Hustle is something that is an absolute must in the field of game development, and is equally important in all other fields of work. Especially when we’re talking about creative (see: subjective) work, it’s imperative that you or someone on your team has the ability to hustle.
I found this definition of hustle, and I want to make it clear that this isn’t exactly what I mean… “Hustle: to obtain by forceful action or persuasion”. What I mean is that someone on your team will get the word out about your product by being everywhere, all the time, talking about it whenever they can, and opening doors to new opportunities.
This is pretty obvious to me, and I think it’s probably obvious to you too. A great fine artist won’t ever sell art without showing at galleries, networking, and making a name for themselves. A great accountant won’t sell their services without the same.
But why repeat stuff you probably already know?
Today, my message is that “hustle” can be learned. You might see someone at a networking event or a party and think that they know everyone and have a super easy time going up to random groups of people and joining conversation. This is probably true. What you’re also thinking (consciously or unconsciously) is “I guess they’re just naturally like that”, and I want to tell you that this is almost certainly not true! Those same people were in the exact same situation as you might be now, knowing nobody and feeling like it takes a lot of guts to approach random people and strike up conversation. What they did, what they learned, was how to hustle.
I’m going to keep it short since these posts are meant to act more as inspiration and food for thought than as actual lessons (cause what the heck do I know). My experience was going from someone who had trouble approaching people, starting conversation, pitching my product (game), and following up, to someone who is always out there, meeting people at these events with relative ease, and pitching my product without fear of judgment. I learned. I’m no master networker or super famous YouTube personality, but I can tell you that I’ve reached the point where I feel comfortable in these situations.
So what’s the trick? What’s the secret to success? JUST DO IT. Go up to people, be awkward, screw up your pitch. You’ll realize extremely quickly that
- Other people are also awkward.
- Other people also screw up their pitches.
- People are usually open to conversation, whether or not you’re “relevant” to their networking goals.
Just do it, go out there and you’ll see that after a few times, you simply don’t worry about what people will think, and your hustle will improve exponentially.
Side-note: if you really don’t want to do this, hire someone who can, because it’s damn necessary.