Before April 2020 - having a 'side hustle' was considered a good idea.

You know, if you have a comfortable, corporate job as an accountant, but moonlight as a thrash-metal drummer over the weekend - that's a side hustle.

It's a little, secret, nice-to-have that nobody really takes seriously, but your passion-project gives you purpose, makes you smile and keeps you young-at-heart.

But now, corporate companies are showing their true colours.

They're asking employees, below director-level of course, to take reduced salaries; they're preparing to retrench staff - they're cutting costs and demonstrating what you always suspected.

Companies demand loyalty from employees,  but when times get tough - they have absolutely no loyalty to you. You are merely an uncomfortable monthly expense that stands between 'those in charge' and their outrageous annual bonuses.

So the false illusion of comfort that you thought you were granted by your corporate overlords, by diligently clocking in and out between 9 and 5...is gone.

What has become increasingly important, is that the hustle that you once kept on the side, for special occasions; now needs to become a primary part of who you are.

Hustle - the word - is derived from a Dutch word, meaning 'to shake' or 'toss'. As a verb it can be referred to as 'an act of conning somebody else out of their money in a fast, physical way.'

But the act of hustling can also be defined as being 'nimble, light on your feet, always seeking and probing new opportunities and being constantly restless under conditions regarded as the status quo.'

Right now - hustling needs to be thought of as the act of implementing ideas quickly; it's the iterative process of unlocking the new through action.

This is no long behaviour reserved for annoying, loud-mouthed American wine entrepreneurs; or those that classify themselves as extroverts.

Hustling is now an act of survival, and it's as human as breathing and eating.

It doesn't matter who you are, or what your profession might be - a hustler is now the mindset needed by those that want to think of themselves as free.

To hustle is to be actively taking responsibility for yourself; it's to ensure that you don't allow yourself to be a victim. And this pandemic is on the hunt for victims - in a physical, psychological and economic sense.