Why Hard Work DOESN'T Pay In Business

26 replies
Hi,

I don't want to brag but I've accomplished quite a few significant things in the last ten years. I won't go into detail because honestly, you don't care and you shouldn't give a damn about what I've did.

However, even if my results were impressive, a few weeks ago, I've understood that everything I've done, everything I've accomplished, could have been done in far less time. Everything I've accomplished in ten years could have been done in as little as 2 - 3 years.

Why?

Because no matter how I look at it, the signal vs noise ratio is about the same 20 - 80%. This means that 20% of what I've done lead to 80% of the results.

Here are a few examples:
- 20% of the books that I've read comprise of 80% of the knowledge and wisdom I have now.
- 20% of the people I've meet contributed 80% to my success.
- 20% of the things I've done lead to 80% of my happiness.

In some case, the ratio is even higher, with 10 - 90% or even 5 - 95%.

Or to put it simply, Pareto, the power law in statistical distribution WORKS. It is one of those curiosity in nature that is hard to explain but it is as valid as gravity or as our desire to feel important. It is hard to find any example where a few events did not lead to most of the outcomes in any system.

And this leads me to the second point.

In all truth and honesty, you don't need to work 80 hours a week. Movement does not actually equal results. You need to do those things that help you actually accomplish your goal. Hard work was NEVER the goal. Accomplishing your goals was the always the focus.

I've tried 100 hour workweeks. I've tried 20 hour workweeks. I've tried 50 hour workweeks. At the end of the day, about 20 - 30% actually matters and the rest is just movement for the sake of movement. This is especially true when you move past the 40 hour / week mark.

Life is not Super Mario Bros.

You don't compete for the score. Working 100 hours a week won't actually give you a prize. How much you work, in all fairness, is not even relevant. What's relevant if you do the right things, right. This means if you say YES to what matters, NO to what doesn't and you complete the things you said YES to at a reasonable degree.

In the self-help world, the idea of HUSTLING is very popular.

Don't sleep.
Work hard.
Don't take breaks.
Work as much as you can.
Fall asleep in front of your desk.

And I'm asking you for WHAT?

It won't make you happy but let's not talk about happiness here but rather, if it actually works. After a point, you enter marginal territory no matter what. Your efficiency decreases dramatically after a threshold. It is like in the gym. Training for two hours instead of one won't actually make you twice as fit. It will make you twice as likely to injure yourself.

So it is with Internet Marketing. You don't need to write 50 blog posts that nobody will read but one that will get shared, featured and distributed everywhere. You don't need to spend 50 hours researching something while having YouTube in the background but actually pay attention, focus, look in the right places and get it done in five hours.

Movement was never the goal and I feel that this is the cancer of the self-help community nowadays. Everyone says the same thing "work hard, hustle, put in the effort" and while it is a good advice, it is missing two key ingredients.

Work hard on WHAT and HOW?

Again, you're not in Super Mario. You're not going to get an extra life if you get 100.000 points. Real life doesn't work this way. In real life you don't give a damn about the mushrooms and about the gold stars. Instead, you take a bus, you go to the princess, you save her and you marry her. Yet, no matter where you look, there is someone shouting that you must work HARD, HARD, HARD ... while ignoring the fact that HARD is defined ONLY by the required amount to achieve a goal and that working hard on the wrong thing is worse than not working at all.

Not everything in life can be reduced to 20%. However, chances are that whatever you are doing right now, you could be doing it a lot better by STOPPING many things, by saying NO, by IGNORING the things that are not important and by FOCUSING on those that are.

You know what I do?

I start my day with a morning ritual. In this ritual I journal, I eat, I exercise. I prime myself for success. Then I set only TWO MVPs (most vital priorities) or the most important, the most critical things I could actually work on at this point in my life. These are the crop of the crop, the things that will make the most impact. In total, these take about 2 - 3 hours a day. Sometimes it can take 5 - 6 hours but just yesterday, I've planned six hours for a project and I've finished it in 15 minutes.

How come?

I've just found someone who have done it before me and provided the exact answers I was looking for.

Then I study for one hour and again, exercise. I finish my day with my evening ritual.

And you want to know what's the best part from this?

My life is BETTER, from virtually all points of view (lower stress, better work results, happier, etc) than when I was working eight hours a day for a total of about 50 - 55 hours a week. It is BETTER than when I was waking up at 05:00, going downstairs, buying myself a coffee and working for four hours straight before even having breakfast.

So don't glamorize hard work so much. If there is a way available to get something in 20 minutes for 80% of the quality, as opposed to spending 3 hours for 100% of the quality, go for the first one. Marginal returns never pay a good return on your investment.

Plus, it is not only about marginal returns but also about downside in general. You're far more likely to screw things up after eight hours of work, when you're hungry and ruin your 100 hours of work than you're likely after going for a 5 kilometer run and you feel like a million bucks.

