Working hard at working smart helps you create opportunities for yourself. That’s he key to success in a tight economic climate. Unfortunately many people, including recent college graduates, continue to make one huge mistake, and that’s waiting instead of creating opportunity. This dangerous strategy multiplies when you consider the majority of people around you is doing the same thing. Most people, no matter how educated or experienced, wait instead of developing the habit of someone who creates opportunities. Contrary to what most people hear, in this new economic reality working hard doesn’t always get the job – or the job done anymore, that includes finding opportunity.
The other school of thought advocates working smart. I agree with that philosophy to a degree, but working smart alone is limited in it’s scope as far as giving you the drive you’ll need to succeed. But the answer is to not just work hard or work smart, the answer is to work hard at working smart. That’s the key to success.
Working hard at working smart will help give you the best of both worlds, it’s what I call a double barrel benefit. When you work hard at working smart, you’re maximizing your potential to the fullest. You have all cylinders pumping and you’re doing it in the most efficient way possible.
Here’s 3 powerful examples. If you take them to heart and apply them, you’ll find yourself achieving your goals quicker and with less wear and tear.
I. Work Hard At Developing Intelligent Persistence
Persistence is behind every successful person. You can read story after story of great people who failed over and over again to reach success. People like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, even Bill Gates. These people and many others had the habit of starting at the point where others decide to quit. That’s call persistence.
But they had another quality most people overlook in additional to persistence. I call that intelligent persistence, when they failed they only saw and enjoyed the experience of getting closer to their goals. How? By learning from each failure. An example comes from Thomas Edison’s failures. He admitted to having recorded over 10,000 failures before successfully mastering the incandescent bulb. When reporters asked him how he was able to persist and keep trying after 10,000 failures. Edison replied in his calm manner by saying, ” now I know 10,000 ways it won’t work.” This attitude kept him going through all the failures, disappointments and frustrations until he succeeded. And developing intelligent persistence will do the same for you.
Here’s 3 tips to help you develop intelligent persistence.
1. Practice persisting in little ways each day.
2. Know when to adjust your goals. No goal should be written in stone.
3. Celebrate small successes or progress toward your goals, this will help keep you motivated.
II. Work Hard At Doing What Your Competition Doesn’t Like To Do
This is a powerful way to out smart your competition. One of the best ways to get an edge on your competition, make your boss notice you, or even gain a raise is to do what others hate to do. This is a quick way to separate yourself from the competition. All it requires is alertness and a positive work ethic. This one simple but powerful idea alone has personally won me more promotions, raises and sales than anything else I can think of. Why? Because most people will only do just enough to get by. Few people will take the time to observe what others around them don’t like to do and start doing it. So, whatever job or business you’re in, you’ll son discover you have little or no competition when you apply this door opening idea.
III. Work Hard At Being The Best At Something Within Your Specialty
This is a powerful technique that can help you leap frog over many competitors who try to be all things to all people. The key is to find an unmet, overlooked or ignored need of your target customers and master it. Make that a part of your brand or what you’re known for. To answer this question you may have to survey your customers.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of extra money. For example, you have the fastest response time, or you have the cleanest bathrooms,, or the friendliest employees. All these examples are small but can make a big difference, especially if you’re competitors are not doing it. Whatever it is, make sure you focus on being the best at it in your local area, type of business or industry. Again the key to this idea is finding something your target customers want that your competitors are not doing or not doing well.