Why Sales Hustlers Make Big Money (And Why I stopped Drinking)

I just finished up recording an epic Salesman Podcast interview with Anthony Iannarino where we discussed why sales hustlers make the serious money.

It made me look inwards to see what has increase my hustle personally and I managed to narrow it down to two simple things.

They didn’t involve expensive sales training or reading self-help books. They’re things you could try today for free (in fact one of them would actually save you money).

But first, what is a sales hustler?

NOTE: Want to know if you’re a hustler? Take the quiz at the end of this post.


What is a hustler?

‘Hustler’ is the in-vogue, cool way of describing someone that kicks ass. Someone that will do whatever it takes to get the job done. The man who looks in the mirror and sees a lion facing back at him.

Common attributes of a sales hustler include –

  • They constantly need to improve
  • They do the jobs that no one else will do
  • They don’t have aspirations, they have clear precise goals
  • They never make excuses
  • They always show up


Why is this important in sales?

During the podcast I ask Anthony where he thinks the sales industry will be in 5 years’ time and his answer was the best description of the shifting sales market I’ve ever come across.

Anthony explained that the industry is tearing itself into two chunks. On the one hand you have sales teams that can offer legitimate added value to their customers through consulting, customising, expert industry knowledge etc.

This is the realm of the hustler. To survive here you need to have good general business skills and be proactive in your approach to improving the turnover/lives of your customers.

The second chunk is where people can be replaced by internet order forms. If your sales job doesn’t require you to be proactive and chase customers down then it probably isn’t going to exist for much longer.

Be honest with yourself for a just moment. Could you be replaced by an order form and an FAQ video?


How do I rile up my inner hustler?

I believe everyone has a hustler within them. A hyper version of themselves that actively wants to fight for results rather than be happy with average (and then smother any glimpse of ambition with beer, drugs and sex at the weekend to keep in it check).

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln

It sure the word hustler sounds glamourous and the tech nerds from Silicon Valley will try and pitch you that it is, with job titles such as ‘Growth Hacker’ or ‘Sales Hustler’ but the reality is that it takes sacrifice to hustle.

For me to wake up every morning and want to hustle for 12 hours straight it took some experimentation and two sacrifices –

  • Giving up alcohol
  • Ditching some friends


‘You coming out this weekend?’

A huge killer of sales hustle in the western world is the cultural pressure to go out and get drunk on the weekend.

You lose Friday afternoon thinking about going out as you start to ‘wind down’. Then there’s a whole afternoon wasted getting ready to go out. Not to mention half of the following day as you recover from literally poisoning your body.

Monday morning the cycle starts again. 5 days working, 2 days drinking/recovering and no time to recharge your hustle muscle.

You’re effectively trading 5 days of your life for two days of pleasure. A hustler trades 7 days of their life for a much bigger goal down the line. A goal that is too big for the average person to ever achieve or even imagine.

There is a weird pressure to drink on weekends and it can be difficult to reclaim your own opinions on this. Remember you’ve been marketed to by billion dollar drinks companies since you were a child to convince you that this is the way that ‘everyone’ relaxes.

Your peer group (more on this in a second) will do anything to convince you to come out and get wasted.

But you can get over it and it will increase your hustle.

I stopped drinking altogether around 8 months ago and having survived parties, a friend’s stag weekend away abroad and a holiday in the sun I’ve no intention of starting again soon.

Whilst my competition is hungover in bed on a Sunday morning I’m hustling to steal their customers.

I’m not ‘winding down’ on a Friday afternoon, I’m calling CEOs and Directors because they’re hustlers and they’re still in their office.

I’m being productive with my time whereas before I could barely remember what happened after the 4th pint of cider.


Ditch your non hustler friends

I’m sorry if you haven’t heard from me since April this year. That was the moment I started to remove the friends from my life who were average and weren’t hustling to achieve something.

And it doesn’t have to be hustling to buy something expensive. I’ve a good friend that I’m closer to than ever and she is hustling to recover from some crazy surgery. She puts my sales hustle to shame because her drive is live or death whereas mine is to just make a better life for myself.

These are the people you want to surround yourself with so you can feed of their hustle too.

When you start to surround yourself with hustlers you see old thought patterns being broken. It becomes normal to stay up to 2am to speak with that prospect on the other side of the planet to close deals.

Normal becomes doing whatever it takes rather than what is possible between 9-5 Mon-Fri.

Being proactive will always, always, always beat waiting for business to come to you.


Love the hustle

As I mentioned, I honestly believe that everyone has a lean, mean hustler within them. Most people are too scared to leverage this however because it goes against what they think is normal within the workplace.

