Working Hard Isn’t Smart

There are a handful of techniques that I rely on to make clients happy.  Of these techniques, the one that requires almost no thought, no training, and no special skills is to work hard.

It's also the most effective technique that I've ever used. 

There are people who are just as successful as I am that don't work nearly as hard.  These people are better at what they do than I am at what I do.  They are smarter, luckier, or something-ier than I am and I applaud them for it.  I choose a simpler path and one that is much more repeatable and transferable: I choose to work really hard when the opportunity presents itself.  I think too many people misinterpret the phrase "work smarter, not harder" to mean "don't work hard, figure out how to get things done without much effort".  My translation is "work hard, and if a better way becomes apparent then do that . . . but also hard, and just get more done".  There's a reason why this is called Big Swinging Developer and not Super Comfortable Developer.

To be clear, "hard" doesn't just mean hours.  Sure, there'll be times when nothing but brute force will do and you should be ready to plow through when it's time, but there's more to it than that.  Hard work is all about doing the things that others won't.  The messy, unpleasant, yet valuable tasks that lie around undone because doing them is unattractive.  As I alluded to in a post about brownfield development:

There's money to be made in doing things that others don't want to do.  A lot of money.

Go ahead and give it shot.  There's bound to be a loose end where you work that's been languishing forever.  Attack it.  Get it done.  Do it in addition to whatever else you were going to do that day or that week.  Rinse.  Repeat.

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