Next, I would like to discuss smart work. The most important thing to remember, about what we call smart work, is to
have a plan. I have found far too many people who do not make a plan for the work that they do to compliment the rest of their lives. They spend their days working, but they never get anywhere.
The first part of the plan is to choose work that compliments your health. Do work that requires movement. Whether it is lifting things, walking, or being able to get up throughout your work time to move around, do something that is more than exercise for your fingers at a computer keyboard. Also, do work that does not have a high stress level. This will help to keep the rest of your life in balance.
The next thing to consider in developing a plan to do smart work is to choose work that gives you a stake or share in the success of the venture. There are many ways to do this, but the one I find is best, is to work for yourself. “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”cix Diligent, or well-planned decisions are key to being able to do this. I do not recommend quitting your job and starting your own company tomorrow, but instead develop a plan and gradually move out of what you are currently doing and into a well-planned business. Yes, I know that more than fifty percent of businesses fail in the first year, but I suspect this is because the people starting these businesses were not diligent.
Henry Ford once said, “The man who has the largest capacity for work and thought is the man who is bound to succeed.”cx Notice that he didn’t just mention the capacity for work, but also included thought. I am going to use a simple example to illustrate my point and prove that working for yourself is much smarter than working for someone else. Suppose you are currently earning one thousand dollars a week at your job. If you lost that job tomorrow, you would be out one thousand dollars a week. That could be devastating financially. Now, let’s look at an alternative. Imagine that you worked in your own company and you had one hundred customers or clients, who paid you ten dollars a week for your service. If one of those customers “fires” you, there is still nine hundred and ninety dollars left each week.
I know that this goes against conventional wisdom, that says, working for yourself is too risky, but look at the facts. It is far less risky than trusting your finances to someone else. The key, though, is to do it slowly.
It would be nice to go in tomorrow and quit your job, but I don’t recommend that. Instead, stay where you are and begin to work your business part time. Plan time, every day, to work on and in your business. It may be challenging, but do it. Once the money you are making in your business is enough to cover your living expenses, it’s time to move full time into your venture. At this point, you are no longer able to afford going to your job.
Smart work requires you to involve those closest to you, so as not to hurt your relationships. By working with your spouse, in your business, you are developing a common purpose that you can both work toward achieving. The alternative is spending a lot of lonely time, trying to get your project off the ground.
The next component of smart work is to find something you love to do. For me it was a pretty natural progression to start an online ministry based on my desire to help other people and knowing that God has a calling on my life for just that purpose.
Michael at R2W
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