Working The Hustle Muscle – Productivity Lesson with Jamie Foxx & Tim Ferriss


Tim Ferriss & Jamie Foxx

Recently I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts which is The Tim Ferriss Show. This podcast hosted by none other than the 4 Hour Work Week author himself Tim Ferriss who interviews a variety of top line performers in their chosen field of expertise or profession. If you haven’t listened to The Tim Ferriss Show then you have been missing out.

What Tim does is he aims to give exclusive interviews with people who are considered the best of the best in their field. It has also turned Tim Ferriss into an extremely insightful, intelligent and well researched interviewer. The questions that he asks these top line performers really delve deep into how they became so good at what makes them tick, what drives and motivates them to do what they do and also to gain access to the secret sauce as to how they are able to operate at such a top level.

I guess the modus operandi of trying to work out what really makes these world-class professionals tick is to expose some of the processes and routines that these top level people take to enable them to achieve such great success so that we can possibly try to emulate what they do so in order to seek out similar success. This is the type of NLP (Neuro-Linguistics Programming) that Tony Robbins teach. Looking at the great people and finding out what they do and mimicking their processes and routines is a great way to model another persons success to make it yours.

In case you couldn’t tell I have a slight man crush on Tim Ferriss. But enough about Tim Ferriss – throughout this article I want to focus more on his recent interview that he conducted with comedian, actor, musician and A-Grade celebrity Jamie Foxx.

Whilst this podcast episode was highly entertaining and informative giving the listener a very real insight into who the real Jamie Foxx is and the many values and lessons he learnt growing up in Terrell, Texas and then his road to stardom. However, it was the intellect and wisdom that Jamie Foxx spoke of which drew me to one of the most significant lessons that I have heard in a long time.

The Hustle Muscle

One of the biggest and most impactful productivity lessons that I took away from the Jamie Foxx interview was what he refers to as the “Hustle Muscle’.

Jamie basically tells the audience that anyone who wants to get out there and get stuff done needs to work their Hustle Muscle.

What does he mean by this term working the Hustle Muscle?

Basically, it is Jamie Foxx’s way of saying if you want to get out there and get stuff done then you need to hustle or scramble to be productive, creative or produce results under pressure or in any circumstance. When he was explaining this analogy it wasn’t that he was saying that you had to be the absolute best at what you are doing rather it was more about scrambling under pressure to be productive and creative in what you’re aiming to do in order to prevent procrastination,  inefficiency and inaction.

The more I thought about what Jamie Foxx said on the Tim Ferriss podcast about the importance of working the ‘Hustle Muscle’ really got me thinking and I thought about my own experiences of having to exercise my own Hustle Muscle. What I realised was that when I tend to be at my most productive is usually when I am put under pressure or in quite a stressful situation.

This is nothing new since I remember back to school days, my university days and even these days working as a professional criminal lawyer in the legal field I find that when the pressure is on, whether it be the day before an exam or the lead up to a significant Court trial then what I realised is that when something is due or there is a deadline by which work or a project needs to be done then you generally scramble, scramble, scramble really hard and fast and use every amount of energy, focus and thought process that you have in order to complete the task at hand.

This is what is meant by the term of working your Hustle Muscle and it also reminded me of the fact that during times when I have been extremely stuck with my finances or low on funds and not having enough money to pay the next bill coming then what do you do you?

Well I have found that I have always made it through the tough and stressful periods by working my Hustle Muscle. I would either somehow exert my energy or thinking into finding some sources of money for that urgent payment or bill.

Alternatively, if I was involved in studying for an exam or finalising work for a deadline then I would dig deep and find an urgent energy and a type of desperation within to create a type of productivity that I could use to scramble in order to meet the stated deadlines.

Everyone Can Exercise the Hustle Muscle

The wonderful thing about the Hustle Muscle is that whether you know it or not we as humans are capable of great things and often we are capable of things beyond our understanding or belief of what our limits are.

The beautiful thing about the human body is that it is resilient and capable of thriving under pressure and adapting to changing environments. This is exactly why we are capable of being far more productive, creative and effective when put under pressure than we believe possible. By activating the Hustle Muscle we are often able to surprise ourselves as to what we are capable of doing.

