic hunger. This hunger isn’t quenched by money, glorification from others, a fulfillment of some kind of insecurity, but actually closing deals and working with companies—as if these deals directly impact you. Not the trajectory of your career. Not the salvation of your company. Not your personal growth or your social skills or anything else that comes with executing. But actually closing the deals somehow directly impacts you as a whole.
Just like kids. When they take a toy from another kid, they aren’t concerned about money, or the fulfillment of some kind of external value; taking what they want scratches an itch intrinsically.
In all honesty, hunting is difficult and it gets tiring. And it’s easy to get caught up in visual benefits that manifest when you go above and beyond to do your job. Without taking your job somewhat personally, you allow your belly to be filled with all these external matters that really have sparing nutritional value. Every now and then you need to allow it to scratch something internal, something unseen. Let that become personal.