Thursday, 25 January 2018

Why Working Smart is Better Than Working Hard

There are times when I sit down and reflect on this question - working hard or working smart. I have been a proponent of the first scenario and I can categorically say working hard has its pros and cons while working smart is the way of life of the successful men. When you work hard and break your back for a meager pay cheque you are drained at the end of the work week. But the reverse is the case when you work smart, you will have time to do other things. 

working-smart- is- better- than- working- hard

Traditionally, working hard is considered to be the cornerstone of achievement. You work hard at something, burn midnight oil, sweat and out run everyone else around you, to reach your goal. Maybe it's school, or grad school, or looking for a job. Maybe its learning a new skill, or improving an existing one for that manner.

It has been well known, said a hundred thousand times and drilled into our heads - "if you want to succeed, work hard". "You have to burn midnight oil". "Life is not easy; you have to work very hard to achieve something ". I completely am a fan of this thought, yet so many of us miserably fail at achieving our goal even after working so hard at it. We sometimes fall just short by inches, left to bite the dust. I have personally tasted this failure, even though I worked so hard at things. I just did not succeed. What was wrong? Was I not working hard? I was working very hard! So what was wrong! Oh no, was it about being smart? Being smart is about making smart choices. It’s about making the right decision, the right step or the right choice.

Smart people move up the ladder real fast. They also are the ones that have great cars, lot of money, and everything else the rest of us desire. Right? These are people that played smart and won big times. Seems so easy. But does that also mean they did not work hard to be where they are. Consider some very famous people, your idols, and your heroes. Did they just work smart and not hard? My honest opinion is they worked very hard. They worked so hard that we cannot even imagine what they went though.

People, who are successful in business life, work, or a profession typically go through hell before they can reap the rewards of success. Take the example of musicians, training for 8 to 12 hours a day is not uncommon among the top highly paid musicians in the world. Similarly performers, artists, professionals spend hundreds of hours honing their skills, without taking any shortcuts to perfect their art and to stay at the top. As you reach the pinnacle of success, you start making fewer mistakes. As you grow more experienced, you make fewer errors and these results in something that saves you lots of time, effort and energy. You have now become smart. You now make smart choices.

You now play smart! Working hard or working smart cannot be separated from each other. Even when working hard you have to make smart choices. You cannot just wake up one day and say to yourself, "Today I will make smart choices". No, you should be saying that to yourself every day and work "hard" on it. Give anything your best shot and work towards your goals like there is no tomorrow.

Be strong willed and work hard to get what you want, because the desire to achieve something is only as strong as the smallest distraction that can take you away from it. Be smart about setting your goals and planning how to achieve your goal. Be smart about making choices in life and then work on making those choices spring you good things. Work hard in making smart choice and work even harder to learn how to make smart choices. Make mistakes but be smart enough to learn from them. Try to be smart in making your choices in life and work hard towards fulfilling your dreams

There is a common misconception in the world, especially among younger people, that you have to work hard and pay your dues, even if it means being miserable.  For some reason people seem to think that they have to be miserable for the first few years of their work life in order to get to where they want to be; either professionally or personally.  Lots of younger people have this notion that if they work hard that everything will be okay and fall into place for them.  This is the wrong way to go about trying to succeed.  There is a fine line between working hard and working smart. I used to think this way and the first few jobs I had out of college were horrible.  Everyone used to tell me, “well kid, you have to pay your dues,” to which I would reply, “why?” and the response I always got back was, “you just have to.”  This is the most illogical, useless, counter intuitive and counter productive type of thinking that boxes you in and makes you feel like you are worth nothing.

why- working- smart-is-better-than-working-hard

People who work hard and people who work smart have different measures of success. Those that work hard usually evaluate success based on inputs such as the number of hours they work and the number of tasks they accomplish in a day or in a week and ultimately seek a large paycheck. Typically hard work means something like 60 or 70 hours a week (sometimes 80 or 90), working at home in the evenings and weekends, and continuously juggling multiple projects in a frantic attempt to get them all done. This is not hard work; this is simply poor management of your time and a clear lack of understanding of your strengths and skills.  Not to mention the inability to balance your work life and your personal life.  I don’t have anything against people that work hard and slave away day to day, it’s just not the type of person I want to be.  There are many successful people in the world who call themselves hard workers, and that they are.

