Hard work is not enough to succeed in business. For most of us that is a hard pill to swallow. Why? Is because we've all heard the advice, and for most of our lives: you can do anything, as long as you work hard to get there.
Hard work pays off. There are a million quotes about hard work, and I'd tend to agree with most of them. Hard work is important, and it separates you from the majority of the population who aren't motivated enough to work hard for anything.
But when it comes to business, you need more than just hard work. Many business owners work hard, but they are still working wrong... Working wrong in your business will not take you from point A to point B. Its like knowing you need to go west, if you are going east, not matter how hard you work, you still will not arrive at your destination.
Hard work isn't enough to make your business succeed. The solution to improving your business, or yourself as an entrepreneur, isn't exclusively "hard work"--and here are 5 reasons why:
Having a great business model is necessary in business. Hard work alone will not make your business plan great. Can you force yourself to come up with a good idea if you spend enough time thinking about it? Probably not or most of us would have... For most of us, good ideas come as random, unpredictable strokes of inspiration that we pursue and develop later on. I know I have had some my greatest ideas at 3:00 am in the morning. I am not working hard but allowing my mind to just wonder and be creative.
People confuse activity with action. You can work hard at being busy, but that does not mean you are being productive. Here's an idea for you; hard work doesn't necessitate getting a lot done. For example, if your at the gym and doing the exercise the wrong way, you maybe tired but that does not mean you have done very much. You maybe just exhausted from using the equipment the incorrect way. Now learn the correct way to utilize the equipment and look how much further you get.
Entrepreneurship is not meant to be done alone. John Maxwell always takes about business being a team sport. Few businesses grow to be successful based on the efforts of one individual. It takes a team to devise a good strategy and execution and eventually carry it out. Accordingly, you can work as hard as you like, but if you've hired the wrong team members, it does not matter how hard you work, it will not make a difference especially in service businesses. Customer service means much more
Working hard does not make your work something of value. Working right will make the value you offer in terms of results worth the value, not just working hard for your clients. Your value with work is when the clients benefit from the results, not just the hard work.
Your competitors work hard, too. Some are working just as hard if not harder than you. But once again, hard work is not the only thing needed to bet your competition. Most, if not all, of your competitors are already working hard, so if anything, working hard puts you on par with them. You'll need something else if you want to get ahead.
Hard work can't trump experience. This is one of the biggest difference between hard work alone and experience. Experience leads individuals to make smarter decisions, at an almost intuitive level. Hard work can't beat that (at least in most cases). Consider the game of Go as a good example--the most experienced player soften describe their best moves as "feeling right," the product of experiential intuition rather than the product of exhaustive logic.
There's a limit to the brute force approach. Hard work is a kind of "brute force," by which you wear away at your tasks, but there's a hard limit to this approach. There are only so many hours in the day, and so many ways to solve a problem directly. Finding alternative problem solving routes and maximizing those hours is the only way to get the most for your effort.
Time is money, and it can be wasted. Let's adopt the analogy that "time is money." Spending lots of money doesn't necessarily mean acquiring lots of value; for example, you wouldn't rate a $100,000 real estate investment as holding the same long-term value as a $100,000 investment in cottage cheese. Like money, time can be wasted, meaning hard work only counts if it's spent on something that matters.
Hard work will exhaust you. Work too hard, skipping breaks and vacations, and it's going to catch up with you. You'll be less productive, you'll feel like garbage, and you might even become so burnt out you don't want to be an entrepreneur anymore. Yes, there's a certain level of honor in fully investing yourself into a project, but if it saps your will to go on and leaves you exhausted, what's the point? Don't be afraid to take breaks--it's actually good for your productivity.
Hard work does pay off, but in business you need teamwork, creativity and other things to work right not just hard. There is a difference between working hard, smart and right... Want to get the most out of your business? Sign-up for a dose of free business resources to scale your business...