We all know there are no easy ways to get ahead in life, but that doesn’t stop us from dreaming about how it would feel if we didn’t have to work for our money.
Unfortunately, even when we’re putting in our 10,000 hours of practice, working late nights at the office, and stashing every last nickel in our savings account, we never seem to have enough cash on hand.
That’s because hustling harder won’t give you freedom. In fact, it will do the opposite: leave you feeling stressed and anxious about your financial future.
If that doesn’t sound very relaxing to you, then keep reading for 4 reasons why you shouldn’t keep working just as hard as you have been.
1. Time is more valuable than money
It’s a sad truth that no matter how much you earn, the amount of time you have on this earth remains fixed at a certain number of hours and minutes. So wouldn’t it make sense to invest those finite resources in ways that help you save more money?
For example, if you make $50,000 per year and decide to spend an extra hour commuting every day, that would cost you roughly $11.25 per day or $3,775 per year (calculations based on the average American gas price of $2.80/gallon). Instead of spending all that time behind the wheel, you could read a book or listen to an audiobook during the drive. Or you could catch up on your favorite TV show when you get home from work each evening—you’ll actually have something fun to talk about at the dinner table instead of a boring commute!
While the extra activities in this example would take time away from other tasks (like working), you’ll still come out ahead by $3,775. Meanwhile, if you just keep hustling at your current rate even though you’re not reaping any benefits from it, then the extra hours of commuting aren’t going to help you increase your income or save more money for retirement.
When trying to figure out how to get ahead, remember that time is more valuable than money.
2. Hustling is not a sustainable practice
We all know how it feels to be busy: You barely have enough time to get everything done—work, kids, errands, and so on. Part of the reason you feel this way is because you’re always chasing your tail instead of actually making progress. You work all day and then at night, you’re exhausted from the effort but don’t have anything tangible to show for it.
After a while, as this cycle repeats itself over and over again, your mind starts convincing your body that it’s okay to be tired because the only thing standing between you and greatness is your willingness to hustle hard enough. So the next day, you wake up and start all over again.
At some point, though, your body will stop listening to your mind because it starts getting too worn out—hence why burnout is a real thing. When you eventually give up on working yourself to death, you’ll realize that you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy on nothing.
Remember: When you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, your hustle levels will probably be out of whack. But when you figure out how to get ahead without constantly taxing your resources, it will seem infinitely easier—because life is easier when you’re not constantly stressing out.
3. You have to work smarter, not harder
I’ll never forget the day I signed up for a membership at my local gym: It was the first time I’d ever paid to exercise and had no idea what I was doing. I showed up early one Sunday morning and was surprised by how many people were already there.
Didn’t these people have anything better to do on a Sunday morning? Didn’t they know that they could save money by exercising in their living room for free instead of paying the monthly fee at the gym—even when you factor in the convenience of not having to pack your bags and drive somewhere?
It didn’t take me long to realize that their willingness to pay for a gym membership implied that they were getting way more out of the experience than just working up a sweat. Instead of putting in extra hours at home, they chose to be there because it provided them with something beyond physical exercise: They could socialize, build meaningful relationships and establish business connections—all while being surrounded by other like-minded individuals that shared their ambition and drive.
After seeing how other people could get more out of a single visit to the gym than I’d ever be able to, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was drastically undervaluing my own potential—and by extension, devaluing my own worth. I had become so accustomed to hustling for the sake of it that I no longer appreciated all of the things I could accomplish when working smarter, not harder.
People who get ahead know that they have a limited amount of time and energy in a day—just like you do—and therefore have to be selective about how they spend their efforts. Instead of trying to do everything, they focus on what matters most and make sure that it gets done.
Remember: Hustle is not the only way to get ahead. There are other ways you can maximize your results without working yourself into the ground.
4. Leverage will give you freedom faster than hustling
Can you think of a time when your drive to hustle actually got in the way of your success? Maybe you stayed up late working on an assignment for work because you didn’t want to let your teammates down—and then fell asleep during a crucial meeting, which ultimately ruined your chances of moving forward. Or maybe it was never anything that dramatic; Maybe you just found yourself staying at work longer than necessary a little more often than you’d like to admit—just so you wouldn’t have to go home and face the loneliness that awaited you there.
When we’re asked to do something, our first instinct is usually to say yes because it’s easier to commit than it is to resist. So when someone asks us for help or offers us a challenge to take on, we feel obligated to accept—even when we know that it will stretch us beyond our limits.
The truth is, your potential for something is directly proportional to the amount of effort you’re willing to put into it. If you spend most of your life saying yes to new challenges, then you’ll have a limited amount of time to achieve all the things you want. But if you start saying no—even to seemingly harmless requests—you’ll have more time for yourself, your family, and the things that actually matter in life.
The most successful people don’t work harder than everyone else; they simply outwork everyone else by leveraging their most valuable resource: Time.
They understand that their time on this planet is limited, so they make sure to spend it wisely. They choose how they spend their energy and devote themselves fully to the things that align with their values and goals, knowing that one day they’ll look back at what they accomplished and be proud of what they were able to accomplish during a lifetime spent working smarter, not harder.
In a world where everything has become commoditized and the majority of people are far more concerned with getting ahead than they are with finding meaning in their lives, hustling hard will get you only so far. If you want to get ahead—in every sense of the word—you have to find your leverage and use it to level the playing field, so that you can get to where you want to go without expending more effort than necessary.
Stop Hustling Harder and Automate The Hustle
So if you’re feeling bogged down by the constant hustle, it’s time to try something new. Something that will give you the freedom and flexibility you desire without sacrificing your health or sanity. We have just what you need – our Inner Circle membership offers all of the tools and training you need to work smarter, not harder. With our help, you can achieve the level of success you’ve been striving for while maintaining a life outside of work. Sound good?