Our time is short in this life to get done what needs to get done. That’s why we constantly think about what we can do better to achieve success in our field, to create a profitable business that we can pass on to our children or at least give them a better start than we had, to make the absolute best of our time.
And that is what this post is about—how to not only put in the hours, but to make sure all those hours are spent with clear intent and actually produce results.
Just working hard doesn’t get it.
There are a lot of inspiring people out there who are constantly telling you that there is no secret to achieving success, but that you just have to work relentlessly and consistently, every single day. They are definitely not wrong; however, there is more to it because all those hours of work have to be spent effectively.
What does that mean, exactly? Take, for example, a chef who wants to own his own restaurant and knows that he (or she) will have to fight for some time to get to that point. Imagine that all he does is constantly practice cooking (not a bad thing), talk to other chefs, and save whatever money he makes at work every day.
Though all of his labor is in the right direction, he may not ever close in on his dream at that rate. Every minute he can spare has to be spent pushing towards owning his restaurant, which will entail much more than practicing cooking.
What is your work doing for you?
Here’s the point: Just putting in work during every free minute that you have will definitely be helpful, but a very important question that we all have to ask in our pursuits is: What is the “work” that you’re actually doing for all of those hours—what does it consist of?
So, you have a vision of opening a startup, and as soon as you clock out from your day-job, you go home and work on your future startup.
Consider what you’re doing during that time, and assess for yourself just how effective whatever you’re doing is, towards realizing your goal. Are you reading articles about how to maximize revenue? How to manage multiple employees? Talking to people on Facebook about running a small business? That may not be the best use of your time.
Pack the hours densely with effectiveness.
Every entrepreneur’s situation is different, but that time is probably better spent focusing on things like researching what your market desperately needs and how to satisfy that need; figuring out exactly how much it is going to cost you over the next 3, 4, or 5 years to sustain the business; finding the best method to maximize exposure for your business, whether it’s email marketing, online influencers, or content marketing—and things of that nature.
You can’t be intoxicated by the dream and ignore the essential tasks, without which no business can even get off the ground.