Review: Emma Isaacs – The New Hustle (S)

The New Hustle
Don’t work harder, just work better
Emma Isaacs

“What if we’ve been served a big, fat lie about what it takes to be successful at work? Pro-hustlers will tell you living in a work-more, sleep-less world is how we get ahead. But on the back of the pandemic, entrepreneur and Business Chicks founder Emma Isaacs believes the hustle is now dead. Moreover, traditional ways of working – long commutes, unproductive meetings and outdated systems of bureaucracy – actually don’t work at all.”

I liked the ideas behind this book, but I don’t think I liked how it’s structured or how it’s written. I completely agree that a lot of people “hustle” and work for work’s sake when it really should be looking at your output and what’s working best for you. I also liked that it’s new and relevant to life in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Things I didn’t like about it: ‘the stories’ or examples were very short and not in any detail. It seemed to gloss over and be wishy washy and fluffy. Out of the stories that were there, most of them were about the author and not in a vulnerable way but in a way that’s talking herself up and comes across as bragging. What a reader really wants are stories where the author has made mistakes, or from a range of different businesses as examples.

A lot of the ‘rules’ seemed obvious and common sense to me, eg “learn how to say no”, “stand for something”, “stop making excuses”. It’s like the author is trying to empower and motivate you but with no facts and just in a cheerleading way. It also felt like the author was all for girl power, women rights etc, one of the ‘rules’ being “normalise pregnancy” and mentioned throughout. Although I don’t disagree with the principles here, I just don’t feel the need to mention it. I personally haven’t seen this issue in the workplace and never even thought of it as an issue.

Overall you can stop and start it as it doesn’t have much continuity throughout. It’s also a nice easy light read. In saying that though, I don’t think you’ll get much out of it. I’m not exactly sure who its target audience is. Perhaps women who work and have a ‘busy’ (full) life and need to take a step back, or women who need to feel a little more motivated for changes. I recommend Permission to Screw Up instead of this book. 2.5-3 stars.

Pan Macmillan | 31 August 2021 | AU$34.99 | paperback

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