“It’s almost impossible to make a living off being a producer,” says Endeavor agent Brian Swardstrom. “You have to be rich or lucky or you end up out of the business. You have to hustle to eke out a living. You can’t just sit there like the old days when you could call your friends and get a kickback. That’s long gone. Some like Scott Rudin and Imagine and Working Title are doing their own thing. Everyone else is hustling their ass off.” – Variety

The ironic thing is that almost every person I’ve met in Hollywood spends most of their time trying to do a little actual work as possible – to avoid moving the product from shipment to sale. In school, you’re trying to learn how to be good at school instead of figuring out exactly what it is you’re supposed to do. Hollywood is the same way.

And after reading about every major American hustler of the last hundred years, I don’t think I came across a single one that wasn’t 1) Intimately aware of every step of the process 2) Almost 100% self-taught. Jail, for many of them, was their lucky break because they used the time for education – something infinitely different than “schooling.”

So, are you learning to hustle?

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.