One Question You MUST Answer to Escape the Hustle Hamster Wheel

By Shelsey Jarvis

Success is a product of your daily habits. It’s not one grand sweeping gesture that happens overnight, it’s the product of millions of decisions made over time.

You’ve heard of the types of habits successful entrepreneurs follow:
One Question You MUST Answer to Escape the Hustle Hamster Wheel  |  Left Brained Hippie

Morning routines, consistent networking, creating connection and value, fostering trust between you and your audience, selling, etc.

Although the strategies vary, that’s basically what a lot of advice from top entrepreneurs boils down to.

Recently I had an entrepreneur ask me the following question:

“I’m stuck in the same place I was this time last year. I know what I need to do, I have the plan and the strategy all mapped out, but I can’t seem to make any progress on it! Why can’t I just do it?”

I was practically pink with glee at the chance to answer this, because so many of us are looking for the step-by-step magic strategy or tool that will fix our business and allow it to finally be successful.

But the thing is, it’s rarely the strategy that’s the problem—the problem lies about 18 inches in front of your computer.

See, this guy had everything he needed, on paper. He had the goals written out, the game plan, the strategies, and the tools.

What was the magic ingredient he was lacking?

Strategy and productivity isn’t the issue--answer this one question to pinpoint exactly why you’re stuck:
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The Secret Sauce

In order to affect change in ANY area of your life, whether it’s for health, relationships, business, money, whatever, you have to ask yourself the following question:

“Is the payoff for change BIGGER than staying the same?”

At first glance, the obvious answer is yes, otherwise why would you want to change at all?

But look a little deeper here.

If you think about everything that’s involved in a business…



…feeling like you’re talking to a brick wall on social media

…thousands of hours perfecting your skill set

It damn well has to be worth it if you’re going to go through all that.

The problem is, your brain craves familiarity, safety, and comfort—things that are definitely NOT part of the job description of a successful entrepreneur.

If your brain thinks you’re safer where you are, it’ll sabotage every effort you make to get yourself out there.

So the magic question is:

“Is the payoff for change bigger than the payoff for staying the same?”

The Payoffs for Complacency

How do you create real, lasting change when you’re fighting against all your natural survival instincts?

The payoff for change has to be bigger. I recommend a two-pronged approach to this:

A) By minimizing the payoff for staying the same


B) Maximizing the payoff for changing

Start by writing out a list of all the payoffs you can think of for staying the same.

Here are some ideas to get you started, aim for at least 20:

  1. No public criticism

  2. You won’t risk working hard for something with no guarantees of success

  3. No risk of failure

  4. Your friends and family won’t feel like you’re leaving them behind

  5. You won’t become a “rich asshole” who takes advantage of others

  6. You don’t need to worry about being the best at your craft

And so on.

You can also flip the question to see if anything else shakes out by asking, “What are the downsides to success?”

Then you’ll make a list (as long as you can make it, but MINIMUM 20 items) of all the ways your life would be amazing if you DID change.

The most compelling list wins.

If you’re not successful yet, it’s because your brain thinks you’re better off where you are #harshtruth. Read more about it here:
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Downplay the first list items by doing things like discrediting them, finding proof of the contrary, or even having conversations with people who are involved.

For example, when I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim, one of the items on my list was that I would “cry to mommy and get pity”, basically. So I called up my mom and told her to remind me that I created this, rather than give me pity or sympathy. So far, she hasn't had to tell me that, because my self-awareness is on point, but if I DID call her expecting pity, she’d shut me down. Therefore, the biggest benefit to being a victim is no longer there, so it became more compelling for me to take responsibility.

If you’re afraid that a spouse might resent you for making more money, start an open conversation about it with them. Start working through those fears before the big money shows up so that you can rest assured that when it DOES come, it won’t wreck your relationship or rock the dynamic.

Shifting the Payoff

I’ve GROSSLY oversimplified the process here, so there’s a good chance you’ll find that once you start digging into this, there’s a LOT happening under the surface. A lot can come up when you start digging into fears and what lies beyond your comfort zone.

Which is why I want to help you.

They say that success is a habit, not a destination. I wholeheartedly agree. However, if it were as simple as using willpower to create new habits, everyone would do it. But it’s not.

I help you navigate your path to remove the roadblocks that are keeping you stuck as fuck, to create real, lasting change in your habits. You get to work less and actually bring in more income by having the clarity, confidence, focus, and discernment to do the work that counts, and none of the crap that doesn’t.


About the Author

Hey, I'm Shelsey, and I help female online entrepreneurs clear the mindset gremlins that are sabotaging you from the inner corners of your brain. Join me in the Left-Brained Hippies Facebook community!