Each morning around 9 a.m., I wrap up my quiet time, grab yet another cup of coffee, and head into the office to start the work day. I scan through e-mails, check our social media pages, and then enter into the most critical 15 minutes of my day.

In the past year and a half, I've learned a lot about what it means to work for yourself. There's admittedly a period of new-found freedom from the day to day grind of working for someone else that finds you working only when, where and how you want to. This stage is quickly followed by a swing in the opposite direction as you realize if you don't work, you don't eat. After this realization the true process of balancing work and home life begins.

I've tried everything in the past from purposefully going to an off-site location to "remove distractions", rigidly scheduling every minute of my day, and attempting to outsource monotonous processes to "free myself up for big picture tasks" only to find the conversation between baristas just as distracting while I'm frantically trying to keep up with my iCal notifications and realizing how much convenience is costing me.

This is a growing process. This takes time, it requires wisdom, and it demands HUSTLE.

I was talking with my wife this past weekend about HUSTLE after watching a few of Kraig Adam's "#HUSTLESESH" videos where he follows a few young entrepreneurs in New York City around for a full day who truly embody the word itself. They HUSTLE from early in the morning till they fall asleep, meandering about town in Uber cars, scheduling various meetings throughout the day, all while managing the growth and direction of their business... their passions.

It was watching these videos that helped me realize that my HUSTLE to grind ratio was way off. I was getting bogged down with the grind, becoming disenfranchised with my passion because of the unrelenting grind... and I was making any time to HUSTLE for what it is I really enjoy doing and where I find my success.

Back to those first 15 minutes of my day. This is where I succeed or fail. I have to decide in those 15 minutes that I'm going to get "x" amount of work done, but I'm also going to spend "y" amount of time doing things to grow my business just a little bit more than I did yesterday. If I can make x = y, it's going to be a good day. HUSTLE keeps my eyes looking forward, not down at what I'm doing or behind at where I've been. HUSTLE doesn't wallow in my failure, it creates opportunity.

So all of this to say, if you're working for yourself... and you're losing passion in what you're doing... Take a look at your HUSTLE to grind ratio and see if it's not where it should be.

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Til' next time.