What a Thai fruitseller can teach you about hustling

by Steli Efti

Ten years ago, I traveled to a beautiful remote little island in Thailand. I was with a bunch of good friends, a motley crew of communication experts who travelled around with one of the world's best hypnotists. And while we were waiting for a boat to carry us over, there was a old lady who sold fruits from a little pushcart. 

That nice old lady was an amazing example of how to win in the world. We rejected her. Told her no. Ignored her. But she outhustled us all, in a simple, persistent and friendly way that was good for all of us.

She embodied what hustling is all about: knowing that what you have is good. Knowing that people will benefit from buying what you offer. And then following up again and again with these people—professionally, with a smile on your face, you show up again and again and again and again, until they decide to buy.

There's a lot you can learn from reading books and blogs but keep your eyes open to the business lessons life is offering you. Having street smarts can help you even when closing big deals in the boardroom.