Work Smarter Not Harder – But Why?

We hear it all the time.

We need to “work harder, not smarter”.

I keep hearing this exact quote over and over again. In fact, it’s a recurring thing that happens a few times a week.

Funnily enough it was almost non-existent for me 3+ years ago. I don’t recall ever hearing it, but now nobody can stop saying it.

But why does working smarter triumph working harder?

Because my friend, I will tell you exactly how in the next few seconds.

What does Hard Work Mean?


Hard work is what your parents grew up on. It is how your grandparents and even great-grandparents lived life.

Ask anyone you know how to become rich. MOST will tell you you need to work hard.

However, 97% of the population work hard. But that doesn’t land them any more than a 9-5 job they hate and dread.

Hard work will often get you a job, and that’s it.

You try climbing the corporate ladder because you want more income, but you get nowhere. You start looking desperate.

Getting desperate leads to loss of motivation, and yes you guessed it, loss of motivation leads to giving up.

You’re then left with a job you simply do not like with a dream becoming more unreachable every passing day.

Hard work is not the key to getting what you want out of life.

What happened when I tried catching up on rent in 2013 with so-called “hard work”

Here’s a story that pretty much proves that hard work doesn’t pay off.

Back in 2013…

I was behind on rent by at least 4 weeks. $220 = $880. My priorities weren’t right.

In NZ we pay rent weekly, not monthly. I had a small family and needed to get that paid or we’d be living on the streets!

So, I had a good job (meat processing plant) that had a day and night shift.

I was a day shifter, which meant I had to work for 8 hours before I was finished for the day.

However, because it was peak season, I was able to do overtime for time and a half pay (double shifting).

I worked for an extra 6 hours at night for 5 days straight.

Yes, that was 14 hours per day. I was desperate to get my rent arrears paid.

Sadly that didn’t happen.

I earned a take-home pay of about $1200 for the week and only paid for 2 weeks. I was STILL behind by 3 weeks since I had to pay the current weeks rent as well!


My work mate wanted to drink alcohol with me all the time, and I was too weak to say no. He would show up at my house ready to party.

We lived close to a club, which didn’t help at all since it was so easy to drink and go there, and of course spend lots of money.

So why am I telling you this?

All that hard work was a big waste of time.

Changing my ways would’ve been the better option.

I should’ve worked smarter by switching my priorities, set up payments so my rent would go in automatically (plus a small amount extra to catch up on arrears).

Heck, I bet the real estate agent wouldn’t have minded!

So What does Smart Work Mean?

Smart work is overlooked by most people in fact.

Smart work is the act of using your brain to get things done rather than mindlessly working without knowing the consequences.

Hard workers think they’re doing the right thing for the job at hand. They don’t “think”, but instead just DO.

Smart workers look at the hard workers working hard, quietly laugh to themselves, then proceed to do it their way – in a much easier/safer manner.

An example:

Hard Worker Joe Bloggs carries 2 heavy boxes off the floor and onto a truck at the same time. He wants 30 boxes on the truck as fast as possible.

Smart Worker Jim carries 1 at a time, and actually keeps a straight back and bends his legs for better/safer support.

What does Joe Bloggs achieve?

Joe Bloggs has a sore back and no energy left. He is out of breath and can’t stop puffing. At the end of the day he is worn out and totally stuffed.


What does Jim achieve?

He is still rearing to go. He has plenty of energy left in the tank and doesn’t feel any type of soreness. He even has time to hit the gym after an 8-hour day!

Because Mr. Jim worked smarter not harder, he still has plenty of energy left to hit the gym or even play his favorite sport.

He has energy to actually spend time with family and not loaf on the couch; simply because he decided to take the smarter route.

The Dangers of Working Hard

Because you’re doing EXACTLY what everybody else is telling you, you think you are doing the right thing.

Carrying this mindset through your life gives you a false sense of direction.

In the end you’re left with the same job you’ve hated for 20+ years, no money in the bank, no goals achieved, no vacations complete and no dreams in arms reach.

And of course, a LOT of time wasted.

When you work hard, you’re doing what everybody else is doing.