Take care and good luck. I've wrote this because I want you to succeed.
#business #hard #pay #work
  • Profile picture of the author SocialMediaseoGO
    Hi, I don't want to brag, but look at all these amazing things I've done... And if you pay me money I will screw you over too. Classic*
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    • Well, based on how much toxicity is here on Warrior Forum, I wouldn't blame you to think this. I would think the same thing. Everything and everyone seem to have an agenda. So you can believe this but if you read the essence of it carefully, there's actually a valuable lesson there.

      Thank you for your comment
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Hi,

    I don't want to brag but I've accomplished quite a few significant things in the last ten years. I won't go into detail because honestly, you don't care and you shouldn't give a damn about what I've did.

    However, even if my results were impressive, a few weeks ago, I've understood that everything I've done, everything I've accomplished, could have been done in far less time. Everything I've accomplished in ten years could have been done in as little as 2 - 3 years.

    Why?

    Because no matter how I look at it, the signal vs noise ratio is about the same 20 - 80%. This means that 20% of what I've done lead to 80% of the results.

    Take care and good luck. I've wrote this because I want you to succeed.
    True, l had to learn some truths about my flyer business, in order to be as productive as possible.

    A bit silly doing one every three days, when l could dramatically reduce that by being lazer focused, and thinking critically.

    Been online for 9 years and will be semi retired by the tenth.

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    • Indeed.

      Are you applying the 20 - 80 distribution now? Have you've discovered the things that do actually matter?
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  • Profile picture of the author repusurance
    So true...productivity doesn't mean working long hours. If the work can be done in less time, than go for it. Don't brag about it.

    If you just seat in front of the system more than needed, you will not be focused. Finish in time and manage the time and work smart are the keys to go ahead.
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    • Thank you.

      It is not about bragging about it. It is about fixing this entire mindset that you need to kill yourself in front of a desk to succeed.

      I've done this for a long time (and I'm not in a way in the IM field) and now I've realized that from 10 things, if I stop doing the eight that don't matter and focus on doing the two that matters properly, I can actually get more done and I can live a healthier and better life.

      The 20 - 80 rule may be one of the most important rules in life, don't you think?
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

        Thank you.

        It is not about bragging about it. It is about fixing this entire mindset that you need to kill yourself in front of a desk to succeed.

        I've done this for a long time (and I'm not in a way in the IM field) and now I've realized that from 10 things, if I stop doing the eight that don't matter and focus on doing the two that matters properly, I can actually get more done and I can live a healthier and better life.

        The 20 - 80 rule may be one of the most important rules in life, don't you think?
        i agree with much of what you say ..most people do the opposite and take resources from the best two and put more effort into trying to get the worst two to work ..

        at some point you do have to work your ass off ..but it is horrible life and business design to have to work your ass off every day for years ..

        so i think the extension of the 80/20 rule ..would be do 20 things then cut out the 16 things that don't work look at the 4 things that do then add 20 more things that are close to those 4 that work.. and after a time take the 24 things you are doing ancull it down again

        to get the best production from trees or vines a farmer or orchardist or gardener .. need to prune at least every year
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      • Profile picture of the author repusurance
        Yes, fixing the entire mindset of the people so that the manage the time and work effectively, that leads to a healthy and beautiful life.

        I believe there should be a satisfaction, how we are leading the life and work. If we are focusing on less and doing accurately, it will give more results rather than focusing on two many things and not accomplishing any thing.

        So focus on what exactly needed, manage the time, give yourself to grow.
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Well, based on how much toxicity is here on Warrior Forum, I wouldn't blame you to think this. I would think the same thing. Everything and everyone seem to have an agenda. So you can believe this but if you read the essence of it carefully, there's actually a valuable lesson there.

    Thank you for your comment
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Indeed.

    Are you applying the 20 - 80 distribution now? Have you've discovered the things that do actually matter?
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Thank you.

    It is not about bragging about it. It is about fixing this entire mindset that you need to kill yourself in front of a desk to succeed.

    I've done this for a long time (and I'm not in a way in the IM field) and now I've realized that from 10 things, if I stop doing the eight that don't matter and focus on doing the two that matters properly, I can actually get more done and I can live a healthier and better life.

    The 20 - 80 rule may be one of the most important rules in life, don't you think?
    Hey, 21st there is a great new tool here, it is called the Multiquote.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kes Writes
    You hit the nail on the head. Most of us have heard about Pareto principle. But the problem is you will have to work 100% before been able to decipher which of the 20% work gave you the 80% result you wanted.
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Originally Posted by Kes Writes View Post

      You hit the nail on the head. Most of us have heard about Pareto principle. But the problem is you will have to work 100% before been able to decipher which of the 20% work gave you the 80% result you wanted.
      There is also the Sisyphus effect.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus

      But in business this story has been changed so, someone in business, has a huge learning curve or task to get a huge bolder up a hill, but once over the tipping point, your income will skyrocket.

