How to Leisurely Hustle

how a lady of leisure hustles

I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.
― Audrey Hepburn

Numerous jokes have been made about me being a lady of leisure…. And it’s true!

I am indeed a proud Lady of Leisure. Oh, yes!

In the evenings, you’ll usually find me lounging on the sofa with a glass of wine reading Rumi.

My daughter knows that I’ll be taking a bubble bath between the hours of 8 and 9.

My massage therapist expects to see me every two weeks.

I spray my favorite perfume on before going to bed and first thing when I wake up.

And, the thought of being in a hurry rarely crosses my mind.

Yet, my house isn’t falling apart.

My daughter is functioning quite well in society.

And I have a thriving business.

Actually, when I think about it, it amazes even me.

So, I was quite shocked when I looked up the term “lady of leisure.”  Turns out that it implies that a woman is free of responsibilities or duties or a polite term for an unemployed woman.

Well, I am proud to let you in on a little Tonya secret:  I am neither.  In fact, I’ve been working since I was a young teen.  And now, as an adult, I have a family to tend to, a home to manage, and a company to run.

I have discovered that I have two women within me:

My inner lady of leisure and my hustler.

So, I started thinking about this concept of “leisurely hustling.”

Not two words that you’d normally put together, but I’ve discovered that it’s completely possible.

In fact, it’s the only way, in my opinion, to go through life, combining moxy and ambition with elegance and sophistication <tweet it!>

So let me give give you a peek inside my La Tête

First things first, let’s talk about mindset, because leisurely hustling is more about what’s between your ears than anything.  So, I’m going to let you peek inside my head for a moment.

My OLD (frazzled) beliefs:

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I have to get things done.
  • I’m behind.
  • I’ll do (insert that thing thing I really want to do) tomorrow.
  • When I finally (insert a goal), then I’ll do (insert a desire).
  • I don’t have enough money.

My NEW (leisurely hustlin’) beliefs:

  • I have all the time in the world.
  • I don’t have to do anything.
  • I’m right where I need to be.
  • Pleasure can’t wait.
  • Feelings, not goals, are what I aim for.
  • This moment is where it’s at.
  • I have all the money I need right now.

This mental reprogramming took some time, but it’s been worth the wait.

I know what you’re probably thinking.

“But Tonya, how do you ever get anything done if you’re always waiting to feel good?”

My answer is simple:

I work on feeling good before I do anything.

I decide how I want to show up in that moment, and then I generate those feelings for myself.

Then, and only then, do I do the work.

If I’m feeling resistance, I don’t avoid action. I just get inspired before taking it.

Nothing is worse than creating from a state of fear, anxiety or overwhelm.

Nothing is better than creating from a place of love, generosity and excitement.

Ladies of leisure know this.  And this is why you’ll often find them having a “eureka!” moment during yoga class or while they are covered in a salt scrub.   It is in those following moments that they are clearly ready to hustle.

I am clear on what I will not sacrifice in order to get more things done.

Movie night, a beautifully set dinner table, coffee dates with friends, bubble baths and nightly readings.   These are my non-negotiables.  I suggest that you get to know yours.

These beautiful moments are creating my life, and there’s no amount of money that will tempt me away from them.   I work to live, not live to work.  (That’s my lady of leisure talking.)

I combine leisure with my hustling spirit.

I am a master of combining work and pleasure, and I have discovered some fun ways to combine leisure with my hustling spirit.

For example, meet a business associate at a spa, exchange your home with someone else for a week in the South of France, find a way to speak to a group in a place you’ve always wanted to visit, serve Champagne at your next presentation, recruit your kids to help with social media.

With a little creativity, you can combine what you love with what you do.

I continue to remind myself to slow down.

Sometimes, I must remind myself to slow down.  So, I bring my walking pace down to a saunter.  I slow down at the table.  I slow down my speech and listen more.

The truth is that I love living fast, but I also want to live slow enough to savor my life, which is why I’m always reminding myself to decelerate enough so that I can take it all in.

Most women are living fast out of fear – fear of being behind, not being good enough and fear of failure.

The problem is that actions taken out of fear create more fear.  It’s a toxic cycle that’s impossible to escape unless you’re willing to slow down.

So, I have a question for you:

Want to join me on the Leisurely Hustling train?

Here are some ideas that can help YOU get started, ma chérie.