As a sales person you are in a unique position as hustle is rewarded financially. The more you hustle the more money you make.

And you have a job to make money right?

You need to decide if you’re willing to be a sales hustler because sooner or later, if you’re not and you’re just here to collect a steady pay check you’re going to be replaced by a computer screen (or a hologram).


sales hustler quiz



  • I consider myself a hustler and am all for getting the word out there….hustle or die because there’s nothing worse than average!!! I do however have a bit of a problem with the writing of this article in that there are many spelling and grammar errors negating the importance to strive to be the absolute best in your “craft” or hustle. Distinguishing yourself is paramount and lack of professionalism or basic elementary skills such as spelling cannot be ignored. I’m really just pointing out that it’s a poor reflection on whoever preaches excellence. Good ideas in the article though. Cheers!

    • Hey Tim thanks for commenting. I wrote the article literally just after I finished up my interview with Anthony, I thought it was valuable and so I pushed it out there.

      I hustle for attention rather than perfection (I’m under no illusions that I’m a great writer) but you’re right, spelling should be air tight. I’ll spend a bit of time going back through it now and making any corrections that need to be made.

      Keep hustling!

  • My outer and inner hustler screamed with enthusiasm as I read your article.

    Regardless of grammar or spelling errors – this is one helluva piece! I’ve been in sales, finance and marketing for almost 18 years now, but just recently (15 months ago) truly found my hustle.

    It’s very refreshing to see people so passionate about just being a straight up sales hustler – keep killing it dude!

  • This article touches on some good points that young professionals should consider however the writing style and language sounds immature and aimed at directly at millennials while drawing a direct correlation between “hustle” and financial gains when the hard reality is that is a moving target.

    • Thanks for commenting Wes. The blog is geared 100% at millennials and I’m still learning the craft of writing so I know I’ve a bunch of things to brush up on.

      It’s an interesting point you make though. Why is the hard reality that it’s a moving target?

  • Great Piece! True Hustlers aren’t concerned with being politically correct, they get the job done. The grammar and spell checkers have more time on their hands to support the hustlers. Keep up the great work Will!

  • This blog REALLY excites me.
    I have just left my job as a tradesman to pursue a lifestyle as a Salesman. I landed myself a decent job & I actually start Monday!
    My best friend Anthony has been in sales for 6 years & has always told me “You should have worked in sales”.
    I have cut all the losers out of my life since coming back from an overseas trip (2 weeks ago) & am seeking to surround myself with winners. I have had thoughts of putting down the drink, but this blog really gave me a push to do what needs to be done. THANKS

    • Hey Jeff, I’ve now not drank in nearly 3 years and it’s done me the world of good. I’d say give it a try and you’ll know within a month if it’s worth it!

  • Grammar and spelling aside, I’ll comment on the drinking. I’ve been in sales since 2003. I gave up the drinking just over with years ago. The 1st 6 months I posted the largest numbers ever in a 6 month period. Not only am I a more productive salesman but I’m saving thousands on not going out and staying out of the liquor stores. Not to mention the most important of all, I’m healthy now! You can have $20 million sitting in your checking account but if you dont have your health, you won’t be able to enjoy it. Alcohol is a depressant. It increases anxiety levels as well. So, it is only natural that your drive for success and mind will be in a much better place without it. The biggest challenge I had with putting down the bottle was what I call the ‘fun factor lie’. “If I stop drinking, I won’t have fun anymore” or “everything is so much more fun when I’m drinking”. IT’S A LIE EVERYONE! Without going into details of why, I’ll just tell you that I’m loving life more now than when I was drinking. I still go to concerts, shoot some pool and go to the beach but without the alcohol. I have a great time! I can remember the songs the band sang at the concert and I’m not worried about having enough beer in the cooler everytime I go somewhere to relax. I’ll admit, the 1st few months were a bit difficult and it took a little acclimation, but if you want to have a better lifestyle than you can do it. Not only is it good for you but it’s good for all those who are close to you as well! I’m making more money than ever with a kickers Hustler mentality and I know I’ll be healthy to enjoy the legacy I’m creating!

    Great stuff Will!

  • Somewhat reminds me of a quote from Little Miss Sunshine about drugs:

    Grandpa: [in response to Frank] Let me tell ya, don’t do that stuff. When you’re young, you’re crazy to do that sh*t.
    Frank: [to Grandpa] Well what about you?
    Grandpa: [to Frank] What about me? I’m old. When you’re old you’re crazy not to do it.