I was recently watching The Big Idea, as you know I love to do, and Donny had a guest on who was talking about making millions. In the course of the conversation they were discussing how some of the sayings that we use on a regular basis just don’t work when it comes to business-even if they are great for life in general.
One of the sayings was the old, “Work smart, not hard.”
I’ve always considered this a smart saying. Think about what you are doing and you won’t have to work as hard as if you run in headfirst without stopping to consider the consequences. No one wants to work really hard if they don’t have to.
I deal with my kids this way on a daily basis, or at least I try to. If I work smart, I feel like we have a better day, because I am able to get things done and have them get things done that they may not want to do but, when presented in a smart way, they don’t even get it.
I call broccoli trees so the girls will eat them.
I pack snacks when we head out the door so they don’t have a tantrum in the middle of Ralphs.
I make going to the store sound exciting by adding, “Afterwards we will stop at the park.”
Yet in business, is working smart really enough?
I’m beginning to think not.
I do try to work smart. I schedule my days in order of importance since I have limited time to work. I do the things that have to be done first, and then the things that have to be done next second, and, well, I’m sure you get the picture.
But working smart is not enough.
If I only worked smart, I would stop there. Then I would still have a list of twenty things left to get done.
In order to get everything done and to get ahead, I have to work hard, too, meaning I have to get up early, stay up late, and work during nap time. It means I have to wash the shower walls while taking a shower. That requires not only working smart, because I am combining tasks, but working hard, because even in the shower I don’t always get a break.
Working smart is great, but is it enough in business?
These first few years of business ownership have been tough. Not only do I work when I am working, but I work when I am driving in the car, taking a walk and running. My latest idea came to me in my sleep, in the form of a dream! So yes, I even work when I’m supposed to be resting.
While I understand the idea behind working smart and not hard, I believe the saying should be: Work smart and work hard, at least in the beginning.
In business this is the only way to get ahead. Maybe one day down the road, when everything is running smoothly, I’ll be able to stop working so hard and start just working smart.
For now, though, I believe I have to combine the two if I want to see any growth.