A True Hustler’s Guide

How To Hustle Your Way To The Top

Krystal Garner is a model, actress and bonafide hustler. She has been in the entertainment industry for over ten years and has continued to persevere until she received her rightful place on the hustler’s throne. Krystal is not just beautiful and intelligent but her hard work and determination has helped motivate and inspire millions around the world. She has now hustled her way to the top and done it all with a smile.

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Krystal Garner graced television screens in 2018 with the hit series ‘Grand Hustle.’ Rapper and entrepreneur T.I. created a reality show where he looked for sixteen people to compete for a spot to work for his empire. It came to no surprise that Krystal dominated the competition and won the title of ‘Grand Hustler’. I was able to speak to Krystal and figure out how and why she has been crowned the #1 hustler.

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1. How did you start off in your career being and entertainer and entrepreneur?

Krystal- Honestly, what happened was once I got into college and realized that basketball wasn’t going to be the main all be all for Krystal Garner, I had to look within myself and see who I was and what I wanted to do. I then looked for different personal development books and different organizations that focused on building me outside of traditional education. I eventually fell in love with NOT being an employee.

I fell in love with being able to create and being innovative and just being the boss of myself.

I say when basketball was no longer the thing that was going to be my career, that’s the moment that I realized that there is a lot more in me than being a female athlete. I still play basketball but I don’t play on a professional level but I do have a love for it. I realized that I can do other things and I am super talented and I can really make some big changes and do big things in the world.

2. Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur and entertainer?

Krystal-I think I realized that when I got my first job at a 9-5 I hated it. LOL I hated it with all of the bones within my body. I did not like being in a place where

I  felt like I was constantly being pushed down versus lifted up.

I decided to quit and go full time in my entertainer side. It kind of forced the envelope on how to make money outside of a 9-5. I know you can attest to this. I had moments where I was going to auditions and when I wasn’t booking I had to learn how to combine going after entertainer life but also being able to find a way to survive so I had to find a way to make money in the in between times. Combining these two entrepreneurship and entertainment was inevitable and it had to be done. I don’t even know how I figured it how or how I even survived in New York that long without a sustained income but it kind of forced itself together. Me just being a super hustler, I just had to combine any and all talents with it to make sure that I got things done.

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3. What made you join the ‘Grand Hustle’ competition?

Krystal- So funny story.  I believe that everything happens in a time that it is supposed to happen. I had got casted in it and I was set to be in the show and then they dropped it. When they dropped the show it was kind of a hard moment for me because I was like, wow I am about to be on the show and I can show my hustling. But they dropped the show. It was right when I was going through a struggle. So I took a break and got a job once the show did not get picked up. The job I got still offered flexibility so I was still able to go to auditions. I made my own schedule but it was an actual job. I loved my job.

The thing is I needed to learn how to function within an organization again in order to eventually be on ‘Grand Hustle’. I had been an entrepreneur for so many years that I don’t think I physically knew how to work within an organization.

I had to relearn how to be that person. I had to relearn how to pitch myself, how to pitch brands, how to make people interested. I had to relearn that side of the hustle. I did that job for a year and then ‘Grand Hustle’ came back around and they asked me if I wanted to participate. The show told me with participating I would have to be gone for up to two months. So I asked my job can I take a leave of absence and they denied me. I had to make a decision at that moment if I was going to stay in the comfort zone of this job that offered me flexibility to audition. But then I thought, what if I audition and book something and I need to go away but the job doesn’t allow me the time?

So I could either stay here and be comfortable or I could be uncomfortable for an opportunity to be where I am supposed to be. I had to quit. I quit and went after the show. So that’s exactly how it happened and it happened and it happened exactly at the time that it was supposed to happen because I don’t know if I would have won if it would have been the year prior. My mindset and the person that I was before was not ready for the opportunity of ‘Grand Hustle.’ So God had me wait until I was ready.       

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4. What was your biggest challenge during the competition?

Krystal- I believe during the competition the biggest challenge I faced was understanding who I am and my worth. 

I think I had moments where I doubted myself and if I had it in me to be that person. The biggest challenge was for me not to get in my head and allowing the environment to get in my head. You know I always say in every interview the biggest competition I had on ‘Grand Hustle’ was myself. It was not anyone else. There was no one that I looked at and was like hey you can beat me. The only person that could beat me was myself. So not having the opportunity to be able to call people that I would call in those moments because we were not allowed, I had to really pull from within me to realize who I am. I had to dig deep and say Krystal you got this. I had to really be my cheerleader and my own pep rally because if I allowed myself to get consumed in those thoughts I would not be where I am today.

5. You have always been a hustler. But many people who didn’t know you before ‘Grand Hustle’ did not see or know your hustle. Throughout the years that you’ve been hustling, what has been your biggest challenge outside of the competition?

Krystal- I think my biggest challenge throughout the years was being an entertainment entrepreneur and getting people to believe in me. It kind of sucks because you have your circles, you have your family, you have your friends and you have your associates and people see your grind and hustling and they see the struggle if they are close to you.

Everyone usually has an opinion but it doesn’t mean that they should speak it out loud.

It’s hard when everyone’s opinion says Krystal you are so smart and talented why don’t you just get a regular job? I think that was a challenge for me because the people who were close to me, would constantly say that to me and that was kind of hurtful. It was hurtful because this is who I am and you should be supporting me and what I am trying to go after. So it was a challenge to not allow the people who know me personally to get me to that point where I believed that it wasn’t possible anymore or that I had to just be a conventional type of person. That is not me. If you know me then you know that is not me. To think because of my struggle that I need to resort to that, was kind of like a smack in the face. Over the years I dealt with a lot and for some reason and somehow God allowed me not to be pushed into that direction.

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6. When did you realize that you were going to win the ‘Grand Hustle’ competition?

Krystal- I realized I was going to win as soon I walked through the door.

I walked in the door and I just felt it because everything was so predictable to me. I was the last person to walk in that door out of all the cast. They did it in a certain way and I don’t know why but I was the last person to walk in that door.  I ended up being in the smallest room. My bathroom wasn’t even that great. Everybody had these lavish rooms and I was put in the Cinderella corner. But I was just so grateful to be there that it didn’t even bother me.  I just looked at it like oh well this is similar to home. This isn’t anything new. You are here to do work you are not here to live lavishly in a mansion for a couple of months. That moment I realized that I am last in the house because I will be the last person to leave the house because I am going to be the winner. In that moment I knew. There was no way that anyone was going to take this opportunity.

7. What’s a phrase you can tell a young girl who looks up to you or who wants to be an entrepreneur or striving to do something that you have done and are doing?

Krystal- I would say one phrase. Your black girl magic is your niche and you do not need to compromise your integrity to be successful.

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