Work Hard or Work Smart?

work smart not hard

Several years ago, five to be exact, I had never heard the term “work smart.” I didn’t know the difference between working hard and working smart because working hard was all I knew how to do. If I needed more money the only thing I knew to do was to work more hours. If my current job didn’t allow me to work anymore hours than I was already working then I just had to get a second job. If that wasn’t enough to earn what I needed to earn then I started doing other income producing activities on the side, which took up more time. Trading hours for dollars was common and it’s what I became accustomed to.

Trading hours for dollars was common and it’s what I became accustomed to.

Five years ago I was working a full-time 8-5 job practicing law, running a CrossFit box before and after my full-time job, owned and operated an online fitness apparel company, and was also putting designs on clothing on sites like Zazzle and CafePress to earn some extra income. All of that lead to me working 18 hours a day. So I know what working hard and working a lot is, but working smart was not on my radar.

A lot of people who own businesses or make investments tend to look at the ROI (return on investment) before they put money into something. I was on the other end of the spectrum. I was working so hard because I didn’t have any money to begin with. The only thing I had to invest was my time. It wasn’t until 5 years ago when I was introduced to an opportunity that allowed me to earn a lot more money with a lot less time, which forced me to value my time more. Instead of spending several hours a week on my online apparel business, I decided to close that business; not because it wasn’t successful, it was actually very successful, but I made that decision because at that time I was earning nearly three times that amount with the same amount of time doing something else. I decided to spend my time where I would get the greatest return for my time investment.

When I understood that I began to look at all areas of my life where I was spending income producing time. The next thing on the chopping block was the CrossFit box. I LOVE LOVE LOVE training people! It’s a passion of mine, but I had debt to eliminate and a serious financial hole that I had to climb out of and CrossFit was taking up a lot of time out of my schedule, but wasn’t producing the income I needed. In my first month of this new opportunity I replaced what I made running the CrossFit box and several months later I walked away from training.

A couple months after that I met my wife. We got married and then 11 months later were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Needless to say I didn’t want to spend the majority of my time working and instead wanted to spend it with what mattered the most – my family. So I looked at what was taking up most of my time which was my full-time job. In my first year with my new business opportunity I nearly matched my salary practicing law and in my second year I nearly doubled it. So I didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize my time practicing law was worth less than half of my time building my business. In 2016 I walked away from that too.

I posted this question on social media earlier this week: “Would you rather work 8 hours at $10/hour ($80 in 8 hours) OR work 10 minutes and earn $80? (10 min. vs 8 hours for the same pay)”

Seems pretty simple, right? You’re probably thinking “I’d be a fool to work 7 hours and 50 minutes more than I need” yet people do it every day.

too busyThere are so many opportunities out there that produce a much higher ROI, but people either 1) Don’t know about them; 2) Know about them, but they talk themselves out of it without trying (this is the biggest one); or 3) Think they’re too busy to take on anything else (if this is you and you got to this point of this article then go back and read everything above again because you missed it).

The point of all this is that you don’t have to spend time away from the things you want to do or the people you want to be around and doing so is by your own choosing because now you know there’s an opportunity out there that’ll give you that time freedom – one where you can work smart and not hard. Be different than the “masses” because many times the “m” is silent. 😉

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