Those that work smart usually evaluate success based on the amount of discretionary time they have to do whatever it is they want to do. Smart workers don’t focus on inputs they focus on prioritizing in order to achieve the most valuable outputs in the most efficient ways. Smart workers usually have a much better work-life balance, are entrepreneurs, are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and manage time effectively.  For example, a smart worker will realize that they are more productive during a certain time of day and will batch their tasks based on difficulty to match with when they are most productive.  A hard worker has a long list and just checks off tasks one a time as he goes down the list. There isn’t a better or worse way to get things done it’s based on preference.  Personally I’m not capable of bulldozing through a long list of tasks, working ridiculous hours, and sacrificing my life for a paycheck, it’s just not me.  I don’t really admire people that make a ton of money and work ridiculous hours (if I want to make a ton of money I can just get two full time jobs and sleep 3 hours a day), I admire people that are successful yet still have discretionary time and a solid work life balance. I think there are a few key things that can help people work smart (if they so desire) Understand your strengths and weaknesses and try to take on projects that match your strengths while delegating or outsourcing projects or tasks that fall within your “weaknesses” category.

Don’t focus on completing a lot of tasks; focus on completing the most important tasks that will have the greatest impact on whatever it is you are doing.  Prioritize and manage your time effectively, this means understanding when you are most productive, what tasks take you the longest time to complete, etc.  Batch the hardest most tedious tasks with the times you are most productive. Check email only twice a day (and is possible once a day).  I do this at 11am PST and 4pm PST.

I batch my email time and when I’m not checking email I’m actually working on getting things done that need to get done.  The trouble with email is that when you send an email you get one right back and email then becomes this glorified chat messaging program (which it isn’t).  I let people get ahold of me on skype if they really need me but email is only at 11 and 4. Don’t waste emotional currency in return for financial currency.  What I mean here is don’t work at a job that makes you feel miserable just because they are paying you well.  Now, you can’t just up and leave a job that is responsible for your financial security so the smart thing to do here is to start saving and aggressively looking for another job that you can transition to.  Pick up some small side projects on Craigslist (or wherever) just to supplement your income.  When you have enough money to cover your expenses from side projects (or saved up cash), then you can quit. Education is your best friend.  Working smart is all about understanding the big picture.  You need to constantly learn and evolve your skill set so as to make work easy and you become sellable within a short period of time.

Monday, 18 December 2017

6 Things To Quit Right Now

Most times we are bewildered by the things life throws at us and decided enough is enough. You don’t want to take it anymore. The overwhelming stress of what is happening pushes us to surrender our will power to the strains of life. By this post I am going to give six (6) things you need to quit right now and stop doing as it’s a recipe for failure and it will breed contempt and eventually pull you back.

1.     When we try to please everyone: We are what we think, you determine what people think about you, you are unique and being yourself makes you original. The moments you try to be someone you’re not then you have missed the point. A lot of people spend half their lives trying to please everyone and gain approval of everyone. This is not meant to last as the people you’re trying to please will see through your pretense. Learn to be original and stop living in the image of people you admire.

2.     The fear of change: The only thing constant in life is change. Change is what makes us human. Living in your comfort zone will not see any improvement in your life. If there is a way to better your life it’s important to make decisions that will improve your situation. Every time we see people who fear the unknown and they are pessimistic of outcomes of their decisions. You have to quit the fear of change because the most successful people in this world are people who are not ready to sit back doing a 9 to 5 job but are ready to break away from norms and achieve greatness.

3.     Living in the past:  Let by-gones be by-gones. The man who lives in the past is definitely not ready to move on in life. We are products of our past but are not supposed to be defined by it. We find out some people who have achievements and are still mesmerized by it but fail to move forward due to that. There are some people who refuse to live their lives due to issues in the past like the loss of a loved one, job etc. this has a drastic effect on them that they are stuck in their own world. To be successful in life one needs to move on from these situations. If this is not done then it won’t be possible to concentrate and take the chances that come in the future. Quit living in the past from today and start living your life.

see also: why no one talks about quitting anymore

4.     Putting yourself down: I keep on asking myself this question why are people so pessimistic? 70% of goals are never achieved because they are dead even before starting. We are so scared of repeating mistakes that have happened in the past. But why do we do this to ourselves? Do we hate ourselves so much? We are all guilty about this if you look at it. Putting yourself down won’t help us to achieve what we plan to do in life. Learn to overcome your fears and take any opportunity that comes your way.

