Work Smarter Not Harder: You’ve Been Lied To About Business Growth

Work Smarter Not Harder

If you’re reading this, you must be intrigued by the idea of learning how to grow your business even faster by taking MORE time off.  I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely possible, and easier than you might think. 

But you have to un-learn some things you have been taught…or dare I say, that you have been brainwashed into thinking in the North American business culture.

Somehow, it has been a longstanding principle that working harder is the only way to get ahead…That you have to “grind, grind, grind” to reach that next goal…

…and that you are also somehow lazy if you take time for yourself to have fun or be creative during a work day.

There will always be an excuse and a reason for you to work 70-80 hours a week. And the only thing that will solve that excuse is when you’re in the hospital. And when you can no long work due to exhaustion, or due to sickness, right?

So be honest with yourself. Unless something happens to change this, you’re simply not going to change it on your own. 

Here’s the problem we face as entrepreneurs…  We typically work really, really hard because that’s how we get our self-worth. That’s our value, that’s our identity. We’re producers, we’re creators. We get shit done, right?

And then guess what happens when we no longer work that hard? We question our own validity, our own value on this earth. Literally, our identity is so wrapped up in hustling and working hard. 

Workaholism has become a noble outcome, a respected form of addiction.  That makes it very, very challenging to break the paradigm.

Because you’re enforcing this on yourself in your own brain, and society is enforcing it on you as well. That you’re somehow lazy, or that somehow you’re getting something that you shouldn’t get when you’re not working hard.

Everybody has linked “working” to “money”. You’re somehow doing something wrong if you work half as hard but make twice as much money. And that’s a big challenge.

The Greatest American Business Lie

The North American business culture has brainwashed us into thinking that you have to work all the time to succeed as an entrepreneur.  We’ve become addicted to “the grind” in our society, and our greatest leaders today keep propagating this idea. 

Grind, Grind Grind

The biggest lesson I want to convey is that working smarter is WAY better than working harder in almost every scenario. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s better to work smarter, versus harder?

We certainly think so, but our well-established business culture in North America and beyond seems to ignore that fact.

When something doesn’t make sense, have you ever thought to challenge the status quo to find a better way; even if it’s unpopular or uncomfortable, but you know there might be a better way to live and grow? The great news is you don’t have to because we already did and are excited to continue sharing the tools for creating your own lifestyle business.

But what is the Greatest American Business Lie? Take the likes of Elon Musk and the late Steve Jobs who are touted as the heroes in the entrepreneurial business world – from working all the time.

Here’s the problem with all that.  As long as business leaders like Elon Musk and the late Steve Jobs who are idolized by so many other business owners keep propagating that workaholism notion, it just makes it even harder for entrepreneurs to overcome the feeling of guilt if you aren’t working all the time – even if it is crazy to feel that way. 

And here’s what’s really SAD about all that brainwashing about working harder and harder to get to the next level.  That brainwashing doesn’t take into account any common sense about whether we are actually being effective with that work or not. 

And that brainwashing doesn’t build in any accountability or incentive for us to work smarter, instead of harder. It just keeps us in the mode of relying on harder work, on giving up evenings and weekends to pick up the slack – and everything that just keeps us from actually thinking effectively and focusing on results.

And honestly, that’s what really keeps people from making this change.  They’re so scared of this new way of working and what other people will think that they won’t do it. Some people are scared of failure. We’ve found in our studies, that entrepreneurs tend to be more scared of success than failure because they know what the grind is like. They know what to expect there. It’s predictable. 

And somehow, it feels comfortable in its predictability. But unfortunately, some people never change, and then they die. Or the only other people that change typically, are those that have a catastrophe that forces them to change. We want to prevent that catastrophe.

Ask yourself these questions:

Does it require a catastrophe for you to change?

And wouldn’t you be open to changing before the
catastrophe hits if we can truly show you a better way?

There are other countries who have different belief systems about work and tend to have much happier people.  For example, studies have shown that regions of the world like Scandinavia value quality of life more than they value number of hours worked.  Credible research shows that Scandinavia has some of the longest living and happiest people on the planet. 