1.  Start the Day off With Some Leisure

Jumping out of bed checking emails, cooking breakfast, taking the trash out or feeding the dogs is a great set up for a stressful day.  That energy just spills over into the next thing of the day, keeping you on the wheel of doing.  This, darling, leaves very little room for leisure.

What if you started your day off by,

….savoring a cup of coffee
….journaling your intentions for the day
….reading a passage of Hafiz
….taking a stroll around your neighborhood?

Life honors the lady who respects herself and life enough to take a little extra time for pleasure.

2.  Dress the Part

Ladies of leisure take great pride in how they present themselves to the world. Think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O.  On the flip side, a hustler is always ready for the next opportunity.

So, you must dress the part – both for leisure and hustling.

I’ll admit that it’s really tempting to sit around in my PJ’s all day, because no one would know.

Or, would they?

I am a big believer that everything is energy, including what you wear.

My inner lady of leisure wants to look and feel fabulous, and my hustler wants to be fabulous.

So, putting on a cute dress and a little lipstick actually sparks inspiration and productivity, and you never know when your destiny will be knocking at the door.  That hustler in you better be ready, with heels and lipstick, of course!

3.  Know What you Want (And, be reasonable)

Each Sunday, I decide on my top 3 projects for the week.  (Did you notice, I said just “3”?)

I no longer feel the need to inflict torture upon myself with these god-awful modern day to-do lists.

This week, for example?  I am working closely with my daughter to prepare for her college entrance exams.  I’m finalizing details for my upcoming Le Voyage Paris Experience (Oh my…I have no words for how amazing this will be for the handful of ladies who I get to watch transform before my very eyes, to cultivate their Paris State of Mind). And I am booking all of personal and business travel for the next 6 months.  These are my main focuses for this week (or, we can call them “projects”).

Often times, however, a project feels too big to feel manageable, so I break each one into small doable tasks.  For example, “Have a meeting with my event planner to talk about haute couture excursion,” “Interview SAT tutor and buy Princeton Review Study Guides”, or “Look up Amex travel mileage totals and compare to purchasing tickets directly on USAir.com .”

Once I’ve broken my big focuses into smaller tasks, I schedule them into my Google calendar.

This frees up so much mental space for leisure.

Oh, yes.  that is the goal, ladies.

4.  30 Minutes at a Time, Darling

I’ve never admitted it in public, but I think I suffer from ADD.

Actually, I think everyone has a touch of this modern day disorder.  But, that’s no excuse to not take action in your life.  However, there’s a way to work with your attention deficit, and it’s called “30 Minutes at a Time.” Or, 30 Minutes of Hustling then, 30 Minutes of Leisure.  I’m amazed at how much I can get done in just 30 minutes when I have a clear focus and know that 30 minutes of leisure awaits.

Here’s an example of how my day will play out:

  • 30 Minutes of Writing….30 Minutes of Dining.
  • 30 Minutes of Exercise, 30 Minutes of Pinterest.
  • 30 Minutes of Studying, 30 Minutes of Social Media.
  • 30 Minutes of Planning, 30 Minutes of Daydreaming.
  • 30 Minutes of Calls, 30 Minutes of Pampering.

Everyone’s formula will be different depending on your lifestyle, work and preferences. Perhaps for you, it’s for every hour of hustling, you offer yourself 15 minutes of leisure.

5.  Decide How You’re Going to Show Up

I am a big believer in taking inspired action.   I don’t push myself to write when I’m not feeling it.    I don’t create programs, products, and services when I’m out of alignment.   If I’ve signed up for crossfit and it no longer feels good to me, and even though my monthly membership is non refundable (so if I choose not to go I am “technically” loosing money), I go for a walk in nature instead.  I don’t believe in grinding, gripping or pushing myself.   That’s too much testosterone energy for me.

“The Leisure Effect” is no longer a theory;

I dare you to give it a try!

Repeat after me:  There is no hurry, and I’m right where I need to be. <tweet it!>

Yes, it seems counter-intuitive to take moments for leisure when you’re wanting to get things done in life.

So, let me offer you a final reframe that may entice you to become a lady of leisure (who also happens to be a hustler).  I’ve noticed this consistent occurrence associated with my leisure time.

It’s called INSPIRATION.

In those moments when I step away from the office and meet up with friends, go for a hike, play with the dog or cook a divine meal, I have revelations.

Ideas are sparked.
People show up.
The next step is revealed.

And it all happens without me “trying” to figure it out.