And we all know what everybody else is doing…staying in a job they hate and never getting anything done even when they have big dreams.

Don’t believe me?

Statistics show 70% of US workers hate their job.

Not many people are working smart, but fortunately I’m going to tell you how to do it so you don’t fall into the same old 9-5 trap as everyone else.

But more on that in a second.

The Dangers of Working Smarter – Hint: There is None

There is really no dangers of working smarter.

There are so many benefits it literally changes your life, but you have to implement the mindset and actions correctly to gain the effects.

Working smarter makes you happier and less stressed because you don’t carry around the consequences of what hard work offers!

What Does All This Mean? Why Does It Apply To You?

Because you are being fed the wrong information even by your loved ones, and it’s not even their fault.

They don’t know any better and neither do most people on this planet.

Like I said, almost everyone will tell you that if you want ANYTHING in life, you will have to work hard for it.

As a matter of fact; the correct advice would be to reverse engineer the thing you want, find out exactly what needs to be done to reach whatever it is, then perform daily actions until you get there.

Remember how I said that people who try climb the corporate ladder end up looking like a desperate beggar instead of successful businessmen with lots of money?

Well, since you landed on a website that praises quitting a dreadful job to do what you love, you are in for a nice surprise.

So Working Smarter Helps With Personal Finances? Yes

Yes it does, and I’m about to explain how.stacks-of-cash

My 2013 binge-drinking story is a great example here.

Because I decided to “work hard” instead of “working smart”, I lost out in the end.

Sure, I made a nice amount of money for the time being but it wasn’t going to last long, and it didn’t.

The smarter route would be to make money on the side.

If you want to make $5,000 per month so you can quit your day job, just reverse engineer it.

This means you have to earn $166 per day to reach your goal of $5,000 per month.

But what if you want $10,000 by this time next year so you can finally go on that ultimate vacation?

You will need to save $27.39 per day.

“Okay Brandon, where the heck am I going to get $27.39 per day from?!?”

Well the good news is that we are in a new age, an age where rules that use to apply to your parents do not apply to us.

I don’t want to be normal, and neither do you.

We are living in the fast lane with opportunities literally around the corner.

Do we take all of them? No, but–in my opinion–the big opportunities matter the most.

The big opportunities create life-changing experiences and the reason why getting out of your comfort zone will be the best thing you ever do.

Working Smarter to Make Money

Mr. Joe Bloggs isn’t going to like this, but I don’t care!

He is a hard worker, but you and I are smart workers.

You and I don’t like traditional 9-5 jobs because we have bigger and better things in mind.

We absolutely hate jobs (hence the name of the site) and want more out of life.

And that’s okay!

Me, you and everyone over at Wealthy Affiliate all have the exact same thing in common.

We want to make money – the SMART way – so we don’t have to spend 40 hours a week making other people rich!

So when you’re ready to take the next step, which I already know you are, read my full review so you know what it’s all about 🙂

All comments, questions and thoughts are welcome! Please leave them below.

28 thoughts on “Work Smarter Not Harder – But Why?”

  1. Hi, Brandon. The other day I attended a business presentation meeting after a friends’ constant bugging me to attend. I couldn’t help but notice how hard work was constantly advocated for throughout the presentation. I am no believer in working hard, I have seen people work day in day out until they retire and have nothing to show for it in the end. Just like you, I believe in achieving goals in the shortest time by working smart. Am sure this article will help someone get out of the ‘hard work’ cycle. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yep, people think hard work is they key to reaching success. It couldn’t be any further from the truth.

      And you are 100% correct. People work day in, day out all their lives (this is “hard work”). In the end they have nothing to show for it.

      If you keep your eye on the prize and not let anything get in the way, you will do great things I just know it.

  2. This is literally the best post I have read in a long time. You caught my attention the whole way and I never once thought about leaving.

    I think being a smart worker or an entrepreneur you could say, is the ability to think outside the box of normal stereotypes of what we are expected to do in society and say fuck that. Once you break free of societies expectations the sky is the limit and dreams do come true. People can’t say you won’t be able to do something because their either jealous or can’t achieve it themselves. Donald trumps president in the USA and net neutrality has been destroyed despite millions of people’s backlash. Anything is possible.

