Hard Work Doesn’t Matter Anymore

It isn’t how hard you work, it’s can you get things done on time

Thomas Plummer
Sep 29, 2019 · 4 min read
By People Images on iStock (image licensed by author)

Work hard and you can become anything you want may be the biggest lie you were taught in your younger days.

We are taught hard work outplays talent, and that work ethic, always explained as longer hours, getting up earlier, staying later, making more calls, and exchanging your life for your work, determines how successful you will be in life.

You have been told about work ethic your entire life by teachers, who repeat these dated words of wisdom, by parents who have told you hard work beats talent every time, by athletic coaches who expect you work until you collapse in a smoldering pile on the practice field or by well-meaning friends struggling alongside of you.

The modern truth in life and business isn’t how hard you work, it’s can you get things done on time, professionally, and without the drama?

We talk about outworking every other human. We talk about work ethic and your willingness to work yourself to death to get what you want. We talk about your unique ability to sleep four hours a night and work until you collapse — and then doing it all over again tomorrow.

None of that matters much is a world where everyone is willing to die face down on a desk proving he or she can outlast any competitor, or co-worker, and where the current culture in small business is that struggling is a noble virtue and your success is sometimes viewed as false if you didn’t have to pay your dues.

Work ethic in today’s business world is often confused with loyalty to the company. We are afraid to turn off a phone to be with our significant person for a dinner in case the boss calls.

We are compelled to answer every work email or text now, immediately, no matter what hour of the day it is. We are never disconnected from our work and a workweek defined as 40 hours in now endless. And vacations? Vacations are what you do when you don’t care if you lose your job.

Working for yourself is really no different. We start a new personal business, such as dedicating ourselves to writing full time, or maybe content development, believing that the longer we work, the more we write, the faster we respond replaces the quality of our work.

People willing to put in the hours is much too common these days. People who can make a difference in my business by accepting responsibility for a task and getting it done efficiently, and in a timely manner, is one of the rarest of employees in the workforce in today’s market.

Want to impress a potential employer or are you up for a promotion? Tell them you can take a project, and get it done, and take full responsibility to see it will get done. We spend too much time talking about the type of work we do and too little about our ability to stand out from the rest by accepting responsibility and getting a job done as needed.

It doesn’t matter how many hours you put into a job and working until you drop is a badge of honor from your grandfather’s day. What does matter is what you get done in the hours you do work.

Do you want to build a personal brand worth bragging about in your career? Brag about your effectiveness under fire and stress. Brag about your ability to hire a good team that gets it done every day. Brag about your ability to take a few days off, but still be the go-to person everyone turns to when they need professional work done timely and as promised.

The only thing that matters is effectiveness. There are a lot of people out there working 70 hours a week and are still struggling every day in their life and business.

If there is a secret in business, it is do what you promise, get the work done on time, and use your time efficiently and effectively day after day; and most importantly, learn that all work isn’t created equal. Be effective at choosing what will make you money, and let go of the busy work that drains your life, but matters little to your future.

Busy is busy, but effective is what determines your long-term success in life, and effectiveness is your ability to get what needs to be done every single day.

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Thomas Plummer

Written by

A simple life dedicated to leaving the world a little better than I found it. Long career in the business of fitness, writer of books, speaker, personal coach.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

Thomas Plummer

Written by

A simple life dedicated to leaving the world a little better than I found it. Long career in the business of fitness, writer of books, speaker, personal coach.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

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