Since 2005 I’ve worked on a business venture of some type. In all of these ventures I’ve encountered endless points of advice from the average Joe on the street, to business men and banking bosses. That advice always ended up with the words, “Just keep working and don’t give up.”
Okay… in the words of Samuel Jackson, “Muthaf—-a!” Working hard doesn’t always fix things.
I’m the first person to tell someone to speak to people about ideas. Building/networking is vital to the creation of new ideas and projects. Mentoring is always a welcomed aspect and it’s one that I’ve very rarely had the opportunity to get. Many of my problems in business have been born from the lack of a person in business who has done something successfully, or unsuccessfully, actually telling the truth.
It would be refreshing to hear a person be honest about how many tee shirts or books, or clothes or food they are actually selling. More important, it would not only help me, but it would help them. Unfortunately, people guard information better than the secret service has been guarding the President lately. The only thing those people will say is that you have to work hard.
While I could easily make this a long post detailing the myth of “Hard work conquering all,” I think it’s better if I tell you what will conquer all: Planning and patience.
You can work your ass off and if you are digging a ditch to the core of the Earth, you’ll never get there. You can wake up at four in the morning, cup of joe in your hand, stare at the brightness of the computer screen, but if you never wrote down a plan of action, then you will sit there faking like you’ve done some work. You’ll also be the first to tell other people you woke up at 4am. “Who gives a damn?” Waking up at 4am only accomplishes one thing, making you tired as hell during the day and sluggish.
Which leads to this type of shit:
You get the picture. Waking up at 4am without a plan is like being this guy who gets frustrated. Waking up at 4am after you spent the previous days writing out a plan of action makes all of the sense in the world. It will also accomplish a lot more than just “Working Harder”. What will work even better than working harder is this advice that always comes from somebody, “working smarter.” I did the honorable thing with my company ARCH for 4 years. I made money and then used that money to try and launch my business. I listened to all of the business people say, “It takes 5 years for a business to grow and be successful… most small businesses collapse in three years… many small businesses never get started.” I took all of that in and in the process lost more 7000 dollars per year. I did all of the work just about in the business and thought that delegating and finding other people to join in would never happen. I generally thought I had it all under control and that by working harder I was right. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What’s worse is that I wrote a book years ago that told me not to do that. In the book I talked about dream builders and having a network in place.
Why do people who have great advice fail to follow it for themselves? Because we are stupid, and being stupid leads to more stupid, and that leads to even more stupid… you get the point. Working smarter is all about relationships and taking the time to think about your next move as opposed to “Just Do It” one of the dumbest/smartest slogans ever. In small caps somewhere under that slogan should be, “with a plan”. Although getting started is a big part, the key to continuing is remaining thoughtful and coming up with imaginative, innovative solutions.
Work harder, but the winner isn’t always the one with the biggest muscles who outworks you; the winner is usually the person who is a bit smarter and has a plan.
Pick up a copy of One Hour To Wealth and get smarter, don’t have a grand-kid with a dog collar.