    Thanks for the great read and goodluck with your future successes!

    • I like your way of thinking, Jeremy.

      Doing what other people are doing gives you the norm, but going above and beyond societies expectations really is the secret to living how YOU want to.

      What’s even sadder is that your friends and family are the first to start hating, getting jealous and saying negative things.

      If they are friends, cut them out of your life asap. If it’s family, give multiple warnings because…they are your family after all.

  3. I love your examples of working smarter not harder. We can spend our whole lives working for others if we are not careful. All we do is make them rich while all we get is poor health in some cases and barely making ends meet.

    On the other hand if we decide to work for ourselves we can create a residual income that will continue to come in month after month no matter how hard we work. Working smarter is more appealing in my opinion.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome wake up call of how to work smarter not harder.

    • No worries, Nate. I was never an entrepreneurial type of guy, but when I realized I was working 40 hours a week just to make ends meet and create wealth for my boss, I knew something had to be done.

      The thought of making thousands per month from working from home seemed like a dream, and I was going to do everything I could until I got there. I’m glad I never stopped!

      That is when I took to the internet, found a few things–some worked, most didn’t. Wealthy Affiliate was my big breakthrough.

      Good luck in whatever venture you pursue, friend!

  4. Definitely needed to hear this. Like most people, I’m sick of my job too. I’ve been reading a lot lately about Wealthy Affiliate members who pull in 10k or more (USD) a month.

  5. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
    I completely agree with your thought.
    Most people work hard because they are afraid to lose their job.
    What was your plan to work smart?

    • They work hard because they think it’s the right thing to do. It’s as simple as that.

      I decided I wanted to make money online rather than working my a*s off slaving away at a proper J.O.B.

      I first started with Google Sniper, which didn’t work (btw, a total scam). Fast forward a few years, now I’m with Wealthy Affiliate and making a full-time income from home.

      I am literally living my dream, and I must say; never stopping even when times got tough was one of the best things I ever did.

  6. Hey Brandon, a great job illustrating the pitfalls of just working hard. Working hard has its place, but it has to be coupled with working smart. And I think one of the best ways to receive smart ideas is to clear your mind (through meditation). There are many “x number of millionaire/billionaire habits” articles/books nowadays and one daily practice that I see is common is that wealthy people meditate daily.

    • Thank you!

      Meditation is widely used, definitely. However, I did not know that the wealthiest people meditate daily.

      I think the biggest thing is: when you absolutely KNOW how to get somewhere and don’t stop until you get there, that is when big things happen and your world changes for the better.

  7. Hi Brandon, you have raised an excellent point about working smart. I knew from my personal experience that working hard is what my parents and grandparents preach. In a way, they are not wrong but it was a different era. Today, with technology that’s available, we can’t just work hard. I left my corporate job in 2017 to pursue my dream. It’s tough, yes but tougher in the future if I decide to stay put. May I just add that our future generation will also have to work smarter and by then, their definition of smart working will have to adjust according to what’s happening around them. Great article and I am for the notion that anyone reading this to consider taking action on gain back your time, freedom and joy. 9to5 is not a bad thing, but we shouldn’t be slaves to it because there wasn’t another choice. We do have choices.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. I’ve said it time and time again. We have more opportunities available, much more than what our parents and grandparents had.

      This means we don’t have to stick to the same old hard work “system”. In fact, that’s probably why they’re the first to say what we’re doing doesn’t work, because they didn’t have any of this available.

      The internet and making money online is so new to ALL of us. But times have changed, so adapt and make things happen!

  8. Certainly food for thought! I’ve been in that behind-on-finances can’t-catch-up position. And I did just try working longer hours. Now I’m ready for a different approach. Thanks for this article, it is just the encouragement I need right now!

