Ending the Youthful Hustle

Ayelet Baron
2 min readApr 13

Maybe A Generation of Conscious Leaders?


Youthful hustle is widely encouraged in our society. This mindset pressures us to achieve greatness before youth slips away. Under such pressure, young people are encouraged to focus on success, which often finds them resorting to shortcuts.

Encouragement to “fake it till you make it” contributes to this mentality as does busyness and success.

Charlie Javice, Martin Shkreli, Elizabeth Holmes, Trevor Milton, and Sam Bankman-Fried share a common fate. They made headlines and face the consequences of a youthful hustle.

Chris Bakke highlights that Forbes 30 Under 30 collectively raised $5.3 billion in funding but were arrested for frauds and scams worth over $18.5 billion.

Sam Bankman-Fried, once enjoying the good life, now faces charges like bribing a foreign government and money laundering. Caroline Ellison, his former partner, pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges. She may receive a more lenient sentence due to her cooperation.

Charlie Javice, founder of Frank, experienced success before being charged with inflating her company’s customer count. She hired a data scientist to invent millions of customers out of about 300,000.

And JPMorgan Chase acquired her company for $175 million. Not one of JPMorgan’s 240,000 employees or executives paid millions detected the fraud during due diligence.

And she became a managing director at the bank. The claim was that in merely four years, Frank served “over 5 million students at over 6,000 colleges.”

Javice now faces conspiracy charges with a maximum 30-year prison sentence. But denies all allegations.

Maybe this need to hustle and make fake stuff up can no longer be swept under the carpet? Perhaps it’s an opportunity to evaluate our societal values and the pressures we put on success?

What if making it on the cover of a magazine is a delusion that feeds the ego, rather than reflecting true leadership? What if we stopped celebrating financial winners, billionaires and philanthropists? Why have we been led to believe they are special?

Because they are not really when we wake up to reality.

We have an opportunity right now to author healthy stories. Maybe we shift our focus from chasing short-term gains to cultivating conscious leadership?

By doing so, we inspire a new generation of leaders who recognize that true leadership comes from within. Can we value integrity and self-awareness over fleeting fame and fortune?

Ayelet Baron

Pioneering Futurist. Author. Former Cisco strategist. Thinkers50 author. Forbes 50 Female Futurists #indieauthor