You’ve probably heard the word “Work hard, work smart” a hundred thousand times. The big news is, the statement is as true as can be. Hard work may keep you busy and make it look like you’re progressing, but smart work will get you results.
As a budding entrepreneur, your ability to add smart work to your hard work will get you up the ladder of success quite easily. Veteran entrepreneurs know the difference between working hard and working smart, that’s why billionaire investor Warren Buffet is said to do very little physical labour. Instead he hires those whobreak sweat for him.
As a new entrepreneur however, you will need to do a lot of physical and mental labour while still growing your business. But don’t be deceived to thinking that burying yourself in work will guarantee success.
A typical example of smart work is outsourcing your work so that you can achieve more faster. Hiring a professional accountant to crunch numbers for you is very important because it saves you time, and that time can be spent doing something else.
A hardworking entrepreneur on the other hand will rather do his accounts himself because he needs to keep his expenses to its minimum and hiring a professional accountant may be costly. Of course if your just starting out and making very little in the first stage, you can be your own accountant, but this shouldn’t be for long. Entrepreneurial frugality is not an admirable quality. If you don’t have revenues to hire outside help and reduce the workload on yourself, then your business is not profitable.
But in actual fact, a seasoned accountant will help you make good financial decisions, will save you a ton of money you would have otherwise wasted due to lack of financial knowledge, and the money you would spend paying an accountant would be less than money saved when you hire one. They will also save you time, so that you can focus on the more pressing needs of your business.
Smart entrepreneurs understand the power of outsourcing and they use it to their advantage very well.
Here are 9 more tips to becoming a smart entrepreneur
1. Contract Positive Friendships:
The easiest way to work smarter is to be smarter. The best way to do this is by learning new things everyday and becoming versatile in your field of endeavour, and also knowing one or two things in other fields.
Confucius said “Never contract friendship with someone who is not better than yourself.” It’s a good idea to walk with people who are a lot smarter than you are. An overly shy and stuttering CEO was once asked how he became a major game player in his industry and he said “I understood early in life that I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room all the time.”
2. Annihilate Distractions:
Think about all the time you have spent doing things that are irrelevant to your work. Then convert each second of time spent to money, sum it up and see how much you’ve lost in the past year.
Maybe you would need to stop your TV subscription for a while, or spend lesser time on social media, or even cancel meet-up with friends few times. Anything that isn’t helping you reach your goals is a distraction, and you need to get rid of it fast. Create an environment where the temptation to get distracted is minimal.
3. Do the more important tasks first:
Never waste time doing what others can help you do. This is one of the uncommon senses in the world. A wise man said that “Delegation is the key to elevation and division of labour makes labour end quickly.” When you have people around you who can help you do work, never hesitate to give it to them so that you can focus on the things only you can do.
4. Be consistent and diligent:
Always perform your duties with intense concentration. Always focus on the work at hand, don’t quit because progress is slow. Slow progress doesn’t always mean failure. The two most powerful warriors of this world are Patience and Time. So be patient and give it time.
5. Use your mornings appropriately:
Studies have indicated that the best time to start a new project is the early hours of the morning. You’re usually refreshed in the mornings, and you tend to achieve more quickly because your brain is in a super working condition having rested for many hours. So put the most demanding of your tasks to the mornings and get more done quickly.
6. Commit to learning:
“If you want to be successful in a chosen field, you need to have read the number of books commensurate to your age in that field.” Truer words haven’t been said. This means that you need to read like your life depends in it. Study, read books, journals and magazines, industry news etc. Attend seminars, conferences, sign up for trainings and internships, take courses etc. Learn from the best, listen to audio books and find mentors. This will enhance your knowledge.
7. Get out more:
Networking is smart working. You can be fortunate to meet an individual who will turn your life around for good. Just by being in the right place at the right time, people have climbed the ladder of success. Never underestimate social hangouts, meet-up, networking events and even community services, charities, volunteering opportunities, etc. Be smart.
8. Keep Records: They say a smart person keeps more than one journal. Journals are important so that you can quickly keep records of your ideas as soon as they hit you. Write down names, keep records of information. Learn to write things down, your life may depend on it.
9. Embrace technology: Technology is taking over fast, and you want to be on the fast lane. Redundancy is the opposite of a life without technology. This issue cannot be overemphasized. Whether you agree with it or not, technically no longer the future, it’s the now.