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Hard Work Doesn't Always Equal Success

By Jonathan R Taylor

Most of us, at some time in our lives have bought into the idea that hard work equals success. I would say that this is only partially correct. My grandfather worked very hard his entire life, but never saw great financial rewards. Success is ultimately determined by results, not by effort. Working smarter comes from a person's ability to leverage his time so that most of it is spent on the activities that matter most.

Many people who decide to start their own business think that their financial success will be measured by the number of hours they invest. Tell that to the 20 year old webmaster who earns 60k by investing 3 hours a day updating the site content for his e-business. If time audits were conducted in many companies, we would find that most workers do not spend a full 8 hour day doing productive work.

The problem is that many people have been conditioned to think of productivity in a time based economy instead of a results based economy. Jim Rohn puts it best when he says, "Don't mistake movement for achievement. It's easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?" Many first-time entrepreneurs spend much of their time organizing desks, filing paperwork, and shopping for office supplies. While these may be tasks that need to be done, they can be delegated or put off until a later time.

An important rule to keep in mind when being your own boss is the 80/20 rule - 80 percent of the results come from only 20 percent of a person's effort. In my experience in sales and running a business, I have learned the value of applying this principle. My wife - a tremendous gift from God - helps take care of many of the administrative details of our business that would take me away from meeting with clients.

Time is a precious commodity. Learn to use it wisely by working smarter. A helpful exercise is to spend one week logging your activities into a notebook. At the end of the week count up all of the hours you spent in non-productive activities. You might be surprised at how much time you can free up in your schedule. Or check out the book First Things First by Stephen Covey for more detailed advice.

About The Author
Jonathan R Taylor

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