See the big difference on how I am getting it all done?

This leads me to my final conclusion:

A woman who feels good is a magnet to her desires.

And her inner hustler will know how to make it happen!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Tell me below….How are you choosing to leisurely hustle this week?

With Ambition & Ease,

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57 Responses to How to Leisurely Hustle

  1. Love this so much! This was how I approached life 2 years ago and for whatever reason, I lost sight of these things and started operating from a much different place…

    Many lbs and tears later, I’m ready to re-embrace where I’m most comfortable…as a “lady of leisure”.

    Thank you for the many bits of wisdom here and always! I’m pretty sure some of these will be written on my mirror (my way of ensuring I turn desires into habits).

  2. What a fabulous post, Tonya- thank you for sharing!
    I never create unless I’m inspired- feels icky; contrived- yet I hadn’t considered focusing on feeling good to become inspired.
    Brilliant! I also love your 30 minute idea and am going to try that too!

    • Hi Denise,

      Thanks for pointing out your perspective of waiting for inspiration feeling “icky.” I hope I was clear that I don’t use that as an excuse to take action, because action can be inspiring in and of itself. However, I want to take action from a place of feeling good. The results are so much better.

  3. OMG woman, I just love reading every single one of your posts. This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. My favorite part was this:

    “I know what you’re probably thinking, ‘But Tonya, how do you ever get anything done if you’re always waiting to feel good?’ ”My answer is simple: I work on feeling good before I do anything.

    I love that you work on feeling goog rather than wait on feeling good.

    Thank you for this simple reminder.

    See you next week for your It Factor interview!

  4. It’s a practice I’ve been religiously skipping lol. This is an awesome and wonderful reminder 🙂 thank you for unselfishly sharing your inner thoughts!

  5. Such a beautiful post with great reminders! I am definitely one that tends to lean toward living that hustle-bustle life (yet a devoted yogi at the same time). I am actively trying to slow things down every day while I am off of my mat. Your tips will definitely help along this journey. Thank you!

  6. Well done! Brava! It can be done + you are a testament to that, sister! It drives me bonkers when someone says “it must be nice” or “I wish I had the time…I thought you had full-time job” in response to some trip I took or otherwise pursuing my passion. Turn off the flippin’ TV for starters!! Merci for your beautiful, powerful words.

  7. Tonya,
    I want to be just like you when I grow up. Your writing is incredible and poignant and just what I needed. I find when I work from inspired action, and don’t force myself to do something I dread, I have so many more hours in the day. When I get in a state of overwhelm there is never “enough time”. Thank you for being such a light and inspiration of what it possible.
    Much love to you!

  8. Dear Tonya,
    This post is most inspiring and very beautiful. Alas what if you are a woman who has been doing what she loves for over 4 years but it hasn’t rendered successful financially. You run an incredible life, although I do as well, the financial reward hasn’t shown up yet, and in a way the lack of that keeps me in a state of overwhelm.
    Your thoughts….

    • Hi Peta,

      Thank you for your comment, and such a great question. I’ve been where you are during different times of my life, and here’s what I can offer: your job is to focus on abundance. Notice what you do have, what you have created, all that flows abundantly to you. It’s been my experience that those moments of lack keep me from attracting more into my life. That’s one way to begin getting out of the state of overwhelm. This is what I was referring to when I said I work to feel good before any action.

      Tons of Love,

      t

  9. I love your non-negotiables. I love that you won’t sacrifice them to get more things done.
    I am inspired to identify my own non-negotiables and experience my life with them in place.

  10. Thank you for coming into my life when you did……I believe there are no accidents in life. You are right on sister and I love what you say.

  11. Tonya, you have touched me right where I’m at. I am making half a dozen copies of your leisurely hustlin’ beliefs and putting them everywhere around me.

    Thank you!

    xoxo

  12. Well said!

    So tired of the faux drrrrrramas of “I’m SO busy” when all that busy-ness just wears you out and makes you bitchy. I also work to live — a deeply un-American thing to think, let alone say or write aloud — and will not sacrifice my pleasure (reading, a walk outside, talking to a friend over coffee) for an extra few dollars once the basics (plus retirement $) are put away. You cannot buy more time. You can always work non-stop…why?

  13. Brilliant. Thank you for letting us peer in. I could DEFINITELY use heaping teaspoons of your philosophy and will work to incorporate this into my 2013. I am just beginning to challenge the LIES that I’ve been conditioned to believe and I am feeling SO much better creating rules for me that are in alignment with how I ultimately want to feel. Blessings to you. xo.

