Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System. I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent.
Consistent high performance is a key success competency.
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am a big Chinese food fan. I sometimes find inspiration for blog posts in fortune cookies. It’s been a while since I did a fortune cookie post. But, as luck would have it, last night my fortune cookie read, “Advancement will come with hard work.” I agree.
While you need to create positive personal impact, become a dynamic communicator, and develop your interpersonal skills, it is all for naught if you don’t have the will and determination to work hard. There’s a quote that I’ve seen attributed to many American football coaches, “Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.” You have to be willing to work hard if you’re going to succeed.
Yes, you need to work smart, not just hard, but hard work is the best way to create the career and life success you want and deserve. Fortune Magazine says it succinctly: “There is no substitute for hard work.” Bobby Fischer became a chess grandmaster at age 16. However, he had nine years of hard work and intense study to get to that place. Few of us are willing to work that hard at that early of an age.
The success literature is a full of quotes on hard work. Take a look…
“I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near.” Margaret Thatcher
“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson
“Love conquers all, but if love doesn’t do it, try hard work.” Unknown
“If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it’s the best possible substitute for it.” James A. Garfield
“When you live for a strong purpose, then hard work isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.” Steve Pavlina
“There is no substitute for hard work.” Thomas Alva Edison
“The daily grind of hard work gets a person polished.” Unknown
“Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.” J.C. Penney
“Hard work is the key to success, so work diligently on any project you undertake. If you truly want to be successful, be prepared to give up your leisure time and work past 5 PM and on weekends.” Charles Lazarus
“I learned the value of hard work by working hard.” Margaret M. Fitzpatrick
“Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.” Nadia Comaneci
“Hard work certainly goes a long way. These days a lot of people work hard, so you have to make sure you work even harder and really dedicate yourself to what you are doing and setting out to achieve.” Lakshmi Mittal
“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” David Bly
Here’s a story my friend Andy O’Bryan tells about his success journey…
The year was 2004.
I had left my high-paying marketing director position and was trying to get traction with a fledgling home business. To pay the bills I was cold calling
from 9-5 for $400 a week.
From 7pm to 1am every night I was interviewing. Authors, speakers, coaches, trainers, gurus, icons, industry leaders. For a while I was doing 6 or 7 interviews a week.
Life lessons, business advice, sales training, inspiration, just an amazing amount of content came out of these sessions.
The calls were recorded and the mp3’s were put up on a website:
Co-founder Josh Hinds and I grew this site to over 1,500 paying members and 800 affiliates. There are over 100 interviews in there. It was a very challenging but extremely rewarding time of my life.
Andy now has a very successful home based business. But he put in the time and hard work it took to make it so.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people build their competency in four areas: creating positive personal impact; becoming a consistently high performer; becoming a dynamic communicator; and becoming interpersonally competent. Hard work is a key to becoming an outstanding performer. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to create a successful life and career, you need to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed. Sometimes this means working longer hours than others. I have found that a well focused extra hour a week can yield big results.
That’s my take on hard work, high performance and success. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.