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Outstanding Performers Work Both Smart and Hard

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

Napoleon Hill was, and still is, a giant in the success field.  According to Wikipedia, he “Was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Mr. Hill's works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. ‘What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve’ is one of his hallmark expressions.”

I subscribe to the Napoleon Hill Foundation’s (www.haphill.org) Thought For the Day.   Yesterday’s thought was, “Only those who have the habit of going the second mile ever find the end of the rainbow.”  This thought is a great jumping off place for today’s post.

I often make the point that hard work is crucial to outstanding performance and career and life success.  A lot of people don’t want to hear this.  You only have to look at the best seller lists.  The 4 Hour Workweek is one of the most popular books out today.  Timothy Ferris the author, is really talking about time management techniques – ways to help you work more efficiently, rather than working less.  However, from what I can tell, lots of people buy the book in the hopes of not having to work hard, not to learn how to manage their time better.

I’m not bashing The 4 Hour Workweek.  In fact, I use a lot of Mr. Ferris’ advice – the Pareto Principle and a Virtual Assistant are two that come to mind immediately.  However, in the end, we have to work hard at, and be committed to, what we want to accomplish.  In the words, of the Napoleon Hill foundation, we need to “go the second mile.”  If you adopt some of the advice in The 4 Hour Workweek, you’ll have the time to go the second mile.

On the other hand, there is no substitute for being diligent in your work.  Diligent is just another way of saying “work hard.”  Here’s an example.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that my new book, Straight Talk for Success, is at the printers.  Getting it there involved a lot of hard, detailed work over the past several months. 

After the book was written, I reread it.  I decided that it would benefit from the addition of a Preface.  So I wrote a Preface.  Would the book have been OK without the preface?  Probably yes.  However, it would have been just OK – not great.  My goal was to write a great book, so I spent several hours over the Christmas holidays writing a Preface.

When I got the galley proof copy back, I was really glad I did.  The addition of the Preface made all the difference between an OK book and a great book (by my standards at least).  To paraphrase the Napoleon Hill Foundation, by writing the Preface, I went the extra mile to get to the end of the rainbow.  We’ll see if my effort pays off.  I think it will.

Here’s another example, I was speaking with Peggy Murrah, Virtual Assistant Extraordinaire, the other day.  I was telling her that I am planning on publishing my ezine, Common Sense every week, instead of every month like I do now.   I told Peggy that I would like her to gather up my writings from each week, compile them in ezine format and send to my list every Monday.  I said, “But this means that you’ll have to work on the weekend.”  Her response – “Doesn’t everybody whose self employed?”  Peggy is my kind of girl (gal, woman, or whatever the PC term for “guy” is).  She is willing to work hard – to go the extra mile (work on the weekend) to do what her client (me) wants and needs.

The common sense point here is simple.  Working smart is great, but if you aren’t willing to work hard and go the extra mile, working smart alone won’t help you become an outstanding performer.  Outstanding performers work both smart and hard.  They are willing to do the small things that others are not willing to do.  That’s why they are outstanding performers.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Bud

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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