Last week’s post about the delusion of hard work really struck a cord.

Some comments were simple and direct – “This was written for me.”

Others took a more anthropological stance, and talked about how the North American immigrant experience, history of slavery and Industrial Revolution affect our present day concept of hard work.

The above, along with the other responses I received, are deep and personal.

I also think they represent an undercurrent playing out in many work environments – a desire for a different way of living and being.

Please, Please, Set Me Free

As I said (here), the problem with deeply-rooted beliefs and long-standing examples that laud hard work and struggle over ease is that you end up working harder for your money than it does for you.

And since there are people whom have flipped the script and the switch on this paradigm, wouldn’t it be really, really cool if you, too, were living a life where your money worked harder for you than you for it…all the time?!

  • Can you imagine really living life on your terms and having control over your time and your lifestyle – instead of wishing it were so.
  • Can you imagine working in Corporate America but setting a new standard for what it means to be a “hard worker” and committed team-mate? Or, if you own a business, can you imagine actually running it instead of it running you. In other words, can you imagine taking time to think and be creative instead of being in a constant state of doing and reaction?
  • Can you imagine what it’d feel like to really work less yet have more (fill in the blank of what matters to you) and know that this decision isn’t sabotaging your current or future financial health and well-being?

Not only can I imagine this for you, I can imagine it for myself. But first, you and I have to make a few changes. Here’s what I mean…

Work Harder; Get Less?

If there was a poster child for ‘the delusion of hard work,’ it certainly would have been me. One of my first coaches, Mark Monchek, helped me see this with a simple, but piercing question: “Why are you trying to force this?” He was referring to my effort to grow my investment management business when it was my financial education practice that was thriving with little effort.

For a bit of context: I had a blast traveling across the country delivering custom-designed and non-traditional financial education experiences for corporations and associations. But back then, I looked at that work as something I did to supplement my revenue from working as a money manager.

Even though I LOVED the work, I didn’t initially take what I did in this education realm seriously because it was “easy” for me. Plus, my ego was really digging being able to say, “I’m a money manager.” That all changed when I realized 80% of my revenue was actually coming from the financial education side of my business.

My awareness may have changed somewhat instantaneously; it certainly was the reason I eventually closed down my money management practice. But it’s taken my mindset a little longer to catch up.

When your desire for a different way of living and being is greater than your current reality, you know you’re ready to have your money work harder for you than you are of it. However, readiness is one thing. Making it happen is quite another, and it requires a few changes:

  • You’ll have to adjust your mindset and alter a habit or two or three…
  • You’ll have to change your approach to work and to money
  • You’ll likely have to “see” yourself with new eyes – letting go of your “old” identity in order to welcome in a new one.

The shift in you having a say in how you work, when you work and on what, and in you defining the success thereof has been simmering for awhile. But the Great Recession became a poignant pivot point – prompting everyone to pay a wee-bit more attention and realize that you really are responsible for your career and your financial success. 

Some people excel in this awareness; others become frozen by the responsibility of it.

Truth is, it takes courage to flip the script and the switch on ‘hard work’ and embrace a new work-and-money paradigm: to really take the bull by the horn and live life on your own terms. But the benefits of having your money work harder for you are immeasurable.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about a virtual workshop I’m hosting – Wednesday, March 19th at 8pm EDT – “Stage Your Own Financial Makeover: You Can’t Work 24/7/365, But Your Money Sure Can!”

You’ll be able to register soon. In the meantime, save the date and let me know in the comments section your answer to this question: What would be different about your life if your money worked harder for you than you of it?

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