How hard do you try?


It's Not Always How Hard You Try
Work hard and you will be rewarded. It sounds simple. But remember what it was like studying for a test? Some kids studied forever and did poorly. I remember not too long ago when I was working in the financial markets and had to take my life insurance test. Oh, how many hours I had put in to study and prepare for that test. Do you know it took me 11 times before I could pass? It didn't have anything to do with the fact that I didn't study or take practice tests. Oh no, I
spent hours studying, took practice tests until my eyes were blood shot and studied till my head hurt. I was all in and did WHATEVER it took so I could get licensed. I knew the material; I just was never good at taking tests, but I was so determined in that moment that I was going to become an expert at test taking. I didn't care what it took; I was going to figure it out one way or another.
Some people spend incredible efforts inefficiently and gain nothing. Or, you can spend modest efforts efficiently and be rewarded. The purpose of what you do is to make progress, not just to expend yourself.
Achnbach's pastries was an institution in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.. The family-owned bakery had a loyal customer base and had operated profitably for more than for decades in the 1990's. The owners decided to expand to offer deli sandwiches and other goods and to add new locations for both retail and wholesale sales. The bakery's owners had never worked harder in their lives than they did after the expansion. In return for all their hard work, they made less money and incurred the threat of bankruptcy because they could not keep up with debt accrued in
the expansion.
Earl Hess, a retired business executive, provided capital to keep the company in
business and then ultimately bought the entire operation. He looked at things as an objective observer and found that the bakery was doomed by inefficiencies. "They had too many products. Ninety percent of sales came from 10 percent of the products. They were losing their aprons making low-volume items. Hess says when he took over the company he knew: "These people couldn't possibly have worked and harder, but they could have worked smarter."
 Effort is the single most overrated trait in producing success. People rank effort
as the best predictor of success, when in reality, it can be one of the least significant factors. While effort is important, effort, by itself, is a terrible predictor of outcomes because inefficient effort is a tremendous source of discouragement, leaving people to conclude that they can never succeed since even expanding maximum effort has not produced positive results.
-Scherneck 1998

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