      That is apparently true for most businesses, become 100% competent, and you will make money faster than you ever have.

      Or another way of putting it, is know your business so well,that you can find advantages that most people cannot.

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      • Well, I remember when I was going to the gym.

        I've exercised for a long time on my own. I had decent results but most of the time, I just tired myself.

        Then I've got a personal trainer. In just a few weeks, I was lifting more than ever. He knew exactly what I need to do and what I don't need to do.

        That 20% can be found through coaching, mentoring and even through education. Now, I know that the word "mentoring" has such a bad connotation here on Warrior Forum simply because it means "pay me a lot of money to teach you common sense".

        However, in my case, mentors were real friends, successful friends, that were not in the coaching business and taught me because they liked me and wanted me to succeed. This is what I consider a real mentorship, not training for sale but rather, a successful person training a successor of kinds.

        I think that we as people like to make things harder than they are. There is an obvious line from A to B and yet, we usually do anything but that. Take relationships (romantic) for example. They are simple. There are five things you need to do. And yet, we make it damn complicated, like it is rocket science.

        It doesn't need to be hard. Internet Marketing is not quantum physics. Some of the most successful people I know read a lot less than me and know a lot less than me. Sometimes, to my shame, I feel a sense of arrogance of how I know a lot more than them. But the joke is not on them, it is on me.

        It is on me because even if they know 10% of what I know, they know the right 10% and make more money, have a lot more free time and generally, have tons of better results.
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  • Profile picture of the author oppyeaunome
    I read this post and this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I'm of the same mind of hustling hard and working nonstop. I've only come to realize that it leaves me feeling stressed out more and with more anxiety.

    Now I've tried to balance my life better and actually work on the things that do matter. Doing this has helped me to get more done.

    This was a great post and definitely something I needed to hear.
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    • I'm happy to hear this.

      As you know - it's not easy. There is a voice inside our heads that say "must do more, must do more, must answer this email, must read this book, must ... must ... must".

      And it is completely counter-productive.

      For example, I used to read 52 books per year, about one per week. I used to finish one and start another without even reflecting on what I've learned.

      In any given book, let's say X, there were ten strategies I could have used. But no. I had my GoodReads goal so I just started another one. At the end of the year, my mind was a mess, full of half theories and general concepts, but few specific "do this, get that" statements.

      Or it is like doing push-ups. You do 50 push-ups but you do them the wrong way and you get no benefit whatsoever but sore arms. Yet, you take great pride in doing those 50 push-ups.

      Now, I'm not saying "don't work, be a lazy *******". I'm just saying "be strategic in how you approach work". Don't work for work sake as I've done this long enough to know that this s*it doesn't work. Instead, work to actually get something done.

      This is true not only in IM but in everything in life.

      Cleaning dishes? Actually clean the damn dishes and then be done with it instead of spending two hours in an apathetic state. Are you reading? Put that marker on the page and underline everything you find good, take notes, as two hours actively reading make up for 20 hours of just flipping pages.

      Writing that business plan? Stop checking Facebook, stop editing fonts, stop editing the grammar and write that business plan.

      I'm really happy you've discovered this for yourself. I think too many people are struggling with the Protestant idea of "work hard because this is the secret to riches" and forget that hard work is just fuel. Where you head the car really matters. I can get to the city-hall from where I am by taking a 1.5 miles road or a 24 miles road, around the city. The same is valid with work.
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  • Profile picture of the author tunydaniel
    80 / 20 Rule!
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  • Profile picture of the author imagetypers
    Because Business includes other people who may not share your work ethics or have goal. So you have to be smart my friend.
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  • Profile picture of the author adcnet
    Appreciate some decent conversation.

    Those days are in the past. The days of hardwork we are living in a easy time to make an income.

    I'm 40 and have learnt a lot since I went online in 2001.

    Before the year 1995 I'd say most of society where brain washed in the work hard and life will be better mantra. It's not their fault schools, government, marketing all pushed the work hard and have a better life.

    I've been lucky I've havent worked since around 2000 as in manual labor I've used my Brian and Researched and researched and enjoyed learning.

    School for me was utter useless archaic with outdated drivel they teach you that I have never used.

    James Ultcher discusses this so well.

    I tend to drift from focusing on my 20% = money easy and then drift back to wasting time.

    Mostly though I use brain.fm research again and the end result after testing makes money not always but focus on what does not the noise in between.

    If I had a choice I wouldn't even work online or be constantly strapped to my mobile phone looking for ideas to make a passive income.

    If I had say 500k in the bank - where I live I'd be good for another 16,000 hours of life.

    Pure Vida
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Originally Posted by adcnet View Post

      Appreciate some decent conversation.

