The “Work Hard” Mentality
During my early teenage years I often had to do a lot of chores around the house as in any typical family. There would be rewards for doing each task and a dollar figure attached to the amount that would be paid when each task was completed. In hopes to build a strong work ethic spent endless hours completing task around the house as any teenage boy would do.
The problem was my parents didn’t see the underlining lesson they were teaching me about money: work hard for money!
The reason I write this blog today is because an entrepreneur should NEVER work hard for money. Let me explain.
An entrepreneur should leverage his or her ability to think and use other people’s time and money. A common abbreviation is OPT or Other Peoples Time. The first experience I had using OPT was at the early age of 13. The story goes like this…
I clearly remember one day at school in grade nine when my friend Cody needed some extra cash for a video game he wanted to purchase. At the time my mother was paying $20 to mow the lawn. The issue was that I hated mowing the lawn. It was hot outside and I had better things to be doing.
During a conversation on the school bus with my Friend Cody I offered him to mow my lawn for $10. I could make a quick $10 and he could earn $10 towards his video game. This seemed brilliant in my mind and he had no problem coming over for the evening.
We headed up the street to my house which sat the peak of a mountain overlooking the beautiful valley. I clearly remember telling myself I didn’t want to be involved with mowing the lawn; instead I wanted to teach Cody how to do the chore from start to finish. I showed him where the mower was, how to fuel it, how he should cut it, where to put the grass, and so on.
Everything was going as planned until my mother stepped out of the front door and saw my friend mowing the lawn while I was watching and drinking an iced tea. She was furious! She started raising her voice and telling me that was my job to mow the lawn.
She couldn’t believe I would give someone else my chores and take a cut of the money. She even told me that it was stealing. I was confused, I didn’t think she would be so upset… the lawn was getting mowed correctly and on time.
She walked over the Cody, turned off the lawn mower and demanded I finish the job. I tried explaining to her I didn’t want to do it and Cody needed the money. But my efforts were useless. I was punished and had to mow the lawn every week for the following 2 summers.
This incident stuck with me for a long time. I believe it had a true impact on my ability to properly outsource work I didn’t like doing. When I finally started my first business at 21 I often did all the work myself. I wore multiple hats in the company, including the ones I was not good at.
Then I heard a quote I’ll never forget “Do what you do best and write a cheque for the rest”.
My mother had been an employee her entire life and was programmed to work hard for money. This is a concept that does not work well for entrepreneurs. I would highly recommend visiting cheap outsourcing sites like Fiverr.com and MyTasker.com to get help get those undesirable tasks done.
As my business coach always says... Using other people time is a key to starting and running a successful business.
Choose To Win