Was listening to David Goggins riff on how a lot of things can be fixed by simply working hard. And I agree with him, not because of his hard-earned accomplishments or my addiction to motivational junk (like most folks are these days), but from my own experience where I fixed my challenges by simply working hard at it. I could’ve worked smarter. In fact, I did, only to lose time, motivation and a lot of my hard-earned money.
Much to my chagrin one of my colleagues shared an Inc magazine article stating the 10 reasons why hard work can’t come up with a good business idea. Check out the reasons (and my “ahem” thoughts) below:
- Hard work can’t come up with a good business idea. Yes, that’s true. You just need to commit to coming up with a business idea, then validate it and perhaps dig down deeper to come up with that minimum viable product. That’s ought to be easy. Right?
- Hard work doesn’t equate to productivity. This one is true. I know many folks (I used to be one) working their butt off at things which, in my honest assessment, weren’t even important to the main thing they were after! It was as they climbed the top of the ladder only to realize that they got into the wrong building! But here’s what I know for sure, once these folks realize what happened they’re quick to recalibrate and go for the kill. I think working hard is a skill and like any skill, it can be reapplied and can be potent.
- Entrepreneurship is a team sport. Really? And it doesn’t take hard work to build, nurture and grow a team? Or is the author trying to say that being an entrepreneur isn’t about working hard?
- Working hard doesn’t always make your work more valuable. Well, working smarter doesn’t make you a smart one either. Most of the “smart workers” out there are relying on shortcuts that have worked for other millionaires who’ve made it for themselves by doing hard work. And by the way, using automation doesn’t mean you’re valuable — it just means you’re soon going to be extinct! If you can work hard to get the results your business or clients are seeking, you’re valuable to them. Period.
- Hard work doesn’t yield creativity. Yeah, you just sit there and wait for creativity to come through. Or perhaps, just meditate? Or shower for a change?
- Your competitors work hard, too. And that’s why they’re number 1? And you’re nowhere in sight!
- Hard work can’t trump experience. The ones who work hard can essentially quadruple their experience. The ones who’re experienced got there by sheer hard work.
- There’s a limit to the brute force approach. Hard work doesn’t always have to be a “brute force” approach. It can also mean working at something single-mindedly with a clear objective in mind over a period of time. In fact, that’s what the smartest people (who work their butts off) recommend. Because inch-by-inch, everything’s a cinch!
- Time is money, and it can be wasted. Exactly my point. So, don’t sit there and wait for creativity to come through to you. Make a plan and get going already! Can you?
- Hard work will exhaust you. Yes, it will. But it won’t kill you.
I guess you can tell I was (still am, I think) super pissed after reading the piece. I didn’t even understand why it was written in the first place? Yes, this dude makes it clear that he’s not against hard work but that alone can’t be the only preoccupation. I get that. But the argument isn’t making any sense. You have to work hard to get to the level you can work smarter.
Find paths of least resistance, work smarter, delegate, cooperate, think outside the box, and don’t forget to take breaks! Hard work pays off, but only when you do it appropriately.10 Reasons Hard Work Isn’t Enough to Make a Business Succeed
It’s a process. Engineers work hard to build a system but once that is in place it’s simply a matter of following a process. That’s it! It doesn’t mean the engineers worked smarter. It means they worked their ass off to build that system, which makes everyone else (including themselves) more efficient!
Personally, I think the “hard work” vs “smart work” argument is the most annoying waste of time. And so is “talent” vs “experience.” It’s kind of like the chicken-and-egg theory, nobody has a clue which came first.
But here’s the important thing — it doesn’t fucking matter! And if it matters to you (or your friends, perhaps) they’re neither talented nor working smart enough.
I don’t understand why there’s so much averseness towards hard work. It’s okay to work hard at things that are difficult to accomplish or obtain. It’s okay to work hard, fail, learn from feedback and keep at it until you’ve succeeded. The antidote isn’t smart work but working hard with your eyes, ears, and hearts open. Always willing and ready to embrace the suck.
Now, that’s how winning is done!
I leave you with this inspiring video:
Are you ready to embrace the suck?