Hustle Man

We all know that guy who sells goods in the parking lot of your favorite hair salon, corner store or food place.

You can act bougie if you want to, but we have all purchased something or another from him at some point. As I noticed my favorite oil and incense was running low, I started thinking about Hustle Man’s amazing entrepreneurial skills. Think about it, he is the ultimate small business; he runs a lean operation, is on the cutting edge of trends and is a master marketer. A day with him would be worth as much as a Wharton B-School education that will cost you over $100k and years of your life. I am certain he has a wealth of knowledge about how to run a business. Here are my biggest takeaways from Hustle Man.


None of us have a lot of money to waste on inventory or on offering services that no one wants to purchase. Take the time to get to know your customer so that you can create irresistible offers or stock up on items that will fly off your shelves. Hustle Man knows that when he is selling at the hair salons, his trunk needs to be filled with sundresses, good handbags (no one is buying the obvious knockoffs any more) and fly accessories. However, if he is selling at another location, that crowd may prefer oils, incenses and DVDs.


Let’s just keep it 100, I’m more willing to splurge on payday, especially if it’s a good deal. So, when you know your customer is likely to have a little something extra on them, make them an offer they can’t refuse. If you already have them interested, offer an up-sale or another product/service and if there’s enough profit margin in the sale, offer a 2 for 1 or 3 for 2 deal to the customer.


Rain, sleet, snow or shine, Hustle Man is there. Even better, he is there with what you need. If it’s raining, he’s got umbrellas; if it’s cold, he’s got gloves; if it’s sunny, he’s got sunglasses. He’s moving quickly through the parking lot, greeting each car as they arrive; letting them know what he has to offer in a signature cadence… “I got them CDs, DVDs, pretty dresses.” He works sun up to sundown or until his inventory is depleted. What holidays? Every day he’s hustlin.

So the next time that you see Hustle Man in the parking lot, take a few minutes to admire and congratulate him on his business acumen because he can run a business with the best of them.

Make it easy for the customer to pay by accepting multiple forms of payment. Even if you are not in a brick and mortar or internet environment, you should be able to accept credit cards. People might have a few bucks on them, but you don’t want their lack of access to cash to prevent them from buying from you.