Seeking & Being in Flow

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

I pressed Stop and pulled the tray out from the oven. The hot air followed: a homogenous scent of dark chocolate, caramelized brown sugar, and vanilla. After sprinkling a generous amount of flakey sea salt on top, I waited for a couple of minutes. (The hardest part, if you ask me.) Then I took a cookie and took a bite, allowing it to define the moment of being. Alive.

The next day, I brought a full container to share with friends. Watching them devour and enjoy something I made from scratch was the final step to complete this cycle, and what truly made it all fulfilling. 

I’ve always loved the process of baking; it asks you to act with intention, with care, with precision. I may be moving fast to someone watching me sifting flours and powders together, beating eggs and pouring them into the mixture—but to me, I’m moving slow, almost without thinking. 

Tanya’s baking

This flow I feel when baking is what I also crave while working. Many times work feels forced, like something I have to do—something that makes me worth oxygen in the eyes of society. But after graduating from university just as the pandemic started, working—for money and to develop a career—almost repulsed me. 

However, me being me, I judged this repulsion. I judged it for existing when I should be working, paying bills, and sorting out my career. I should be establishing myself, my name, and I should be able to help my parents or family if they ever needed financial support.

I should–

Yet I didn’t want to. And the rebel in me grew when I saw the excessive amount of hustle, girl-boss, keep-going-until-you-reach-your-dreams content on social media. Manifesting that 6-figure income became a trend, a cult that regularly recruited people to start working harder than ever before and hustling to materialise their financial wealth into the world. 

Let me make this clear: I’m not against people wanting a luxurious lifestyle. I’m not against people working for the life they want. I’m against the propaganda that says it’s the only way to live a fulfilling life. I’m against the idea that we have to work robotically at the expense of our own mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.

So when I started Being Baked, a gourmet cookie business that raises awareness on mental health, I saw a current of tactics I was up against. Many times I felt alone in that struggle. How can I possibly build a business and manage it in ways that align with my values?

It took a while for me to accept that I was going to do things differently. I had to be the one who defined what success, fulfillment, and work looked like—and it did not look conventional at all. I faced challenges while implementing strategies that aligned with my vision, but what helped me was reminding myself what the sum of my efforts contributed towards. 

However, staying on this path felt like I was the only one prepping the soil, laying the foundation, and adding the bricks. I was on a one-person construction team. Luckily, it was only some time until I heard about antihustle and started working in the team. Creating content around what work could be, instead of should be, meant that people who didn’t sit well with hustle culture would spend less time worrying about how things would pan out and start enjoying their own process. 

I’ve learned that it’s through this alignment, this worry-free possibility, that I’m connected to that familiar flow

Learn more about Tanya

We’re All Victors Who Contribute to History

Fantasy vs. Reality

I didn’t start out as a fan of the sport of hockey. As a sport full of toxic masculinity, racial discrimination, and convenient tokenism, the values of the game are as far as it can get from what I stand for. However, I do acknowledge that the mechanics of hockey are fun and exciting, and the very Canadian nature of this sport has a nationalistic appeal. So, I find myself now in my seventh year participating in a fantasy hockey pool. 

For those unfamiliar with the game of fantasy hockey pool, it’s a type of betting game in which you select and trade for various NHL players to build a team that you believe would succeed across many statistical categories within the game of hockey. There are many other players in the pool who do the same, and you draw on the real-world statistics of your selected players to compete in this fantasy version of the game. 

Believe me when I say that running your own fantasy hockey team is very much entrepreneurial in nature. You – one of many participants in your pool – must constantly make hard business decisions on how to improve your team. From whether to trade certain players for others to whether you hold onto underperforming players in hope that they will pick up their form, every tough decision you make is closely tied with the success of your team. The bottom line is: you care deeply about your team. You may lose sleep at night if your players had a bad outing. You may beat yourself up over a poorly made decision, even if it only became apparent in hindsight. Much like you want your business to function sustainably, you wish the same for your own team.

