A popular adage states: ‘hard work pays.’ Well, I am not writing this to dispute the wisdom of this saying. All I am saying is: smart work pays better than hard work. This is why managers in a construction firm for example gets paid astronomically higher wages than the labourers.
No one will dispute the fact that labourers do heavy, tiring physical work in the sun and the rain. Yet they get paid low wages, while the management get transported from their air-conditioned homes to their air-conditioned cars into their air-conditioned offices with fat pay cheques and allowances.
Managers, get high salaries and allowances for the strategic work they do, they ensure that the construction firm continues to get more and more projects that will ensure its continued existence and profitability thereby ensuring high return on investment for the firm’s shareholders.
This principle also applies to entry level professionals; let’s say we have two graduates called M1 and M2 who have just been employed as marketers of a new brand of mouthwash.
M1 goes into offices and tries all the selling techniques she knows to get people to buy the product. M2, the other marketer pays a visit to the Association of Dentists, gets their register of members and pays a visit to the dentists practicing in the city and makes phone calls to those practicing outside the city to inform them of the product, its qualities and the advantages of using it. She manages to get a sizeable number of dentists to buy the mouthwash and recommend it to their patients.
At the end of the month M1 sold 110 units while M2 sold 250 units. What happened? Its simple, M1 worked hard while M2 worked smart. By indirectly getting expert endorsement for the product, M2 was able to sell more than M1 who relied only on her selling skills and hard work.
In simple terms working hard can be linked to efficiency while working smart can be linked to effectiveness. Efficiency is defined as: doing things right while effectiveness is defined as doing the right thing.
Doing the right thing is by far better than doing things right. So if you want to be competitive and ahead of others learn to work smarter than everybody else.