Hard Work is Smart Work

I was recently working out in a hotel gym and had a great conversation with an attendee from a conference I spoke at.  As he departed he said, “don’t work too hard.”  I laughed and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t!”

I then proceeded to suffer through a super set of lunges and wall squats that left me gasping for air.  Guess what?  It was pretty hard work!

We’ve all heard the expression, “work smarter not harder.”  There’s a lot of truth to it. Sure, we need to work smart and avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary labor.  We need to leverage technology, utilize creative marketing strategies, partner with reliable vendors, and manage our schedules relentlessly. But at the end of the day, all things being equal, nothing beats hard work. It’s a trait that separates the successful from the survivors.

I have a personal acronym for WIN – “Work it Now!” Winners work.  They sweat. They sacrifice. They don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today.  Is that you?

Those who are willing to grind it out, put in the hours, make sacrifices, and out-sweat their competitors will eventually win. Period!  This is true in sales, operations, entrepreneurship and any facet of business.

Hard work is smart work!

When I was a fighter pilot, the best pilots I flew with weren’t always those with natural skills.  They were the ones who spent more time in the simulator, studied the training manuals, worked weekends, and constantly got coaching. They were relentlessly committed, and sacrificed more to become more.

Here’s one thing I eventually learned – the pilots others wanted to fly with (the “Top Guns”), were always the hardest workers.  They exemplified excellence through their work ethic, commitment, and passion for being the best.

This culture of performance permeated throughout our squadron.  It was contagious, because every fighter pilot  wanted to be a winner. It was in our DNA. We held each other to a higher standard and did not tolerate complacency or mediocrity.  We lived by the saying, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.” After all, our lives depended on our performance.

  • How’s the culture of your business squadron?
  • Are you emulating the work ethic, sacrifices, and commitment necessary to win?  (What about your teammates?)
  • Is your company’s performance affected by the above?

There will always be competitors (and peers) who will have more talent, charisma, and experience.  They may be smarter than you, but don’t let them work harder than you.

Never outsource effort. Push it up!