There’s no good replacement for hard work. No viable alternative. No efficient substitute. Hard work is in a league of its own. And trying to find something more effective is probably why your business strategy is failing.
No great idea works if you don’t work. Hard.
It used to be a given that life demanded hard work. Every hour, from sunup to sundown, was utilized in the ongoing quest for personal advancement. If you didn’t work hard you didn’t eat. And you probably didn’t live long.
But then we learned that the way to a more “fulfilled life” was to get an education. To go to college. Instead of sweating in the field we could make more money wearing a white collar and telling other people what to do.
In fact, with an advanced degree from college we could even run an entire division of a company, retiring with a gold watch and a healthy pension .
And the journey got confused with the destination.
We started to think that working less was a sign of success. A badge of honor. That we must be smarter than everyone else around us.
But what we forgot is that the pension our grandparents earned came after 30 years of dedicated performance. The watch and golden retirement came after thousands of hours of unwavering loyalty and focus.
Today, it makes us feel special when we talk about working smarter. It makes us feel like what we do is better then the “ignorant people” who only know how to dig ditches and landscape yards.
We must be better than them.
After all, how smart can those people be, getting sweaty day after day after day when we sit in a corner office. And so, our corporate hallways are filled with executives in white collars and power ties, jaunting from meeting to meeting, preaching the accolades of efficiency and effectiveness — all the while preparing to point a finger at somebody else when things don’t work out right.
And why should it work? Why should we expect something from nothing? Better yet, how logical is it to expect that doing the bare minimum will make us elite performers?
It just doesn’t make much sense at all.
And, NO, the answer isn’t to put your head in the sand and hope that things magically get better on their own. That doesn’t make much sense either.
You should be learning from the performance of others. You should take the lessons you have had to learn the hard way and refocus your energy on ways that you can do more with less.
Just don’t confuse the destination with the journey. Working less isn’t the goal. It’s not a badge of honor.
Getting better results is the goal.
And usually that means rolling up your sleeves and doubling down on the elbow grease you bring to the game.
There is no magic elixir. The hard truth is that you probably just need to work harder.