Are You Working Smart or Hard?
One of my favorite stories on success and personal development is entitled “The Pipeline Story”. The pipeline story reminds me of the importance of working smart rather than working hard. Read on…
Once upon a time in a distant town high on the mountain top, there was a village with scarcity of water supply. The villagers must travel over a mile away, to another valley, in order to get water. To solve the problem, the villagers agreed to pay anyone who can deliver water supply to their village on a daily basis.
Two ambitious young men, John and Peter, both offered their services and were both hired to do the job. The villagers thought that hiring these two young men would create competition that would lower the price of their service, as well as increase the water supply delivered.
John and Peter wasted no time and immediately bought two buckets. They began running back and forth from the end of the village to the valley across. They worked hard from early morning until evening carrying on their shoulders two buckets full of water. They both started to earn money from their hard work and both were very happy.
John and Peter did the same thing over again every day. John didn’t mind the hard work and exhaustion because he was happy earning. He bought a house, a car, and started hanging out in the bars with friends when he was not working. He felt happy enjoying and living the life that he always wanted.
Peter, however, felt something was not right. He felt that his hard work was not paying him well enough in exchange for all the exhaustion he was suffering. He thought that if he continued doing what he was doing, manually carrying buckets of water into the village back and forth, in few years’ time his youthful body will get so weak that he will no longer be able to carry two buckets of water. As a result, his earnings will stop. He realized that he needed another way of doing things; he needed to think and work smart in order to carry on with this project. He needed to build something that will work for him long term.
Peter’s idea was to build a pipeline that will connect the valley’s water source to the village. With the current money he earned, instead of spending it to enjoy and buy things he wanted, like John did, he saved the money to fund his business plan.
Having confidence with his plan, Peter continued working everyday carrying two buckets full of water from the valley into the village. But after work, Peter spent his time finding someone to help build his pipeline. Meanwhile, John continued to spend his time after work hanging out with friends in the bar and spending his hard earn money.
Finally, after one year of patience, persistence, and continuous work, Peter finished the pipeline. When he started to operate it, the pipeline successfully sent water from the valley into the village. The villagers rejoiced and closed the deal with Peter. He became their sole distributor of water. With that, he was able to earn continuous amounts of money even if he wasn’t working. As such, he was able to enjoy the life that he desires even earlier in his life.
Are you working “on” your practice smartly, or are you simply working hard “in” your practice, carrying buckets of water until you drop? Outsourcing key business processes allows you to build a “pipeline” rather than carry heavy buckets.