At the end of every NHL season, there is only one winner in the pool. The victor often receives material rewards such as cash from other participants in the pool, and will definitely have significant bragging rights over their peers. For hardcore players such as myself, the only metric of success that matters is winning it all. Everyone has fantasized of being the winner at some point, but the reality is that only one team prevails at the end of it all.

Yet now, in my seventh year of participating in the game, something about it doesn’t feel right to me anymore. After an entire year of effort and time investment from everyone in your pool, why must one victor prevail over all others in this game? Why should history be written by victors only, and not by the many involved? Why must victory come at the cost of fierce competition against others in a community, when others might have cared as much about their fantasy hockey team in this game as you did? Why can’t we all be winners who laugh together and find success in collaboration instead?

These hypothetical questions led me to reflect on my life journey and purposes. Along the way, it hit me that I’ve been a victim and a servant of capitalism all along. 

Back in high school, I witnessed that awards of excellence were far too often given to less than a handful of students. In the basketball games I competed in, only one team wins when the timer stops. In the very few post-secondary business courses I have been a part of, I was taught that resources are scarce and that business success comes at the exploitation of resources of others. From all of this, I too have subconsciously learned that my success can only be achieved by taking away from others and taking over others with everything I do. Just like what I’m doing in my fantasy hockey pool.

But the reality is that it doesn’t have to be that way. In this moment, deep inside my heart, I realized that I want to live in a world where everyone can find ways to be a winner – and be acknowledged as a winner – in their own way. A path forward like this is too good to remain a fantasy, and should materialize as reality.  

Hustle vs. Antihustle

This lightbulb moment was what inspired me to join as a curriculum designer. I wanted to use my stories and experiences to help folks understand that success and winning can come in many ways, and that’s what antihustle is all about. 

When you hear the phrase “hustle culture,” I think folks more commonly associate it with overworking and rushing to get things done quickly. Personally, I think the notion of winning and competition are a big part of hustle culture as well. Within hustle culture, a lot of focus is  placed upon economic success as folks compete over resources. When you’re rich, you’re winning. If you worked extra hard to be rich at the sacrifice of other aspects of your life, good for you for that level of dedication. You now have the bragging rights to share how you got this rich in your social media stories, contributing to the hustle culture history like the winner you think you’ve become. But deep inside, perhaps there’s something in you that’s lost or missing in all of this success.

While I wouldn’t outright say hustle culture is an incorrect approach, I can confidently say that the antihustle approach has even more to offer. Economic capital is only one of many forms of capital, along with social capital, cultural capital, and much more. I’m a believer in that true happiness and victory lies in achieving a diverse and balanced portfolio of many different capitals, rather than leaning heavily on a single one. As much as money is important to survival in the modern economy and as much as it buys us degrees of freedom, it’s equally important to have genuine and authentic relationships with friends and families. Beyond that, we should strive for work that aligns our passion, strengths, intention, and purpose with our intrinsic values. We should also make time and effort to look after our physical wellbeing, our mental health, and our personal growth, so that we have greater capacity to look after our entrepreneurial efforts  – and even our communities. 

Here at, I aim to inspire you to win and succeed by accumulating wealth across different forms of capital. Much like how fantasy hockey gave me the life lessons necessary to contribute to today, I look to guide you along the antihustle journey to help you discover your stories, as well as what true victory means to you in your business.  

Learn more about Joey. 

Smart, Rich, Strong, and Good

How can reconciling our multiple forms of human intelligence with the many forms of wealth help to keep us from hustling in our small businesses?

The Mind, the Brain, and the Body: Or, Ways of Being Smart

Carrying three days’ worth of food for two people up a steep hill in Massasauga Provincial Park in July, 2014, I felt a shift in my lower back. The weight of the food—held in two plastic barrels to keep raccoons out—was too much for my spine, and two little sacs of fluid that sit between the vertebrae just above my tailbone slipped out of their previously secure positions. In the seven years since that moment, I have learned more than I ever thought I’d need to know about the nervous system, about the grooves that pain etches into the physical structure of the brain, about the range of physical sensations I can feel in discrete muscles, in connective tissues, along the pathways traced by nerves. I have, through circumstance, been forced to acquire a form of intelligence I’d never had before: an awareness of my own body.