But in the North American business culture, working harder is pretty much all we’ve ever known, which has created the business culture of GRIND, GRIND, GRIND that we covered earlier.

The problem is that we have been brainwashed into thinking that the ONLY way to grow a business and make a difference in the world is to work harder.

It’s simply not true. Look at Melitta Bentz, a housewife in Minden Germany, who invented the coffee filter and drip coffee in 1908. Melitta was searching for a way to make a cleaner cup of coffee, so she punched holes in a brass pot and used a piece of paper to create a two-part filtration system. She then put the pot on a cup, filled it with ground coffee and poured in hot water. In that one
moment, the coffee filter and drip coffee were born.

Now, more than 100 years later, we all benefit from Melitta Bentz’s original idea each time we enjoy a cup of coffee produced from pour-over and drip coffee processes. What I find equally impressive about Melitta is that she also believed in the importance of work-life balance
and provided her employees with a 5-day work week, up to three weeks of vacation per year, and a Christmas bonus. These were all quite rare in the early 1900’s.

As another example, the former President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt expanded the powers of the President and our government with “deep work” that he performed from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, while pursuing personal interests after 4:30 pm. President Roosevelt was responsible for pioneering some of the greatest advancements in government services for the people, and even won the Nobel Peace Prize.

And then there’s the world-renowned painter Leonardo da Vinci, who lived from 1452-1519 in Europe. He is often
quoted as having told one of his employers: 

Leonardo da Vinci Quote

It has been recorded in various historical journals that da Vinci would often work on a painting for 12-14 hours a day for a few days, and then take 3-4 days off to think. It is clear that da Vinci placed a high value on having time to think. As another example, during his painting of The Last Supper, da Vinci is reported to have stared at the painting for an hour, making a single stroke and then leaving for the day. It is undeniable that da Vinci’s works such as the The Last Supper and Mona Lisa have reached iconic status and that he is regarded as one of the greatest painters of all time.

Why is it that we never seem to hear our current business leaders modeling after the likes of the Melitta Bentz, President Roosevelt, or Leonardo da Vinci? It’s because the brainwashing runs so deep. It’s become a cultural norm. It’s time to change all that. It’s time to start working smarter, not harder.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter, Not Harder laptop

But how? You have to learn how to turn down the volume on that nagging voice telling you to get back to work so you can’t hear it anymore. It won’t be easy due to the brainwashing we’ve talked about.

The normal tendency in this kind of environment is to just throw more labor or resources at a problem (either your own time or someone else’s). But this approach is flawed because it overlooks whether the action should even be taken at all.

Sometimes the better answer is to stop doing something and take a different approach instead, or to simply do nothing at all. But when we’re so caught up in the daily hustle, we often can’t see the forest for the trees. We may miss the obvious and simpler answer that is right under our noses.

Let’s look at some examples.

According to the Pareto Principle, 80 percent of your efforts generally only produce 20 percent of the results. The reverse is also said to be true where 20 percent of your efforts are generally what produce 80 percent of the results.

So, if you truly can produce 80 percent of the results with just 20 percent of the effort, why aren’t we doing that all the time?

It’s because of the brainwashing that “hard work” is better than “smart work.”

Have you ever noticed that if you give yourself a month to complete something, it will take a month, but if you only give yourself 2 days for that same project, you magically find a way to get it done in 2 days? That is Parkinson’s law at work.

This gives us the impression we can take as long as we need, and the result is that practically everything takes longer than it should.

And let’s not forget about the guilt. Oh, the brain-crushing guilt you feel — like you’re somehow lazy — if you’re not working all…the…time… After all, we have been taught that you have to hustle —to stay crazy busy to be successful. Somehow that has become a measuring stick for our success as entrepreneurs.

I’m calling bullshit on all of this right now.

It is absolutely crazy for you to feel guilty about working less hours if you are able to get the same results in 3 days as you used to do in 6. Yet we still do it.

Why?

Because of the problems mentioned before that all compound like a ton of crumbling bricks — where you simply just cave in and work more because of all the pressure.

