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The Difference Between Working Hard and “Making Things Hard”


This week’s question from our portal “Ask Us Anything” comes from Natalia.

I listened to your podcast about the metaphor of the farm. On a farm, you till the soil, work the land, then reap the harvest. You mentioned that the issue many of us have in business is that we’re trying to “reap” and “sow” at the same time, all at once.

You also mentioned that when we’re starting a business or offering a new service, we have to put in a lot of hard work in the beginning. But then we’re also taught the concept of “not working hard.” I’m a little confused by that.

No—you’ve never been taught the concept of not working hard. You’ve been taught the concept of “not making it hard.”

I’ve never said hard work isn’t a good thing. I’ve said the opposite. Hard work, diligent work, is absolutely necessary. 

What we DON’T want to do is make it hard. Those are two very different things.

Hard work is about the intention of your focus and how much energy you’re going to put into something.

“Making it hard” is a viewpoint where you take the simplicity that’s in front of you—and you complicate it in order to re-establish your idea of your personal worth around whatever it is that you’re creating.

For example, if you’re trying to make $50,000 a month but, deep down, you don’t believe you’re worth that amount, you’ll make it hard to hit that goal.

Many years ago, I had an intention to go from making $50,000 a year to $50,000 a month. I talked to my mentor about it. He said, “David, it’s easier to do $50,000 a month than it is to do 50,000 a year.”

I was hearing the words, but I wasn’t really hearing him.

So, I set a goal to reach that number. The first month was awful. Nothing changed. I was like, “What the hell?…Okay, I’ll go back and do it again.”

Second month…same. My mentor said the same thing to me: “David, it’s easier to do $50,000 a month than it is to do $50,000 a year.”

By the end of the second month, I was in the same damn place again. I was like, “I don’t understand why I’m not making any progress.”

Then I had this conversation with him. He pushed me a little bit more and I realized, “I’m making it hard by my strategic approach of how I’m doing this.”

I changed my strategy. I started to think to myself: “How can I make the strategy easy? What would this look like if it was the easiest it could be?”

…The answer was, “One client.”

“One client at $50,000—right now.”

I didn’t believe I could do that, at the time. But I DID think I could do $15,000. And I got that done in two weeks.

It was unbelievably easy. Everything about it was easy. Raising the price was easy. People said “yes” faster. I got better clients.

So, ask yourself, “What is my strategy? Am I making this more difficult than it needs to be?”

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 2 ways we can help you grow YOUR business:

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