  14. Tonya I am SO aligned with your mission on this one. And it was just what I needed to hear this week. I’ve decided to push back the launch dates of my next course by a MONTH and have been feeling guilty for taking my time. Enough of that already. The class is on Embodied Self Care! Back to practicing what I preach. Thank you 🙂

    • Good for you LeeAnn, show those women by example, because remember, “There is no hurry,” and I’m betting that the extra month is going to inspire you to offer something even more amazing!

      Cheers,

      Tonya

  15. Hey Tonya,

    I stumbled upon this post….I think the energy I was putting out was begging for this as the answer! I am inspired and feel like I’m on my way to being a leisurely hustler! Thank you!!

  16. I completely agree about starting the day with leisure. I love starting with quiet time when I do whatever I need at the time (prayer, meditation, reading, writing, thinking). I definitely need to work on dressing the part! You’re right about the energy.

  17. “Life honors the lady who respects herself and life enough to take a little extra time for pleasure.”

    I LOVE this, Tonya!

    Another inspiring post!

    I’ve decided this week that I’m removing the word ‘busy’ from my vocab. It’s one of those words that we seem to use all the time without real thought. ESPECIALLY at this time of year. I think we feel like we HAVE to be busy all the time. I’m enjoying the un-busyness.

    Vari @ Buttercup Ink xx

  18. Tonya this post is pure gold, I especially love this line:

    ” The truth is that I love living fast, but I also want to live slow enough to savor my life, which is why I’m always reminding myself to decelerate enough that I can take it all in.”

    I can’t agree with you more how much a shift into the enjoyment of life instead of the juggling routine is life-changing.

    Just yesterday I decided to dress nicely even though I work from home, jewelry and all, and I got so inspired to film a new video and get a lot done!

    Sometimes it is nice to stay at home in “leisure” wear (aka yoga pants), but dressing up sometimes is also a nice treat.

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

  19. After reading this, I promptly got up, changed into a cute skirt (out of my scruffy pants) and lit a candle.

    Very inspiring. Thank you for fearlessly sharing your love of the leisure AND the hustle. It’s a killer good combo.

  20. Tonya, I have goosebumps and I am crying right now! In he middle of Starbucks no less! I was actually just freaking out majorly on the way here about everything I have to do and everything I want to do, and then *bam*! Sarah Jenks shares this post on facebook and I believe my life is changed! Thank you so much for this!

    • Oh Ashlee Love,

      Take some deep breaths and do something for YOU – something that feels good, lights you up, inspires you. Then, revisit your list with a little pep in your step.

      Thanks for stopping by and give Sarah a big virtual kiss from me:) She’s a doll!

  21. OMG. This is the blog I was craving for. I feel so misunderstood that I want to feel good. ALWAYS. I know, I judge myself for it thus projecting it onto others. Finally, I read that this is possible and I am on the right path. Love it. Thank you!!
    All my love to you, Tonya!

  22. So awesome Tonya! I love this. You made me remember how life was when I was living in Italy. Italians say they hustle and work hard but not like life is here in Canada. I mean, who can hustle when all the shops are closed for lunch from 12 noon to 3 pm! Now that’s a lunch “hour”! Everyone is biking or walking everywhere and stopping for a coffee at the coffee bar with a friend they met on the street. I wasn’t working in Italy just raising my two daughters but I really noticed everyone else and how they were more leisurely. If you met a friend on the street, there was always time to stop for a coffee before rushing back to work. And all the older gentlemen would gather around 5 pm at the coffee shops for an apperatif (nice little glass of prosecco or wine) and a chat or a game of cards. The older ladies would all meet after church on Sundays for a coffee and a bite at the coffee shops to chat and have a good time before returning home to tend to the house. Life revolved around the coffee shops and restaurants or gelatrias. I could almost do with a nice little dose of that these days. Thanks for reminding us we need to slow down a bit and enjoy life.

  23. A peek inside my la tête
    I’m sorry but it’s Its wrong …
    Its :

    “A peek inside la tête ”

    Or

    “A peek inside ma tête ”

    I’m a French teacher and I would be honored to help you with your French !.

    Amicalement ,

    Edith

  24. Edith:: I welcome any help with my French. It’s very rusty, but I don’t let that stop me. I gave up perfection years ago! Merci:).

