I wrote about a really cool hack of working smart where we explained why 4 hours a day should be enough. To dig further, I would like to address entrepreneurship skills of working smart.
There are many amazing books on entrepreneurship. To start off with, you could get the mindset from Mr. Dale Carnegie in Winning friends and influencing people . Or find more out about new wave sales tactics in Aaron Ross’ Predictible Revenue .
Entrepreneurs are creators. It can be a product that makes people’s life easier or a venture that employs 50 or 500 people who can make a living out of it. They care and this is why they are in motion. They are the ones who are the most productive when put out of their comfort zone and are faced with challenges day by day. For them, the only imaginably reason for working for someone else would be a greater cause where they feel they are more effective to reach whatever they believe in.
They are the last to speak and the first to act. This is an entreprenurship skill.
Entrepreneurs don’t work for money. They follow their dreams, hustle, work smart, sacrifice a LOT and then on an amazing they, money will follow. Funny thing is that they don’t care about it. I believe that money is only issue for people who don’t have it. Without generalizing, these people never will have the gut to move out of the comfort zone and will just be sitting and waiting around. Serial entrepreneurs don’t care if they loose it all, because they will learn the lesson and know that have the skills to build whatever they want one more time. They think about money as a reward for something that they excel in – and more importantly they would do it without getting paid anyways.
“It took me five years to become an overnight success – and I don’t even feel successful.”
The whole idea is to spot an opportunity with great demand, find a test market and figure out if it really works in the fastest possible way. If it does, a growth and establishing phase starts where money will come. But the important point is that they don’t pay for money with their time, but with their thoughts and action. This is why they can make money in their sleep. Being an entrepreneur with a profitable business is like having half-passive income. You got to work for it, but you get your money after the results, not your time.
- Prioritize. Check my Maker Time Guide: Assess everything that needs to be done. Before you plunge into something headfirst, remember that enthusiasm needs to be tempered with wisdom. Look over every aspect of the job, and allow yourself ample “pondering time” so that you can be sure that every detail is accomplished on time and accurately. Make an outline. Whether it’s in your head or on paper, you should have a checklist in mind and follow it in order. You don’t want to repeat steps, duplicate the efforts of others, make mistakes or forget anything.
- Learn to say no. Avoid over-scheduling yourself and be realistic about what you can accomplish in a single day. Sometimes you just have to cut yourself off because in most professions, there is almost always something that could be done. In order to be able to dedicate yourself to these crucial tasks, you have to learn when to say “yes”, and when to say no. Even if we have a burning desire to say “yes”, we should also be able to say “no” when the thing we’ve been asked to do contributes nothing to the achievement of our long-term goals.
- Give two or three choices – never more. To yourself and to your partnes/clients as well. This way everybody will feel like to have an option and they are the ones making the decisoin, but at the same time it is not overwhelming to choose from two or three. Handing a swatch book to a client and saying, “Tell me which colors you are interested in” is deadly. Too many choices will cause horrible delays as the customer peruses ALL possibilities and later tends to second-guess every decision. Instead, say things like, “Do you like this blue or this green better?”
- Look for shortcuts. This does NOT mean taking the easiest method for the sake of it or being lazy. For example, if you respond to numerous e-mails per day and answer the same questions again and again, save your responses. When those questions come up, you can cut and paste your canned response. You might have to make minor edits, but the bulk of it will already be written.
- Avoid procrastination. Every time you surf the net or needlessly check e-mail at work, your day becomes longer. Push yourself hard to do work when it’s time to do work and enjoy these activities once you’re done for the day. Another way to beat procrastination and get in to the mood is no matter if you have the mood or not, just do it anyways. “Shut the fuck up, get over yourself and do it anyways”
- Delegate to the right people at the right times. Make sure your team is well-ordered. If one person is faster, put him or her on the part of your task that will take longest. If one person is more skilled and accurate, put him or her on the part of the task that is most critical. (Pro TIP: • When giving a task always use this framework: NAME, could you do, TASK by DEADLINE, NAME, please? For example, John, could you go today and buy a milk, andwhen you are there, buy 1% milk instead of whole milk please, John.)
- Periodic breaks. Use Pomodoro . Even at the office, you need to allow time for your mind to regroup and recharge. Push yourself hard for the first 50 minutes of every hour and then reward yourself with a 10 minute break.
If I can only address one take away for this post that can help people live a more fulfilling life, it would be this: by forming fun routines and habits, you will not need to work hard. It is about working SMART and enjoying the hell out of the journey.
Work hard play hard is pretty misleading. It should rather be work smart.