Working smart may be essential, but it’s only half of the equation, says Micahel Moroney for Entrepreneur.com. No successful entrepreneur or executive will tell you that it’s a substitute for applying maximum effort during every waking hour of the day. To reach the top of your field, you need to not only take advantage of technology and work efficiently, but also be the first one in the office and the last one still plugging away into the wee hours of the morning when your competition is asleep. Smarter work affords us more time, but that saved time doesn’t mean anything unless we put it to optimal use.

“Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy.” – Jimmy Spithill, winner of the America’s Cup.

"Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy." – Jimmy Spithill, winner of the America's Cup. Click To Tweet

We’ve all heard the phrase admonishing us to work smarter, not harder. But here’s the thing: You may not be as talented, or educated, or experienced as other people…but you can always try to outwork them. The key is to work harder, smartly.

What I mean is that you can always automate more tasks. You can learn new ways of doing this to increase productivity. You can outsource certain things and manage your time better.

Working smarter implies that once we are successful, we stop working. Sure, we’d all like to make money while we are sleeping, but successful people rarely (if ever) work less hard after they have figured out how to do something. The opposite is usually the case. Once you become smarter about online marketing and selling, you even work harder because when something works, you keep working at it. You also possibly learn about other ways to further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your efforts. Then you apply those and continue to work both smarter and harder.

This fall, my online course, “Monetize Your Expertise,” returns, and this idea of learning how to do things more efficiently is a key component. For example, one of the things we discuss is COPE – Create Once, Publish Everywhere. Once you learn how to do this, it doesn’t mean that you now stop creating as much content. Instead because you’ve automated some of the tasks, you are free to create more content and help more people.

“When we become self-directed learners who realize that the ultimate competitive power in a knowledge economy is applied knowledge, we will understand why working smarter truly leads to working harder.” –Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Here’s the big thing you need to know about working hard vs working smart: Smart workers don’t bother with most of the work they “should” do, but focus only on the tasks that bring the biggest long-term impact. They don’t work any less hard than others (in fact they may work harder as they learn more as we discussed above), but they prioritize what they are doing based upon the desired outcome. If we want to be successful, we shouldn’t be content to simply work smarter. The most successful people work smart, but they also work exceptionally hard. They maintain the same level of persistence and drive while learning ways to do things more efficiently.

Hard work and smart work alone are not sufficient for business success – knowledge and skills also play a role – but both are essential, and it’s time to stop treating them as if they were mutually exclusive. Entrepreneurs must work smarter, harder, longer and better — because your competition already is.

If you are ready to expand your knowledge and skills, and you want to learn how to be more efficient with your online business, the “Monetize Your Expertise” online course is something that I believe will really benefit your business. Text “Profits” to (303) 529-8804 to get notified when the next session starts.