The “Toothpaste Analogy”

toothpaste analogy

Take for example the pertinent analogy that I heard recently which puts our ability to scramble and hustle into perspective. I like to call it the “toothpaste analogy”.

When you first purchase a new tube of toothpaste you will find that you have an abundance of toothpaste so you tend to apply a very generous amount to the head of your toothbrush. If from time to time that toothpaste falls off the toothbrush then you will have no qualms in just re-applying another generous amount of toothpaste.

Think about this analogy in relation to your personal finances for a moment and compare the toothpaste to your cash flow or bank balance. You will realise that when you are flush with money then you don’t tend to be as frugal as you could be. You will be of the mindset that you think you’ve got enough money or that the apparent lack of money isn’t a concern for you so you tend to not be overly concerned with protecting the existing money that you have. However, once the money is gone and finances are tight that is when you begin to scramble and that is when you begin to hustle and work the Hustle Muscle. It is almost like your survival instincts kick in which forces you to take actions in order to protect your interests.

Now going back to the Toothpaste Analogy just think to yourself how you tend to act when you are almost at the end of your tube of toothpaste. You will find that you try to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, you will not be so generous with the amount you use and you will even try to flattening or rolling the tube up to scrounge for every last bit of toothpaste.  If some of your toothpaste falls off the head of your toothbrush then you will scramble to get it out of the sink and back on to the toothbrush. Comparing this analogy with your financial situation you will find yourself being far more frugal and protective of your money when you realise that you need to preserve what you have left.

This is all a part of the Hustle Muscle kicking into gear and forcing you to scramble to protect your position or working to achieve something when you are put under pressure.

But how can we voluntarily activate the Hustle Muscle so that we can scramble to achieve the results we want without the need to put ourselves at risk.

Activating the Hustle Muscle

hustle muscle flex

Well it is simple we need to emulate the same amount of pressure and urgency that we find ourselves in when we find our natural sense of desperation or adrenalin kick which sees you scramble or hustle to produce the desired results that you are after.

First of all what you need to understand is that in order to gain results it will require you to take immediate action and not just any type of action but action combined with intense level of focus.

You then need to put in place a set of results or goals that you are seeking to achieve. These need to be realistic and capable of being achieved under pressure.

The next thing you need to do is take some time to visualize the processes and steps involved in obtaining your desired results. It is imperative to jot down on a piece of paper a road map or to do list of smaller tasks which will ultimately help you work towards the chosen goals and results that you set out to achieve.

Finally, you need to put in place deadlines that need to be adhered to very strictly. Once again the deadlines need to be realistic and achievable even for someone who is scrambling under pressure. But seriously who is going to take their self imposed deadlines seriously if there is no significant consequences involved for failing to meet those deadlines

What this means is that you need to take the bold step of putting yourself on the line to lose something of significance if you fail to meet the deadlines. It is critical in order to successfully activate the Hustle Muscle you need to make yourself accountable and this can be done by putting something of significance or value at risk should you fail to meet the deadlines.

You may wish to have other people hold you accountable and enforce certain actions against you should you fail to meet a deadline. Such as a payment of money to charity or for your to do work for someone else – anything that will trigger a pain, fear, displeasure or discomfort. This will force you to scramble and produce results otherwise you know that you will be out of pocket.

The Hustle Muscle Wrap Up

At the end of the day folks the key behind achieving a long run of success will always come down to true grit and hard work. Listening to a truly successful artist like Jamie Foxx speak the truths about his road to success really provided us with an insight into how to develop a successful mindset in order to strive for success.

From this interview we really took away the significant lesson of “Working the Hustle Muscle” and for this reason we have tried to break down exactly what Jamie Foxx meant when he referred to this analogy.

Take away from this blog post what you will but do remember that nothing will take the “Place of Persistence” and hard work.

So get out their and activate your Hustle Muscle today.


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Joshua Boorman
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Joshua Boorman


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Joshua Boorman

We aim to provoke your conscious thought and discuss all topics to help you live more meaningful and purposeful lives.