Folks with high kinesthetic intelligence can control their movements with a high degree of accuracy and intentionality. When Shea Couleé quickly picks up complex choreography on RuPaul’s Drag Race, or when Son Heung-min dances through defenders to score yet another goal for Tottenham Hotspur F.C., we see their kinesthetic intelligence at work. In contrast, I—who stood 5’11” at age 13—didn’t make it onto the eighth-grade volleyball team. What a floundering disaster I must’ve been on the court that my height could not outbalance my utter lack of skill. Even when I returned to volleyball in my late 20s, I still couldn’t figure out the sequence my body was supposed to follow to be able to spike the ball.

But, after my injury, and through years of massage and Pilates and yoga and osteopathy and physical therapy, I have slowly begun to acquire bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. I still can’t mirror or repeat another person’s movements, but I’ve learned to make subtle, intentional, controlled movements to support my back and reduce my pain. I have nurtured and strengthened my bodily intelligence. This injury has been an education.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is one of multiple ways of being smart—or so said Harvard developmental psychologist Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind. Gardner originally listed seven forms of intelligence: kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic-verbal, mathematical, musical, and visual-spatial. Since then, Gardner and others have added to this list, suggesting that there is also naturalistic, digital, comedic, culinary, and sexual intelligence. In his essay “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart” (2008), David Foster Wallace argued that elite athletes—folks who might be described as having high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence—are geniuses who are incapable of articulating what their bodies know to do, and that rendering their movements into mere language would reduce their embodied knowledge and demote them from their heights of genius. As someone who considers herself high in linguistic-verbal intelligence, I take some comfort in telling myself that my ability to recite the poetry of both Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Hetfield has somehow caused my lifelong clumsiness. I may always have bruises on my shins, but at least I’ve got a mental filing cabinet with the lyrics of every song produced between 1994 and 2005.

As an editor, I bring my linguistic-verbal intelligence to the fore when I’m doing client work. I sometimes even exercise mathematical and visual-spatial smarts when helping with a grant budget or formatting a proposal. But I recognize that these are but three of the many ways of being smart, and that dedicating too much time to work and to nurturing my existing book smarts is detrimental to the deliberate practice I need to put in to strengthening my ability to move with care and intentionality. To be wise, we must foster and develop a range of forms of intelligence.

As Rich As Chocolate: Wealth Under Capitalism

Just as there are many ways of being smart, so too are there many ways of being rich. In 1985, the French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu identified three forms of capital: economic capital, measured in money; social capital, measured in size and strength of interpersonal networks; and cultural capital, measured in both intellect and taste, as knowledge of social mores confer social status and power. (What Bourdieu thought of as cultural capital has much in common with contemporary concepts of inclusivity, belonging, and cultural safety.) Bourdieu highlighted these different forms of capital to describe how individuals can accrue influence and benefits—for instance, distinctions in social class can be attributed to high or to low amounts of cultural capital.

Yet in Bourdieu’s unshackling of the concept of capital from dollars and cents, we can imagine accruing and sharing wealth in multiple forms. Writing for the blog of Groundswell Alternative Business School, Trixie Ling identifies spiritual capital, place capital, natural capital, and experiential capital (2017) as forms of wealth that small business owners can cultivate. We can imagine that natural capital might involve access to green spaces and to water, while experiential capital could provide access to multiple perspectives or languages.

Just as narrowing our focus on a single form of intelligence can be detrimental to our holistic selves—including our fragile bodies—so too can focusing solely on economic capital come at a cost. As small business owners striving to work ethically, without hustling ourselves or others, we must account for diverse forms of wealth.

When did you last review your books and account for social, cultural, spiritual, natural, place, experiential, or any other form of capital that you build in your business?

Which forms of intelligence do you use to accrue a range of kinds of wealth?

Learn more about Letitia