      Those days are in the past. The days of hardwork we are living in a easy time to make an income.

      I'm 40 and have learnt a lot since I went online in 2001.

      Before the year 1995 I'd say most of society where brain washed in the work hard and life will be better mantra. It's not their fault schools, government, marketing all pushed the work hard and have a better life.
      Yep, mass media and society did well with that, most work hard and if they survive, then p***s away what they have left and go on the pension. Then hope that they keel over before their house falls apart around them.

      Same with UFO,'s, scare the crap out of the masses, and they will keep clear of the subject.

      And medicine, lol, lambs to the slaughter is all l can say. Common sense walks out the door when, someone only believes in mass media.


      I've been lucky I've havent worked since around 2000 as in manual labor I've used my Brian and Researched and researched and enjoyed learning.

      School for me was utter useless archaic with outdated drivel they teach you that I have never used.

      James Ultcher discusses this so well.

      I tend to drift from focusing on my 20% = money easy and then drift back to wasting time.

      Mostly though I use brain.fm research again and the end result after testing makes money not always but focus on what does not the noise in between.

      If I had a choice I wouldn't even work online or be constantly strapped to my mobile phone looking for ideas to make a passive income.

      If I had say 500k in the bank - where I live I'd be good for another 16,000 hours of life.

      Pure Vida
      Yes, l am working very hard on my online business, and expect to be making a full wage by next year.

      A full wage as in, working a few hours a week, to maintain it, or get into the high bracket income level in a few years time.


      Big difference between someone who works hard for someone else, and makes a few thousand more a year in the next 3 years, and me that goes from zero to the top 3% income bracket in the same time.

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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Jocusol
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Because no matter how I look at it, the signal vs noise ratio is about the same 20 - 80%. This means that 20% of what I've done lead to 80% of the results.

    Here are a few examples:
    - 20% of the books that I've read comprise of 80% of the knowledge and wisdom I have now.
    - 20% of the people I've meet contributed 80% to my success.
    - 20% of the things I've done lead to 80% of my happiness.
    You definitely got me there when you mentioned the signal-to-noise concept!

    Overall, it all boils down to this: "Not everything matters". Quantity, then, is nothing compared to quality. I am a bookworm, although I seldom finish a book because most of the time halfway through it I get bored because I know already where the plot is heading to. But I read a lot. And I realized that not all of the books I've read contributed much to where I am now.

    It's a matter also of interest, goal, and point of view. The point of your destination is not influenced by the information you had in mind (through books). It's the other way around. The information you are feeding your brain is influenced by your interest or point of destination.

    As Einstein says, "not all the glitters are gold". He's right, some are silver, some are aluminum. Some are just reflectors -- that got their bright shiny light from the one true source of light.
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  • This is my 1st time commenting here, because I haven't got the time to stop my work to read content here on Warrior Forum. I came here thanks to the Newsletter.

    I must say that this is very true for our days. Working in today's marketplace is way harder than if you were working in the 90s. Now, you have to really know what you're doing to not waste any time and energy doing the wrong things because an economic crisis or another disruptive startup can change the board for you practically overnight.

    Also, people are working more for less money and it's killing us all. Everybody hates the corporate world nowadays and we are all seeking JUSTICE. This is why I agree with you here friend. We all need to work less and enjoy life more. And this is not just practical advice to a better living, but also a business advice because you really need to know where your efforts will explode your ROI.


    Nice post, looks like I'm going to enjoy reading things here.
    Take care
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  • Profile picture of the author Tahreem Saeed
    Hard work was NEVER the goal. Accomplishing your goals was the always the focus. Agree in this.
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    Creative Designer and Developer !

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  • Profile picture of the author Kingten
    Working Smart is what we do, By saying working smart i mean you should know what you are doing and how you going to do it,

    By knowing the things that gives you better results is the main key to working smart.
    When you know what to do & how to do it, then you can focus most of your time doing it,

    And also by not knowing what and how to do what you have to do is the other way to delayed success, and you'll spend most of your time doing stuff that are not important.

    The 80 / 20 Rule is always been correct,

    If you Hustle and you just Hustling with no direction, you are wasting your time,
    I like hard work and hustling but hustle on things that gives you the better results.
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  • Profile picture of the author cynthiaSEL
    Originally Posted by 21stCenturyCopywriting View Post

    Because no matter how I look at it, the signal vs noise ratio is about the same 20 - 80%. This means that 20% of what I've done lead to 80% of the results.
    Right! But you don't want to give up based on doing just a little bit, either. Because from the start to now, it's still true that 80% led to little and 20% led to the results... but ahead of experimenting, evaluating and re-evaluating, it's difficult to guess which actions will be in the 20% for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charlie Ashton
    Daft people work hard me thinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author rbarnhart1
    Has anyone here read Perry Marshall's 80/20 Sales and Marketing? Highly recommend this.
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