The romantic notion, “America is the land of opportunity (if you work hard).” The same goes for any developing or developed country. But today, hard work alone is a frustrating dead-end. Drive down the road and you’ll pass countless people working hard: washing cars, filling in potholes, serving customers, selling stuff. But recently we experienced a new realization: If I work hard, I will succeed – is only a half truth.
Hard work guarantees nothing! Zilch!
Case in point: Arturo Souza is an immigrant. When he moved to Canada he had to learn English. With a thick accent his first job was selling real estate. His sales manager gave him the script and the advice to financial freedom, “Call until someone says yes.”
Day after, agonizing day, Arturo sat at his cubical. As directed, from 3 to 7 pm, he went through the reverse directory, dialed and repeated, “Hello, my name is Arturo from Century 21 Real Estate. Are you planning on buying or selling a house now or in the near future?” There were a lot of new Realtors coming through the office. None stuck to the game plan better than Arturo. NONE worked harder at finding a client than Arturo. It was a feat of human perseverance to see him pound the phones. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Arturo had zero luck. NO LUCK. No business. But he worked harder than anyone at the office. What did he do wrong?
Onward there will be three character traits you will be forced to embrace if you want to create your own luck.
- Your Gift – You have a talent for solving certain problems. You have demonstrated a capacity to do something no one else in the room or the business was able to conquer. Blow people away with your gift. If you gift needs improving. Improve it.
- Your Drive - You have demonstrated drive in the past. Today, you may even have super-human drive like Arturo. Your drive will take you forward. Get serious about driving ahead with a smart, clear intention.
- Your Influence – You have a special allure. You have shown a capacity for influencing others. Authentically show up with an all-in mentality.
Just like hard work alone, any one of these character traits, in isolation, are not enough to succeed today. In order for your hard work to convert into “smart work” you must show up with your gift, drive and influence in concert!
Might your 2015 mantra be...
“The smarter I work. The luckier I get.”