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The Hustler vs. The Entrepreneur

Scenario 1: A narcotic is initially grown. The narcotic gets sold in bulk and shipped to the distributors in major cities. They distribute to the neighborhood dealers (street hustlers) at a wholesale price. The neighborhood dealers open up shop (on street corners) and hire security (goons) and sales reps (homeboys) to help in the day to day operations and sell (the narcotic) to the consumer at retail price.

Scenario 2: A designer creates a clothing line. The designer sells the line in bulk to the distributors in major cities. They distribute to the neighborhood dealers (retail stores) at a wholesale price. The neighborhood dealers open up shop (in the mall) and hire (mall) security and sales reps (college students) to help in the day to day operations and sell (the clothing line) to the consumer at retail price.

Hustler vs. Entrepreneur

I put myself in the shoes of the consumer. So used to buying product from the shop I’m so familiar with. I buy so much from the shop that they know you by name. I’ve even gotten in good with the owner. I’ve gotten so comfortable at the shop that they give me discounts just because I’m such a loyal customer. And I know so much about the inventory that sometimes I work my mouthpiece to help upsell to some of the other customers, making the shop a little bit of extra money.

So one day I get offered a job. It’s basic sales, nothing I haven’t done before. I could use the extra cash, plus I get paid a nice commission from what I sell. The money comes in pretty regularly and business is good... So good that my boss wants to open up a new shop. He can’t be in two places at once though. He’s gonna need someone to run one of the shops. So we talk promotions. This means bigger money, higher commissions, and I’ll have to manage my own reps and security. It’s a lot of added responsibility, but I can see a future in this. It just feels so natural. Almost like I was meant for this...

Scenario 1: The (hustler) eventually branches out to start a new venture. Realizing that costs increase with the more middlemen whose hands the (narcotic) touches between initial creation and the consumer, he seeks to cut some middlemen and increase profits.

Scenario 2: The (entrepreneur) eventually branches out to start a new venture. Realizing that costs increase with the more middlemen whose hands the (clothing line) touches between initial creation and the consumer, he seeks to cut some middlemen and increase profits.

So now I really feel like a boss. I’m calling the shots. I have a few shops open in different neighborhoods, and since I’m dealing with my own distribution, I’m saving big money in costs and making more in profits. Life is good. The downside of it all would probably be the competition. I’m sure they’re feeling some sort of way about how I handle my business, but hey, I’m handling my business. Everything is good.

Until one day I get a visit from a rival shop. It’s a small group that seems like security, and they don’t look too pleased. Whatever it is they’re upset about, I know it’s about to go down in one of two ways: Scenario 1 or Scenario 2...

I paint this image, not to differentiate between Hustler and Entrepreneur, because as you can see from the scenarios (and as any entrepreneur will tell you) they are one and the same. Where the paths differ is in the decisions made. We each choose our own destiny, and write our own story. How the story ends is determined by the choices we make.

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit (Matthew 7:18 NKJV)

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