A Labor of Love: Why a Small Business Owner’s Hard Work Pays Off

Entrepreneurship is a labor of love. And the kinetic energy of an entrepreneurs hustle and toil will produce results and reward.

An entrepreneur’s hard work does pay off. But, the concept of ‘hard work’ has received unfair criticism. Our gen Y state of mind, infused with ‘your way, right away’ slogans has led some to think that a successful small business comes to the “lucky ones” … with slight effort and no work. This is simply untrue. Entrepreneurship is a labor of love. And the kinetic energy of an entrepreneurs hustle and toil will produce results and reward.

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The Dilemma

The dilemma that exists for most of us is waiting for the return of hard work in business — epic results. We perceive that there is a colossal gap linking effort and reward, but like objects in a rearview mirror, success is often closer than it may appear.

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”Gail Devers, three-time Olympic Champion

You’re not alone if you feel as though your daily efforts don’t produce immediate rewards.   We’ve all experienced the frustration of doing all of the right things at the right time and yet, we weren’t quite there. The simple truth is, entrepreneurship is a marathon – not a sprint – and the prize isn’t always given to fastest, but to those who endure the process.

Therefore, when you reach this dilemma, a breaking point in business, you may be steps away from winning. And like any superior athlete, there are things you can do in business to prep for a pay off.


The Solution

If you’re wondering, “How can I effectively achieve my “end result” and ensure that it pays off?” My answer is, “The prerequisite to hard work is even harder choices.” Hard work is less daunting when you tackle four areas:

  1. Improve your Perception: How do you perceive hard work? If it implies a negative connotation, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve even begun.
  2. Make Deliberate Choices: Everything starts with a definitive choice. Research suggests that it takes at least 10,000 hours to become an expert. So if you’ve spent 30 days in your business, you’ve made progress. But you’re not there yet. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
  3. Create Effective Habits: It’s easy to get lost in the clouds of strategy and vision and fall short on delivery of the tactics … daily habits that produce long-term results. Small business success is not a crash diet – it’s a lifestyle.
  4. Execute Relentlessly: If it takes 60+ days to create a habit, let’s develop systems and procedures to meet daily goals. Learn to delegate each system to a support team, intern or new hire. You’ve only got 24 hours in the day – so multiply your output through delegation.

These four steps coupled with single-minded focus and energy directed in the right places – Pareto’s Law – is powerful. Remember: busy doesn’t equate to productive. Put Pareto’s theory into practice and spend 80% of your energy, time and labor directed at your productive 20% — the areas that produce results.


The Result

Sure. Hard work doesn’t sound sexy, but believe me – the result is spectacular.

Hard work isn’t always appealing because at times you’d rather spend it doing other things. But, preparation coupled with the right choices, is an automatic life and business investment. And while, the result may appear to be looming in the distance, focus on daily wins and celebrate them.

“He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him.”Dutch Proverb

Remember: All things considered, your labor of love has to produce results. And when your “love” appears to be more “laborious” than you hoped, think of this:

When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.

Ford replied, ”Produce it anyway.” (Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill)

A labor of love may appear to be out of reach, but run steady, produce it anyway and eventually your hard work will pay off.


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