30 June 2021

The road to business success entails many things other than tenacious efforts

In almost all aspects of life, we always hear about the importance of hard work. There’s no denying its importance in achieving your goals. Hard work is usually what separates someone from those who are not willing to exert extra effort to get what they want.

But as it has been proven countless times, hard work isn’t enough to attain success, especially in the dynamic and evolving world of business.

Remember this: when people tell you that the reason they’ve become successful is hard work alone, they’re not being completely truthful. Certainly, there’s a lot more that has taken place, and while hard work is a major factor, that’s not the entire story.

You can be productive regardless of whether you’re working hard or not

You may exert yourself in any number of ways while doing your job, but it won’t necessarily get you closer to your goals just because you’re ‘working hard’. Even business owners are sometimes tempted to try to accomplish as much as they can in a day and push themselves to the limit. But just because they’re working hard, they automatically equate that to productivity.

Sometimes you end up wasting time and energy working on something you could have delegated to someone else. In that case, you were not productive, even though you worked hard. You could have used that time and energy to work on something more important.

You can’t force yourself to come up with business ideas through hard work

For most — if not all — business owners, good ideas come as random, unpredictable strokes of inspiration that they pursue and develop later on. You can’t summon brilliant thinking no matter how hard you work, and if you try, it’ll probably drive you mad. These rare moments of mental breakthroughs usually determine the fate of a business, because everything that would follow will be revolving around that good idea. It’s something that does or doesn’t happen, and hard work has nothing to do with it.

Hard work may keep you from having a healthy body and mind

Work too hard can have detrimental effects, and it’s going to catch up with you. The more you stress out your body, the less productive and effective you become. Make no mistake: it will wear you out. Sometimes hard work can do more harm than good, especially if you refuse to believe that there are other ways to be productive: you can leverage automation, or you can rely on your team and learn how to delegate tasks. That way, you can allocate more focus and energy on the thing that really matters — growing your business.

Work smart instead of working hard

One can always spend countless hours working on something or solving a problem, but there’s a hard limit to this ‘brute force’ approach. There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes, you need to be creative enough to find alternative routes and maximising those hours. Why spend 12 hours when somebody else can do it in half the time and produce similar results? Unfortunately, hard work does not yield creativity.

We all need help

There’s honor in wanting to work hard for your business, and that’s admirable. But working hard alone will not guarantee results, and you have to open yourself up to more opportunities to reach your goals other than just ‘having a go at it with all your might’. Trust the people around you and develop that thirst for personal development so you can be more effective as a leader without burning yourself out.

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