This week’s question from “Ask Us Anything” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.
My law firm became wildly successful. Our marketing worked really well, and we got called books every day. (We do a lot of Google advertising.) So, I got comfortable and opened another company. I stopped “trying hard,” and I started leveraging.
But now everything is collapsing in the law firm. Our marketing has completely tanked, after Google made a change. Colleagues said they were going to reduce their calls. So, I prompted MY marketing people to push harder.
We called our former clients, did various campaigns, worked more, but nothing seems to be happening. I feel like we’re using leverage—I’m putting more money, time, and effort into it to fix the issue. But everything just keeps falling flat. The effort is not producing results. Am I trying too hard? Am I not trying hard enough?
If you stop working diligently on your first business (the law firm) and take your finger off the pulse of what’s going on there, it could totally fall apart.
There’s a difference between hard work and diligent work.
In business, “hard work” can show up as:
- Not asking for help. E.g., you’re facing a problem and you’re trying to figure it out yourself—instead of asking for help from someone who knows how to solve that problem in five minutes
- Not wanting to spend money because you don’t think there’s enough to expand
I recommend the following exercise:
Look at all the areas in your life where you might be using “hard work” as a strategy. Examine each area and ask yourself:
“Am I still using ‘working harder’ as a strategy anywhere?”
Also, look for the areas of where leverage is. You can leverage people, time, money and ideas.
If you’re not leveraging, your approach is to “try harder.”
You mentioned that you prompted your team to “push harder.” There you go. That’s where you’re still using the “work hard” strategy.
Fixing your issue is not about working harder. It’s about identifying what’s NOT working, correcting it, and testing something new—until you find out what IS working.
Things like Google ads can change on the daily.
But now you’ve identified where you’re still using ‘hard work’ as a strategy.