  9. I love your post! I 100% agree with working smarter especially in manual labor type settings. Being a carpenter, I work smart to protect my body for the long term, not to protect my bosses bank account. I feel you on the drinking situation too, I am also a bartender at night, so I’m surrounded by pressure to drink, but I keep focused on my goals and don’t let distractions get in the way. Once you learn to say no to time wasters, it gets so much easier! Your family’s financial stability is far more important than their feelings! Keep working hard, you’ll achieve your dreams soon! 🙂

    • Haha, awesome. Bosses simply do not care about Healthy and Safety, although they pretend they do!

      Our families need our time, but working 8 hours a day takes that away from all of us.

      Having the ability to gain freedom is the #1 reason why I work from home. It’s not even about the money, it is about being there for our close ones, because you cannot buy time back!

  10. Hey Brandon,You have a very good point here. The fact that working smart is much better than working hard. You need to use brain in this day of age. Working smart is way to go because people can work hard in difficult situations instead of thinking other way around. I understand there are some situation, where person can be really panicked like you were. He won’t think but just work hard to solve his issue. I like your example of Joe Bloggs and Jim because I work at a warehouse as well and I carry boxes.

    • Absolutely. Well I’m glad you found this article helpful. Just remember; work smarter on personal finances because being financially free makes everything so much more easier and fun!

  11. Hi there. I agree with that working hard does not really get you anywhere. Doing a 9 – 5 job does nothing for you but make your boss rich. Where is the good in that? I would much rather work smarter and for myself now. I was a 9 – 5 worker, sometimes 9 – 11 when the boss required it and I have now learned to change my priorities. A great article and well written, thanks.


    • Hello Carl.

      Although there’s nothing wrong with a 9 – 5 job – if you really want to break free from the cycle it’s not just a matter of “saving your money” anymore. It’s all about increasing income, creating passive flows so you can create wealth most people can only imagine.

      It won’t be easy, but the question is: how bad do you want it?

      You see, working overtime gives you money in the short term. But in another 2 weeks you’ll be at square one again, with time gone you simply cannot get back. So I’m glad you’ve realized what you need to do and I wish you all the best.

      Cheers and have a great day.

  12. Hi Brandon, while I fully agree with your propagating working the smart way, I will not totally condemn hard work. Hard work has its place in people’s success, however, yes, the need of the hour is to compliment hard work with smart work. Times have changed, life has become very competitive and our wants and desires have also gone up. A mere 9-5 job will not suffice and one has to look for additional income sources and handling these needs smart thinking.

    • Yep, you’re not wrong. Hard work does have its place but smart work will always conquer. Just ask anyone who works nonstop to make ends meet, and never actually reaches financial stability.

      There is SO much opportunities around us, it’s almost like a secondary income source has become the norm.

      It hasn’t just yet, but in the upcoming years; you watch! People will be looking for alternative means of income. People already are in fact! It’s only going to get worse.

  13. Hello Brandon, thanks for sharing your story with us. I was just like you; the hard worker and not the smart worker. I was working as a dishwasher and struggling to make ends meet. But as of now, I’m a member of Wealthy Affiliate and working to build out my niche business and also doing Uber until my business becomes successful. I will continue to work smart and never have a get a job never again in my life!!! Thanks again and continue to work smart.

    • Good idea taking the smart route, Ahmad. The ones who don’t follow societies rules are the ones that become successful. You’ll create tremendous wealth as long as you keep at it and never quit. You simply cannot fail if you don’t give up. It’s as simple as that.

      Good luck!


  14. Hi Brandon this was so great to read, I have also heard the statement of work smarter not harder, but I have a family that is not true believers that you can make money on-line and I think my biggest reason for doing the work from home blogging, besides it is fun for me and very interesting, is that I want to prove something to them (my family) that there is always a different way of doing things, not to slave away like you said and really get nowhere. My brother and his wife make a lot of money, but don’t ever get to go on vacation, or spend any quality time just hanging out, always working. I do not want to end up this way, thanks for the motivation and I will definitely work smarter not harder.

    • It’s all about the freedom, brother. I don’t care how much money somebody makes, what impresses me is how much time they have to themselves.

      Like you said, your brother and his wife are loaded with money but they can’t even make time for a vacation. I mean, what is the point in making a boatload of money when you can’t enjoy yourself with it?

      You are doing a great job following the smarter route and I wish you nothing but success, friend.


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