    • Fortunately you don’t need to be perfect to be able to speak French
      otherwise I would not have students !
      Just ask me if you need help !
      I ll help you “avec plaisir ”

      Bises de Paris

      Edith

  25. Truly fabulous! I needed to hear what you said about creating from a place of fear. This will be helpful to me as a writer who loves to write, but approaches the computer with fear and dread!

  26. I’m so glad to have read here that you are working on a book! I just found your site a week ago, and yesterday was really hoping that you would do a book. 😀

  27. siiiiiiiigh. So much to ponder. I don’t know if I can even allow the thought of sashaying vs hustling. It all sounds soooooo glorious. And to have freedom from fear?!!! What would that look like???

  28. Thank you so much Tonya.

    You know sometimes when I don’t feel like I have all that much to be grateful for in my life, I remember that I’m grateful for people like you existing and sharing so much loving inspiration. It’s a real relief and strike of energy that I get from your articles every time. Glad to see you’re working on a book 🙂

  29. This concept has changed my life in beautiful ways!

    I own a small classical ballet business. Our biggest event of the year, with many hours in the studio, is going on right now. Rather than run around at great speeds and exhaust ourselves, my business partner and I are at the spa, relaxing. We will plan today’s choreography with energy, joy, and rosé at a café before heading to the studio.

    When I french kiss life, life kisses right back with sensuous peace.

    • Jenn, I love how you’re handling this ‘busy’ season. Don’t you just feel more relaxed, productive and on-point (pun intended;). Have a great event (as I know you will.)

  30. I’m speechless…. The world has always taught me otherwise. I have always been defiant. Now to embrace this defiance. Lovely

  31. I was listing all my Assets and Liabilities today (from all areas of life) to see what most needs my attention this year when I paused and read this timely message. I believe this is the perfect moment for me to go out and take a stroll in the drizzle to allow myself the space to process things without forcing it. Thank you so much for the reminder and for your healthy perspectives!

  32. Dear Tanya

    What a pleasure it was to read your post. I just left my boring and mundane job and am studying to become a Psychotherapist ( go to college one evening a week). I have time in hand and would like to love myself, pamper myself, bake, decorate the house, enjoy the nature and just come back to who I was meant to be. However, here is the obstacle – I feel guilty for being called a ‘lady of a leisure’. My husband works very hard and is very supportive and happy for me to focus on my studies. It’s not him. It’ s me who feels guilty for just enjoying life. I know my studies will help me to reorganise my thoughts.

    For now, I am going to brew a nice cup of tea and admire my life.

    Love,
    Kavita

  33. Thank you for this. This is exactly what I have been rolling around in my head, unable to find words for it! I’m a huge Francophile and always have believed that this is the way I was meant to live. I’m trying to start a blog and business and have been pushing and hurrying and never getting anywhere. This is how I am going to approach my days. Thanks!

  34. Thank you so much for your insights and philosophy. It’s great of you to share with others. I think it’s really going to help me get out of my always putting myself last. Thank you sooooo much. This is the kind of life I want.

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  36. Hello Tonya,

    I just stumbled onto your post and I love it. Several years ago I too decided that I was going to live a life of leisure; my life isn’t as leisurely as yours but it will be. Where I’m from being leisurely is seen as being lazy, unproductive and irresponsible unless you are rich. I know people think that way about me and i don’t care.

    At onetime i did have that same mentality and i did care what people said about me. Then I remembered a promise that i made to myself when i was a teenager; it was a promise that i will not work myself to death nor will i die working.

    I love your 3 task a week and your hustle/leisure plan, you are right you cannot get back time. I suppose most people believe that if they work hard and stress now, they can relax when they retire (if they retire) and that will give them more time to live leisurely. Everyone needs to read this post.

    • Yes, so true. You should feel good when taking action. This goes right in with the teachings of the Law of Attraction teachers Abraham Hicks.

      Feel good, get in alignment, and then follow the inspiration that comes.

  37. Hello I have to tell you, I have been on your website since yesterday (Sunday) this is the most greatest reading and information, I have ever seen. I was feeling really down this weekend and was going through a little depression about myself, my business, my marriage, and just talking down to myself. But when I can across your website, it gave me an instant boost of energy and put me back on track on where I need to be, how I needed to think, and what I needed to do. Thank you so much for your insight and your wonderful information, I truly needed this and will continue to follow you.

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