Working Hard vs. Getting Rich

In business, there are things that put dollars in our pocket today.

And then there are things that have the potential to put a lot more dollars in our pocket tomorrow.

So much of our ultimate success is determined by how we find the right balance between the two.

For better or for worse, the vast majority of businesses focus mostly on making money today.

This is work at its existential finest – as hard, admirable work.

It is the chef in his kitchen – preparing meats and vegetables for the dinnertime crowd.

And that same chef – many hours later – cleaning and closing up after a long evening of serving a restaurant of hungry customers.

Then doing it again the next day, and the next, and the next…ongoing hard work for as far as the eye can see.

It is knowledge work, too.

Accountants, bankers, coders, decorators, financiers, ginners, hackers, insurers, jewelers, knucklers, lawyers, magicians, nickers, oilers, programmers, quartermasters, recruiters, sculptors, threaders, underwriters, ventriloquists, weavers, x-rayers, yokers, zookeepers and on and on…

Work done toward the always challenging goal of satisfying enough customers at a low enough cost so there is enough money left to feed the family, pay the rent, and live to fight another day.

It is businesspeople as busy people.

But busyness alone does not build companies.

This requires busyness PLUS reflection on our work as not just a collection of activities

…but of vision too.

Of what we could be.

Like serving better customers, or fulfilling the wants and needs of current customers in more valuable ways.

Then, identifying the bottlenecks to be overcome to make the vision real.

Bottlenecks of resources, often overcome via injections of outside growth capital.

Bottlenecks of talent, often overcome by creating a plan of future success so good that great people are drawn to us.

Bottlenecks of sales, overcome via confronting the competitive shortcomings in the value, real and perceived, we provide our customers.

And the bottlenecks within ourselves.

Of how much we believe we can be better than we currently are.

Then, translating this belief into relentless energy and focused activity to make it so.

Which, of course, requires us to strike that perfect balance.

Between working hard and getting rich.

Between today and tomorrow.

Between getting things done.

And getting the right things done.


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Working hard but not getting ahead as fast as you should?

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