Hard work is bullshit and if it feels like you’re working hard, you’re probably not interested in the thing you’re working on.
After starting Lawtrades, it took 3 years to cross our first million in sales.
This year, we got there in 2 months.
I reflected back to see what changed.
Did I work harder?
Finally achieve 10,000 hours of mastery?
Eat 1 meal a day?
I actually worked less hours.
Scheduled less meetings.
Turned off every notification on my phone.
And spent more time reading and thinking than ever before in my life.
People mistakenly equate hard work with results.
It’s why society is full of people who commit to “hard work” and still see no impact.
What they don’t realize is hard work is largely a reaction of fear and anxiety.
Here’s how it works:
You set out something you really want.
Then you introduce an intermediary step, in the way of you and that desire.
Now hard work and effort just became it’s own new game.
You start competing to work harder than others.
You know, that Mark Cuban quote:
Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.
So you buy into this idea that some powers at be will grant you what you want because you took some step.
But what actually happens?
Well, the thing you were actually seeking— just got replaced by the prescription of hard work.
To really appreciate this delusion, we must understand it from a sub-conscious level.
When you don’t get to where you want to be, your mind asks you—what went wrong?
So you try to justify it by telling your Self that you didn’t work hard enough.
So you go back to your hard work checklist and the cycle begins itself again.
So you might be thinking, am I trying to convince you that if you work less hard then you’ll be successful?
No, the opposite isn’t true either.
Make no mistake—startups are the olympics of business.
It’s really fucking hard to turn nothing into a multi-billion public company.
But what I’m saying is people who say they work 80-100 hour work weeks, take no vacations, sleep under their desks—are usually just status signaling because the world loves celebrating people that put in their “blood, sweat, and tears.”
While those that “just” work 40 hours and create things when they feel inspired, and take long breaks, yet achieve the same level of success, are labeled by society as just getting lucky.
From an outsider looking in, what looks like hard work to you, is really just play for me.
I enjoy creative work, so anything that’s not creative, I’ll outsource it to someone else.
I want to be the guy that worked the least hardest and gotten everything I wanted.
Those that put in half the time and got 10x the results.
You can practice the same lesson 1,000 times, and still be passed by someone who only practiced it 10 times, but their judgement was better.
You see, people don’t get burned out from work, they get burned out from work they don’t want to do, which by definition, is called suffering.
That’s why it’s important to team up with the right people when first starting out.
I’m naturally better at marketing and product than sales and operations—so I let my co founder handle the latter, who is naturally better at that stuff than me.
Companies don’t die when they run out of cash—I’ve experienced that numerous of times—they die when the team run out of energy.
Getting wealthy and not being told what to do was the only thing I truly wanted growing up.
So I naturally outperformed everyone else I knew.
How badly you want something supersedes the raw number of hours you put in.
The employees at the billion dollar company aren’t working harder than the million dollar company.
So yes, I think Malcom Gladwell was wrong.
You don’t need 10,000 hours for greatness.
You’re better off running 10,000 experiments because that’s what it takes to truly understand why you aren’t where you want to be.
Find the thing keeping you from advancing in that direction and destroy it.
The world is full of people working so hard and achieving so little.
Our drive for creativity and creation is our birthright.
And hard work is only necessary when you’re doing a lot of what you don’t want to do.
Stop chasing aimless goals and go out in to the world and do whatever you want; create, rebel, paint, learn guitar, jump out of airplanes, tend to your vegetable garden, whatever.
Anything but hard work.