You must learn to limit the amount of time you will spend on a company or project on purpose. This forces you to focus on the 20 percent of the effort that produces 80 percent of the results.

So how do we solve this problem and start working smarter, when the odds are so deeply against us – for all the reasons we’ve explained?

Well, you have to put constraints in place to force yourself to be more efficient. I call that forced hyper-efficiency.

Countdown Timer

One way to do this is limit the amount of time you are willing to work in your business, such as 3 or 4 days per week.

Forced hyper-efficiency helps you focus on what really matters most in your business when you start to limit the amount of time you decide you are willing to work. And by giving yourself the free time you have always wanted, you’ll find you’re enjoying life so much more that you will be motivated and learn to be more effective. One feeds the other.

In fact, forced hyper-efficiency and free time are just two sides to the same coin.

Ideally, a Freedom Day should be where you get to work on those Someday Maybes you identified in Chapter 1. You can also use your Freedom Days for business creativity, pursuing your other hobbies, just living life, and giving yourself more time to think.

It turns out that there is a double benefit to this approach:

1.      You become great at prioritizing and finishing the critical few projects that really mattered, while ignoring or delegating everything else. This hyper-efficiency is something that most people only experience right before leaving on vacation.

2.      Because of the Tuesday and Thursday free time you carve out, each week starts to have so much joy, that life begins to feel like a perpetual vacation.

Those two principles are what led me to the name,The Vacation Effect®”

Have you ever noticed that when you get ready to go on vacation, you get as much done in the 2 days right before you leave as you normally do in like a month? Why is that? It’s because you know that you won’t be available due to the vacation, so you force yourself to focus on what matters most.

By adopting the freedom mindset and working fewer days (such as 3 or 4), you will force yourself to be hyper-efficient when you do work.

It compels you to look for the least effort that can produce the greatest results.

Busy entrepreneurs who are accustomed to working 70-80 hours per week can also enjoy living “The Vacation Effect Lifestyle™.” It’s not just some pie in the sky way of life that can only work for some. 

Vacation Effect beach scene

It can work for you too, even during the ups and downs of life and business.

But you have to be willing to do things differently than you have in the past. You have to be willing to challenge the “grind, grind, grind” mentality that is so prevalent in our society today.

You have to be willing to stand for the principle that working smarter is better than harder, and there is nothing to feel guilty about if you get the same results in 3 days as you used to do in 6.

If you are willing to be bold and experiment with the principles learned about thus far, we are confident you can find your own hyper-efficient sweet spot that will work best for you.

There is something truly magical that happens when you give yourself more free time and creative space. You’ll bring so much more joy to your work because you’ll always have something fun to look forward to each week.

You’ll also get more done in less time than before due to the forced hyper-efficiency of limiting the time you spend working IN the business.

The chapters that follow will give you several strategies you can use to make a reduced work schedule your new way of life, so you can have the freedom you deserve.

In Chapter 1, you will explore the true meaning of business freedom and how to create it in your own life for what really matters.

In Chapter 2, you will learn the principle of work smarter not harder.  You have been lied to about business growth in the past and will be shocked once you discover the truth.

In Chapter 3, you will discover 12 different growth hacks that lifestyle entrepreneurs use daily.  You can use these growth hacks yourself for faster growth and a better life.

In Chapter 4, your will learn how to achieve business growth by removing from your “to-do” list, not adding to it.  This principle is called “Growth by Subtraction”, and when done correctly, it leads to “multiplication”.

In Chapter 5, you will discover several ways to use time hacking to double your productivity.  Are you ready to “Get Shit Done” faster than you ever imagined?

In Chapter 6, you will unlock the closely held secrets to leveraging entrepreneur groups for fast business growth.  This strategy can skyrocket your growth.

In Chapter 7, you will learn all about delegating tasks effectively. Hint: Most business owners do this totally wrong.

In Chapter 8, discover how you can create a 4 day work week for yourself that is sustainable long term.  It’s easier to accomplish than you might think.

In Chapter 9, you’ll learn the recommended next steps for creating the freedom lifestyle that you deserve.  You’ll also learn the best resources (including a business growth coach) to support you in this process.

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