Hustle & Heart

Hustle and Heart | Kelsey Smith

Urban Dictionary defines hustle as “to have the courage, confidence, self-belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life.” That definition alone makes me want to go out and get things done! I would love to be described as someone who has hustle. But what happens when we aren’t seeing visible results? What happens when we don’t know what opportunities we want, so therefore we don’t know what options to chase? I want to give some personal advice and practical steps that have helped me in my journey.

I live in Nashville and work in the music industry as a touring PA or VIP coordinator. I absolutely love my job, but there can be months between gigs. So what do I do during those months at home? I am constantly emailing people asking if they would be willing to go grab a cup of coffee. It could be a friend at a record label, a friend of a friend who works in accounting at a music entertainment firm, or the supervisor at my internship from over three years ago. If they have a job in the music industry, I’ll email them. Because what do I have to lose? It will be an hour or two out of my day and $5 for the cup of coffee. But I will never know what could come out of that meeting. It could be the job of a lifetime, a solid recommendation, or just practice talking through things and honing in on what opportunities I want.

I know that I want a touring career, but sometimes I need side jobs. Since moving to Nashville I have been the queen of random jobs: a shift manager at a coffee shop, working in a food truck, front desk staff at a spin studio, a personal assistant, and a babysitter. Don’t be afraid to take jobs just in order to pay the bills. Not all jobs need to be passion jobs. Find a job that pays the bills while you work on your side hustle.

Unfortunately, we now live in a world where social media is rampant. While social media can be used to network and find jobs, it also means that comparison is just something that happens. We see someone’s post and wonder why they’re more successful than we are. We see them post about being happy, but we have no idea the hard work they put in to get to where they are today. Every person has a different path and a different story. We cannot fall into the trap of comparison. Maybe we have more lessons to learn, more people to meet, more experiences to gain before we can be given our dream job. Trust the process and don’t try to rush it.

Going hand in hand with comparison is developing a thick skin. Don’t dwell on the unreturned emails or “thanks but no thanks” you get. Keep on pushing through. Change your perspective and be thankful for the opportunities that you didn’t get, because they weren’t the right opportunities for you. Be someone who bounces back. Be an example for others.

Finally, find a community that supports you. Have a couple of solid friends who you can cry with, laugh with, who will tell you the truth when it’s hard to hear, and will be your biggest cheerleaders. I am a believer that when it comes to friendships, it’s about quality over quantity. As women, we need to be building each other up, not tearing each other down. You never know when your heart will be what gets you the job, rather than your skills and resume.

Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith

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Kelsey is definitely one of those people who calls Nashville her favorite city, but Texas her favorite state. She grew up in Texas but has been living in Nashville and working in the music industry for over 3 years now. She is fueled by Jesus, coffee, and Chick-fil A, is addicted to chapstick, and is a supporter of the Oxford comma. Her current TV show obsession is Boy Meets World reruns. 

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