work hard

Do not work hard! Step Four: THE ENTREPRENEUR

THE ROAD TO RICHES: A 10-step entrepreneur blueprint to wealth by Abdallah Abu Sheikh
Lesson 4

Do not work hard 

A big fallacy that this generation is suffering with the “ work hard “ scam. You hear it everywhere, if you work hard you will achieve your goals, if you put in more hours you will get to where you want to be, if you stay at the office longer you will get better results.

The fact of the matter is; financially speaking the people who do the hardest work are the people who get the least financial benefit out of it.

If you look at the division of labor in any organization or economy you will find that usually the people who work the hardest get paid the least, for example, if you look at how much a janitor gets paid compared to an analyst you will see that the analyst gets paid many times more, although the analyst is in a more comfortable position and does not usually have tasks as hard as the janitors.

And if you look at  how much an analyst is making compared to the CEO, the manager is in a more comfortable position yet is compensated better, the further up you go on the corporate ladder, it would seem the hard work is getting less and less.

This is so mostly because of what we call “leverage”. A janitors leverage is his physical capacity to clean, which is regardless of how many hours they put in, is still limited, you can only do so many floors or swipe so many windows and it is a job that virtually anybody can do.

As for analysts, their leverage is the analytical work that they do, which is more expansive, does not consume as much physical energy, but takes more skill to do, which increases their leverage but still puts them in a position where they have to do a lot of work – because the skill used can still be compensated easily.

As for CEOs and executives, they usually do not consume a lot of hours into working, instead they delegate many tasks – this is because at this level they have grown a unique set of skills that is difficult to compensate – and this gives them the highest leverage in the corporate structure.

Working smart is one of the trickiest and most confusing strategies of business, because it has not set formula and it consists of mastering many different aspects of a business.

A simple definition of working smart could be “ Finishing the task with the least amount of time, effort and at the lowest cost possible”. People who work smart invest in their skills, and grow them to the point where they can leverage their skills for financial gain, they build their networks in a way that they can use it to do the job in the most efficient way.

A smart person does not waste many hours in research while they can contact someone from their network who is a subject matter expert to save them the time and effort spent into research. For people who try to work smart, time is their most valuable asset.

A lot of people may confuse working smart for being lazy or not putting in enough hours, regardless of how skilled or smart you are, you will always need to put in the hours, that is the case of nature. Saying that, working smart always means working less; like saying ‘instead of having a kid with one woman and 9 months, you can have a kid using 9 women and 1 month’ it is completely absurd!

You will always need to put in the hours, but working smart is making sure you are putting in the hours in the right place as by only working hard, its just like you are driving a 300 km/h car, and if you are driving it in the wrong lane, you will end up getting to the wrong place very fast. Working smart is knowing how to choose the lane that will get you to your goal the fastest.

Nowadays, people use the phrase “ workaholics” for people who work hard and spend countless hours in the job, which had been used as a positive connotation of hard work. According to Jason Fried,  workaholics miss the point too, they try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them, they try to make up for intellectual laziness by using brute force, and they usually come up with inelegant solutions. This may lead to a crisis, because people stop looking for ways to be more efficient and start trying to compete over who works more.

Workaholics get the sense that they are the heroes of the organization, and that is wrong, the real hero is already home having dinner with their family because they found a faster and more efficient solution to the problem.

This is the age of speed and efficiency, machines can work harder than us and that is a fact of life, so people who build their leverage on how hard they can work will soon be out of hard work to do.

Comparing smart work to hard work is like comparing mail to E-mail , or horse to car; one is tiring, difficult to do, and takes a lot of time, the other one is easier, more efficient, and swifter to do.

Make sure you do not fall for the scam of hard work, always work smart.

Managing Director
LUX Enterprises