I was raised under the same presumption about life: Hard work is the key to success.
You most likely know where I’m coming from: Go to school; get into a good college; graduate and succeed at life in a good paying job.
That was the structure and for many, it works. However, these days that landscape to success isn’t as effective. The saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” comes to mind when I think of all the college graduates who resort to taking up menial jobs to pay back college loans instead of succeeding in the real world.
Does Hard Work Guarantee Success?
Now, sometimes that’s just the necessary first step. It doesn’t mean that you’re stuck in a dead end job… but the expectation is that college was designed to get you into a good job. Many graduates spend years jumping from job to job trying to reach that goal but the road seems almost as hard for them as it is for the ones with only a high school diploma…
Some don’t even have that!
Are Hard Work & An Education The Absolute Ingredients For Success?
Some names you might recognize include: Robert De Niro, Peter Jackson, Catherine Zeta Jones, Billy Joel, Don Imus, Jay Z, Simon Cowell and Richard Branson (Source: http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/08/millionaire-high-school-dropouts-entrepreneurs-ask-an-expert-10-multimillionaire.html)
All thee above worth millions and do not even have a high school diploma.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
I could choose to toil in the salt mines the rest of my life, working for whatever pay a boss is willing to pay me, struggle just to pay the bills and retire on less.. Or I can choose to be my own boss, determine my own salary, and be as free as I want to be… And retire in the next few years (I’m 30 right now).
…I’m liking the second option better.
So What Is The Answer? Should I Work Hard?
Absolutely. The problem here lies in the direction we usually take. When I say “hard work” I cringe at the first thought because I always think of showing up to a job every day, punching a time clock, taking 1 hour lunch breaks and car pooling into the industrial world.
To me, that’s hard work.. and I don’t want it.
However, what hard work REALLY means is the amount of consistent effort you give to the direction in life you wish to go… and for that, I really enjoy hard work!
For me, hard work with a purpose is what it’s about.
Hard work towards the goals of being my own boss, running my own business and living my own life on my own terms… For the sake of my family and the stability with financial wealth… That’s what I’m willing to work hard on.
Not working hard at an office 9-5 just to pay bills.
That is my key to success.