Go Hard…Go Smart
It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.Lena Horne
I’m always faced with this choice every day of work, Go Hard or Go Smart.
Going hard means working hard and tirelessly at everything, going smart means taking time to figure out the most efficient way to carry out a task, or if that task needs to be done at all.
As I expanded my business (Mactavis) and I was also involved in building another startup (Wolfparc). It became obvious to me that working hard was an exercise in futility.
Instead, I started asking myself some important questions; what tasks produce the most significant results; what tasks absolutely need to be done by me; what tasks can I outsource or automate; what tasks can I stop doing entirely.
Asking myself these questions really reduced my workload, yet produced much better results. For example, instead of inspecting products we built at every stage. I hired and trained Quality Assurance Testers, this freed me up to focus more on sales, which helped grow the business. Instead of being so involved in a project at hand, I gave more responsibility to staff, hired managers and instead planned how we can handle multiple projects at any given time by splitting the staff into teams.
I started working smarter and the results were outstanding; my revenues grew, my staff numbers grew, my number and quality of clients grew.
In my personal life, I also started looking for ways to optimize my time and energy. I realized even though I love to cook, I spent so much of my time cooking, that it was taking the joy out of it and becoming a chore. The most annoying part is, it was taking precious work hours away from me. So, I hired a maid. I suddenly had more time to work, read, relax, go out etc. and my overall quality of life became better. What I paid my maid in a month, I probably made in a few hours anyways so it was a good trade-off.
I’m still looking for ways to work smarter, to avoid burn-out, to improve my quality of life, and achieve better results. Being a leader, this is very crucial for me, cos I am responsible for the livelihood of scores of people and families.
I still ask myself the aforementioned questions, I still look for what can be delegated and what can be cut-off completely. e.g. I stopped providing a low-revenue service (newsletter creation), it took too much work and added very little income to the company. I also had to make the painful decision of cutting off some clients. We were working hard for them, but the smart thing was to free up that time to work on more productive projects/services.
Remember, the reward for work is more work. That is all the reason you need to work smart instead of hard. Smart work produces exponential results, hard work can sometimes just be unnecessary or less-productive exertion.
The best combo is to work hard at working smart.