5.     Overthinking situations: This goes together with living in the past. Most times we find ourselves unable to leave our current position in life because we scared about the next possible step. Overthinking a possibility will take us nowhere rather it will present more complications on why we shouldn’t take that step. Make a decision based on the facts right in front of your face. If you overthink it then you will have a thousand reasons not to take that step. I am not saying you shouldn’t think before leaping but I am saying you should not dwell on situations because 90% of the time it’s already past and thinking about it won’t change the outcome.

6.     Stop putting your needs last: we all have needs in life. The moment you start putting people before you, you miss living. Always love yourself and take care of yourself as much as you can; this will boost your self-esteem and ensure that you’re on top of your game and not behind your mates.

So guys these are the six things to quit right now if you want to live a life taking opportunities.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Why No One Talks About Quitting Anymore


Hey guys, today am deciding to bare my innermost thoughts and pains. I know a lot of my readers share the same thoughts. Once in a while this comes on you like a heavy boulder on your shoulder. That feeling that there is no need living again. The thought of not continuing when all efforts to make it fail. Why does no one talk about quitting? Is it a rationale to prove you are a failure? No. it’s a normal human feeling which should not be ignored but expressed. I most times reminisce the Greek god; Atlas who was made to bear the weight of the heavens on his shoulder as punishment for defying Zeus and leading the titans into battle against the Olympians. That takes serious guts.

I sit down on my sofa and I reflect on my life and bang” there goes the phrase “I want to quit”. Right now. I want to quit, because I’m tired. My head is fogged up, and my coffee  as good as it is , hasnt cleared it. I want to quit because I woke up this morning before dawn and my limbs ached. I want to quit because I can remember what it feels like to have more money than I needed, and to lose it, and to remember it like a kick in the gut today. I want to quit because the way back in is long, hard and unforgiving. I wonder why no one talks about quitting anymore, it’s crazy thinking of it.

I want to quit because business is tough, it’s always tough. I’m staring into a mirror 12 hours a day and daring the reflection to make one wrong move, to make one wrong call, knowing that what I do fails or flies on me. I want to quit because I want to sit in my room, playing game and eating, listening to Despacito, doing whatever I can, anything I can to distract myself from the ticking clock and the pressure I’ve always felt to do more, work more, try harder. Why does no one talk about quitting anymore?

I want to quit because I grew up poor, and I’m terrified that if I risk everything, I’ll die poor too. I want to quit because I stand a good chance of failing, every time I take start a new endeavor, every time I build a product or start a business or crack open a new dream, and I’ve failed enough times that I don’t want to feel the ground drop out from under me again. Quitting is what everyone should reflect on sometimes to blow out the steam from under you.

I want to quit because startups are hard, they’re unforgiving in their statistical chances of disaster, and I know deep down that I’m not a visionary leader or a tech genius, just a guy with big ideas and a decent serving of guts. And I’m not sure that’s enough. I want to quit because I got an email from a reader calling me a self-centered asshole because I wouldn’t talk about his problems and solve his issues, and I got a DM from another one who thinks I’m a “vapid waste of space” even though they dont know me and my life. I want to quit because I’d rather drink at 10 AM and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day  thats my self-destructive streak coming out.

I want to quit because making it seems harder than just settling into being average and not trying. If I didn’t try, I could switch off that part of my brain that wants to, and find a comfortable job and get tired and get done. I want to quit because writing means baring a piece of my soul every day, and holding it out to the world and saying hey, what do you think of this? …and sometimes, asking whether it’s been worth it, trying to open myself to it, and feeling vulnerable.

I want to quit because I hate putting in effort, and I want to be lazy, and I don’t want to be productive, and I don’t want to get fit, and I don’t want to stay up late trying to push my dreams over the line. I want to quit because I’d love to re-watch every season of Game of Thrones, and that seems a lot better than blogging and banking. I want to quit because JK Rowling is a better writer than me, with more credibility and authenticity and characters that people love and a series of books that shaped the childhood of millions. I want to quit because James Allen is a better writer than me, with inspirational ideas, messages and game changing concepts that have built thousands of entrepreneurs.

I want to quit because I’m not either of them, and I’m not Stephen Covey, or Paul McCartney, Richard Carlson or Richard Branson. And no matter how much I read articles that list the 10 things they have in common, the 5 morning routine tips that made them successful, the 25 quotes that inspired them, the 50 best decisions they ever made or the 20 traits that helped them achieve their dreams, I’ll probably never reach their level. I want to quit for most of the same reasons that you do. Because we’re all struggling to make it in a world that often doesn’t listen, waiting for the right hand, or the right moment to play the wrong one.

