Working Hard vs. Working Smart: How To Gain Leverage In Your Business


You’ve probably heard the expression “working hard vs. working smart”.

But what does that really mean?

As we all know, time is the most precious commodity you have when building your own business.

However, if you’re only working hard and grinding away at your business day after day…

… there’s a good chance you’ll burn out.

Therefore, you must know the difference between working hard vs. working smart if you want to…

  • Leverage your time
  • Maximize your efforts
  • Get the most out of your business

Truth be told, for several years Michelle and I were shackled to our business

However, in a second I’m going to reveal the 3 biggest changes we made in our business that enabled us to achieve maximum leverage and productivity.

Working Hard vs. Working Smart: What Does That Mean?

I once saw the quote….

“If working hard was the best way to make money, then ditch diggers would be the richest people on earth.”

Now whether you agree with that quote or not, there is something to be said for working smart as opposed to just working hard.

Here are some examples of working hard vs. working smart.

  • Working hard is trying to figure out and create everything by yourself
  • Working hard is reaching out to people one by one through Facebook
    • Working smart is creating one Facebook ad that will reach thousands of people
  • Working hard is calling people one at a time to sell them over the phone
  • Working hard is doing everything on our own
    • Working smart is outsourcing that tasks that need to be done but can be easily done by someone else
  • Working hard is coaching every person on your team 1 on 1
    • Working smart is leveraging a coach who will work with your team on your behalf
  • Working hard is working with the 80% of the people in your organization that produce 20% of the results
    • Working smart is working with the 20% of the people who are bringing you 80% of the results

Why Leverage Is So Important

Let me share with you the 3 Phases of Leverage that I’ve experienced in my adult working life.

1.) 16 years In Corporate America:

I reported to a boss.

Mandatory hours (typically 9-5 or 8-6).

I had to exchange my time for money.

I had to ask permission to go to the dentist or to leave a bit early to see one of my daughters’ swim meets or dance recitals.

I was essentially working to help build someone else’s dream and if I didn’t show up to work I wouldn’t get paid a dime.

Result: I had No Leverage

2.) Running Our Own Business: First 3 Years

I had no boss, had no mandatory hours, but Michelle and I worked our butts off.

I was constantly on the phone either:

  1. Prospecting leads and making sales calls 
  2. Conducting coaching calls with team members

In fact, there were many days where I worked much harder and put in more hours than when I was a corporate peon.  

Working hard vs. Working smart

The first 3 years of our business we had very little leverage

To make matters worse, most people aren’t available to speak during normal business hours due to their own job situation.

Therefore, in order to connect with people I had to conduct the majority of my sales calls and coaching calls during nights and weekends.  

This was a problem because I’ve always considered nights and weekends to be family time and relaxing time.

Furthermore, one of the main reasons we started our business was to have more time to spend with our family… not less!

However, in order for our business to grow, I found that I was grinding away to constantly connect with and communicate with people.

Additionally, we had no tiered product mix or profit maximizer in our business model.

We would receive small commissions on any given customer and therefore we were constantly grinding away to add new customers to our business.

Result: I had Minimal Leverage

3.) Running Our Own Business: Last 3 Years To Present

We now outsource and/or hire people to handle things like…

  • Our customer support desk
  • Creating graphics & branding images
  • The technical “behind the scenes” aspects of our blog and website

Additionally, we now have a phone sales team who consults with our leads and front end customers to make then aware of additional offers and solutions.

Work Hard vs. Work smartFurthermore, we now leverage a highly trained business coach who is able to work 1- on – 1 with our new team members to walk them through the business building process and get them up and running.

Our main focus at this point is on marketing, creating training and tools for our team, and moving forward with the vision of our business.

We can spend a couple hours per day on the essential aspects of our business which are:

  1. Emailing our list
  2. Managing our Facebook ad campaigns/driving traffic to offers
  3. Creating 2-3 solid pieces of content per week

Obviously there are days/weeks where the business requires more time then just 2-3 hours per day.

And there are other aspects such as managing and directing the team, mapping out the vision/future of our company, product & training development etc.

But the big difference between the last two years and the first 3 years is that we now have leverage!

We could work just 2 hours per day or even go several days without doing any work if we wanted to…

and our business would still be profitable.

Our stress levels are down and our quality of life has improved as a result.

And you know what?

We’re actually bringing in 3-5x more revenue per month than we used to, yet we’re working 1/2 the hours that we did in the first 3 years of our business.

Pretty crazy, huh?

How Did We Get This Leverage?

By now you might be asking, what did we do to create such a drastic change in our business and get this kind of leverage.

We did a few things:

  1. We leveraged a system that provides us with a phone sales team to call our qualified leads and entry level buyers for us.
  2. We added a tiered product mix and a profit maximizer to our business model which enable us to obtain customers that are far more profitable than previously.
  3. We’re part of a program that provides a business coach to any new member that we bring in to walk them through the steps the steps they need to successfully achieve their business goals.

Now that you know what it takes to get more leverage in your business… you’re ready to take the next steps.

To Your Success,
Cecelia Morris

P.S., I Want To Hear From You!  If you got value from this blob post then please comment below and feel free to share this article on Facebook or Twitter.



Bill Pescosolido is a Certified Content Marketing Specialist and is in charge of the content and email marketing for Pescosolido Marketing LLC. Prior to joining his wife Michelle in their digital marketing business Bill spent 16 years in Corporate America in sales and consulting roles.