Screw the Hustle (Be Careful with Facebook Groups)

Networking is a major key to business success whether you work in a corporate environment, are self-employed, or anything in-between. But for freelancers and the self-employed, the internet makes networking a whoooooole hell of a lot easier.

For every single possible niche, there’s a Facebook networking group — in fact, there are probably a hundred. This is a good thing and a bad thing.

The good part: Niche Facebook groups are great, free resources. You’re instantly connected with people you can learn from and collaborate with.

The bad part: Once you connect, there’s no turning back. All those helpful people are always right in your face when you’re online. Being helpful. Being productive. HUSTLING.

It’s not that any one of these people is more productive or successful than you, it’s just that at any given time there’s someone talking about their productivity and success on Facebook. That means you’re constantly reading about someone else’s business wins, even if at that moment you’re just logging onto Facebook to catch up on fake news or see what your friends are up to.

But even if some of those folks really are hustling 24/7, some of us just don’t work that way.

Take me for example. It took me a long time to figure this out, but I’m what you call “a creative type”.

Me painting

Before I became a blogger/freelancer, I worked in an office setting. When I started, everyone warned me about how stressful the job was. I would be responsible for juggling several projects and events that were quite dissimilar from one another and ran on varying timelines, plus I’d be managing a team on top of it all.

Well, the job was stressful, but not because of the workload — usually, I could easily get a day’s work done in just 2-3 hours. A lot of days, I’d get all my work done before lunch, and then waste the rest of the afternoon twiddling my thumbs. The stressful parts were a) knowing that the projects were high-stakes for the organization and b) dealing with the frustration of endless meetings that could have just been emails.

I’m very organized and systematic, so I mistakenly thought I was an office-type person. But over the years I spent at this job, I learned that my brain works in spurts and that sitting in an office from 9-5 is not the best use of my time or skills.

Often I’m super productive at 6 in the morning. Other times it takes a change of scenery, like a trip to a coffee shop, to spark my creativity. Sometimes inspiration strikes at 10 p.m. after a glass or two of wine. Nowadays, if you ever catch me sitting at my desk hustling from 9a to 5p, there must be a serious deadline looming.

Desk tray

The desk of a creative type (me)

What I’m trying to say is this: if you aren’t “hustling” 24/7/365, head down at your desk working like a maniac, there’s nothing wrong with you.

Maybe you have a creative brain that finds inspiration at random times and in random places. Maybe you’re super efficient and can get everything done in just a few hours a day. Maybe some days you sit down at your desk and nothing happens at all, so you call it a wash and try again tomorrow. ALL OF THOSE THINGS ARE OK! You don’t have to be like those Facebook group hustlers.

Besides, even if they share all their best organization tips and seem like they have it all together, they might not. You know how social media is. You can be anybody you want to be on social media, from the perfect mom to the perfect entrepreneur. So take everything you read with a grain of salt and remember: it’s okay if hustle isn’t your style.

What has your experience been with Facebook networking groups? Do they inspire you or make you feel inadequate?

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