the meaning of hard work

I've spent the morning gallivanting around the interwebs. It's been a lovely, random hour where I've let myself follow the links that look interesting: from a news site, to a freelancer designer's blog, to a celebrity hair photo gallery, to a forum on self-limiting beliefs...

I ended up on Seth Godin's blog, and I'm absolutely bookmarking it for future reading. He's hugely insightful and said so many things that make sense to me. This post in particular was brilliant:

Richard Branson doesn't work more hours than you do. Neither does Steve Ballmer or Carly Fiorina. Robyn Waters, the woman who revolutionized what Target sells -- and helped the company trounce Kmart -- probably worked fewer hours than you do in an average week.

None of the people who are racking up amazing success stories and creating cool stuff are doing it just by working more hours than you are. And I hate to say it, but they're not smarter than you either. They're succeeding by doing hard work.


It's hard work to make difficult emotional decisions, such as quitting a job and setting out on your own. It's hard work to invent a new system, service, or process that's remarkable. It's hard work to tell your boss that he's being intellectually and emotionally lazy... Today, working hard is about taking apparent risk. Not a crazy risk like betting the entire company on an untested product. No, an apparent risk: something that the competition (and your coworkers) believe is unsafe but that you realize is far more conservative than sticking with the status quo.

He's so spot on. There are so many amazingly successful people in the world who have achieved what they have because they're determined and focused and they don't stop trying. It's such a great concept to keep top of mind.

Speaking of determined, there is a huge difference between persistence and plain stalking. This landed in my inbox last week... The story goes like this. A girl was out with friends, having some drinks in Toronto. This guy approaches her and won't leave her alone, telling her how cute she is and pestering her for her digits. She finally gives in and hands the guy her business card.

Here are the voicemail messages he sent her...

I've never heard anything like this before! I did some google research and discovered he was a doctor who was stripped of his licence after being criminally convicted of sexually assaulting female patients. Now he has his own website,, and he offers courses in seduction. It's kind of frightening - the guy sounds mentally unstable. Or, he's just a douche.


V said...

amen to apparent risk!