We’re all worried we don’t match up to the ideals and heroes we’ve set ourselves, and there’s a thousand things we’d rather fucking be doing. But I don’t quit. I don’t quit every single day, when I wake up and I want to. I didn’t quit for years, writing blog posts that nobody read, freaking out in panic attacks and deleting them before I would calm down and start all over again.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

7 Things You Can Do To Sell Yourself despite Graduating With A 2.2

Job, Marketing, Self development
Job Interview Situation

This post is directed at the school teenagers who spend their time doing things that don’t matter. Many Nigerian students see the freedom which has been given to them as an opportunity to unleash whatever has been holding them down. Most have been caged for so long by their parents and see this as an opportunity to do what they have been visualizing.

When I was in school I heard a lot of things such as finishing with a good grade and all. I was excited and was filled with a lot of aspirations and dreams to finish with a first class or a 2.1, these were known as good grades and was going to give an edge in the market. Anything short of this was considered absolute failure and waste of time.

However, this doesn’t mean that graduates with a 2.2, third class or a pass won’t get jobs, but it is what they do after school that will determine how fast you can get a job. This are not laid down rules but pointers that can be followed to secure a dream job.

Check out the following things you can do to improve your chances to get that job.

Discover what you can do

This is not rocket science but a simple thought process. Take time to ask yourself what you can do, most times talent doesn’t happen unless it is put to test. Examination is not a true test of knowledge so don’t be discouraged. Look for other attributes and skills that you possess and put it into good use. Only then can you evaluate the response you get when applying for jobs. Most jobs nowadays don’t even look at grade they look at your soft skills, what you can bring to the table. Explore this and come up with a compelling CV.

Change your mindset

Your mindset is everything, if you feel you are a failure then indeed you are a failure. Never back down if you finish with something less than expected because there are people who even didn’t attend school but are doing well outside. You are who you think you are. When I was in school, I know some of my mates that didn’t show up for their convocation ceremony because they felt like failures. If your mindset is down then you can’t achieve anything. Dust your cv and start doing something.

Professional Certification are important

This cannot be overemphasized, education is evolving and so is the recruitment market. Most Hr experts do not joke with this aspect of recruitment. There are a lot of professional certifications out there. Look for the body that’s related to your course of study, register and become certified. The funny thing is that these courses are not expensive to do. This makes you become a member and increases your chances of been recognized since you will meet people who are already experts in the field.

Communication and interpersonal skills a must

Communication is a must if you want to sell yourself. 2.2 or less is not the end of life it is only a motivating tool to do better than people with a first class. You must be fluent in communication and your relations with others should not be rigid but flexible. Soft skills will go a long way to improve your ability to get that contact to your dream job. When it comes to situation when the interviewer is what stands between you and your dream job, it’s your communication skill that will bail you out in such situation. Interaction with others is a plus in this situation. Even if you the shy type try socializing with people and boost your confidence it will go a long way.


Just like my earlier point on socializing this comes next. After building the contacts via communication channels then have a networking attitude. This is an ongoing process that can come up when you are in a meeting with professionals in your field of studies or other avenues. Social media is Great Avenue to carry this out such as Facebook and LinkedIn which is for professionals. Have a good profile and attractive bio displaying your qualifications and experience.

This is not immediate but a gradual process. Most recruiters go to this medium to check for qualified and sound candidates to fill up necessary positions. Instead of wasting your time in dating sites and other irrelevant sites. Sign up today and start selling yourself.

Experience is the best teacher

There’s is a saying that you cannot give what you don’t have. What you know and can do cannot be taken from you. Experience gives you an edge over other candidates looking for the same position. Most companies don’t want to spend money training and the rest, they prefer candidates that they can employ immediately and they hit the ground running immediately. In as much as its difficult getting a co-up or internship in the multi-national companies, there are other places that you can volunteer to learn and be an expert. These advice goes especially to the youths and teenagers in higher institution in Nigeria, if you are doing your IT, try and learn all you can at that given time and try to maintain good relationship with the management of where you worked.

Drop your CV everywhere

Lastly, ensure you drop your CV everywhere you go. Print hard copies and share especially job recruitment websites. Opportunity can come anytime, be prepared for any job pending when you get to a stage when you can select the jobs that you want. Give your CV to friends to share to different employees and tailor your CV to the company you are applying too. Do not forget to pray for grace not withstanding as there are graduates that have gotten six figure jobs in places where they do not know anyone or even qualified.

I drop my pen at this junction, feel free to add yours