It seems that we have gotten lazy. Maybe we have always been so. Don’t like the term lazy? How about …
- Satisfied with the status quo
- Lack of persistence
Take your pick. They will all lead to the same result and, if you are a salesperson whose income is at least partially predicated on performance, it’s a deadly state to be in. If you work on straight commission … you are already dead.
The only good news in all of this is that your competitors probably suffer from the same malaise as you do. Life is relative and, in this case, he who is, and is perceived as being the harder worker, all things being equal, will generally win.
Life may be relative while hard work is subjective. It can have many meanings that will be open to interpretation. You can …
- Work neither smarter nor harder.
- Work harder but not smarter.
- Work smarter but not harder.
- Work smarter and harder and on the right tasks.
I choose door #4. Hard work is important, but if you are banging your head against the wall doing stupid or non-effective things … you lose. Never confuse activity with productivity. Being smart about what you do and how you do it is great but every deal that I have been involved in also necessitates a certain level of elbow grease.
I will work smarter by …
- Focusing my efforts on finding the right people who I have the greatest chance of doing business with … my ideal client profile.
- I will work smarter by developing relationships with those who are in the best position to refer me to those who will meet my criteria.
- I will work smarter by creating opportunities where none exist instead of waiting for those to come to me.
I will work harder by putting 100% of my efforts into every opportunity. The chances of my competitor doing the same are generally slim. That being said, there are competitors out there, the really good ones, who will share my philosophy.
Let the games begin. One of us will end up in second place, but I want to be the last man standing. There is no shame in losing if you have done everything in your power to outwork, to outsmart, your competitor. If not, that’s a shame and you will be the one wearing it.