Exit routes: Is it possible to ‘dehustlise’ a hustler?

Only a few people are born into royalty or inherit lots of wealth and have no reason to hustle.

For this group, hustling is often a fairytale, a pastime for public relations.

To the vast majority, however, hustling is real, working from sunrise to sunset, unsure about tomorrow. There’s a thin distinction between work and leisure. There’s no distinction between work and retirement.

Life is one continuum, one period of hustling without punctuation marks.

But exiting from hustling is any hustler’s dream anywhere on this small planet. ‘Dehustlisation’ is the art and science of exiting from hustling.

When you hear of the American Dream, it’s about ‘dehustlisation’, never mind that most immigrants replace one hustle in their mother country with a new one in the US or other developed countries.

Having got used to worse types of hustling, they see hustling in the new countries as a promotion. The use of machines makes the hustles more welcoming and tolerable. The prestige of hustling majuu or abroad is another reason so many tolerate new hustles.

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Truth be told, ‘dehustlisation’ is hard; the traditions and social-economic systems harden classes and make it hard to shift from one class to another.

Even in advanced economies, the tale of ‘dehustlisation’ is just that. Upward mobility is rare or slow, at times taking a generation.

Let’s look at a few escape routes in ‘dehustlisation’.

They include the old-fashioned one: education. Have you noted how the children of teachers hold big positions in the corporate sector and even in Government? Just check their bibliographies and somewhere there’s a teacher, mostly a primary school one, in the background. I’m not sure if that applies to high school teachers or professors. A study would probably surprise us.

Conveyor belt

Getting the right education and skills can take one far away from hustling. Unfortunately, lots of kids go to school because it’s a requirement by the Government or the family, not because they see it as a conveyor belt out of hustling.

A high unemployment rate has blunted the effectiveness of this route out of hustling, though. That’s why today, kids from poor backgrounds no longer work as hard as they used to. Hopelessness?

Entrepreneurship has been hailed as the golden route out of hustling. It is more successful if tied to education. That is why we have few multinationals in Kenya - because this link is weak.

Does it surprise you that students from prestigious US universities like Harvard, Stanford or MIT started big firms like Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Oracle or FedEx?

Inheritance can also shift you from hustling, but we’ve witnessed succession battles in Kenya leading to the destruction of wealth instead of holding it in trust for the next generation.

What of marriage, particularly now that women can inherit? Unfortunately, we tend to marry from the same socio-economic class.

One more route is corruption. This has been popular because, unlike other routes in ‘dehustlisation’, it takes a shorter time. You can steal in one day what it would take you a lifetime to earn. The trouble with this approach is that it dehumanises you and leads to meaninglessness. There’s pride and satisfaction in working for something.

Changing rules and traditions, including affirmative action, can ‘dehustle’ some. But from my observation in America’s Deep South, affirmative action is not that effective. Why work if life is made easier for you?

One key route to ‘dehustlisation’ is self-drive, determination and focus.

These are often got from the environment one grew up in, from parenting to history and religion.

Any route I’ve left out? Are you a ‘dehustlised’ hustler? Please share your story with us.

[XN Iraki; [email protected]; @Hustlenomics7]

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DehustlisationConveyor beltUnemploymentEntrepreneurship