Work Harder, Then Work Smarter

This post was written by Derek.

Are you currently struggling to pay the bills from month to month? Are you wondering how your friends seem to be surviving without effort? How are you going to turn things around?

If you’re asking yourself the questions above, you’d better make some changes to your life in a hurry! Now, of course everyone can make some extra money from time to time, but what is the logical answer to digging yourself out of this paycheck-to-paycheck life?

Assuming you have your expenses under control and you’re not going out for crab legs every weekend, let’s move onto the difference maker: income.

Income: Work Harder

This lesson is actually very simple and we’ve all done it. If our current expenses are greater than our current income, then we just need to increase the income! Since we are all very accustomed to earning our dollars at an hourly rate, why not just increase your hours? This is only temporary of course.

I think I can hear the groans and screams already, “But I don’t have any extra time! I already work a full time job and there’s just no time in my schedule for anything else!” Yep, I’ve heard that one before…. and, maybe you are one of the exceptions, but I seriously doubt it.

Do you own a television? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you can find more time for a part-time job (because I know you’re watching that television at least once a week). So here’s what you do: turn off the TV (or better yet, sell it), go find a part-time job, and make an additional $500 a month until you get ahead a little.

Part-time Job Ideas

  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Valet (@ golf course or hotel)
  • Bell Boy at hotel
  • Dish Washer
  • Bus Boy
  • Pizza Delivery
  • Retail Store employee

These examples are just a few ways to make more money. I could probably think of 50 more ways without even trying – and I know you could too. It’s just the matter of getting out there and doing it. Like I said before, it’s only temporary.

Income: Work Smarter

Typically, when people begin to earn that extra part-time income, they start to get greedy; they want to buy the things that they never had before: big screen TV, surround sound, designer clothing, purses, and yes, those to-die-for shoes that were never in the budget before. Suddenly, we feel like we have the cash to pay for these items….BUT, if we allow ourselves to do this, then we’ll be stuck in the same job we had before, PLUS we have to keep working that part-time job to support our new expensive habits.

Don’t do this to yourself! Start working smarter instead of harder.

Here are the steps to start working smarter:

  • Brainstorm income options that you’d enjoy
  • Make sure this income can produce “passive” results
  • Save up an extra $10,000 from that part-time job and quit
  • Begin your passive income venture for less than $1,000
  • Your simple business should produce at least $500/month to replace your previous part-time job – and, you’ll enjoy it!
  • Systematize your business to make money when you’re not around
  • Repeat these steps as many times as you like for ultimate “smart” results

And, that’s pretty much the secret to self-made millionaires. If you utilize these steps (and I know, it’s a lot to handle in one lesson), you could easily become the first wealthiest person on your block, on your street, in your neighborhood, or maybe even in the entire city!

Please ask questions about the passive income plan outlined above. I know it’s quite a lot to handle, and it might not all make sense. Just know that I’ll have a response for every comment! 🙂


Work Harder, Then Work Smarter — 10 Comments

  1. If you are already covering expenses I’d advocate for skipping the “working harder” part going straight to the “working smarter”. The working smarter part of equation, building some alternate income stream that you control is going to require “working harder” as well so why pay the opportunity cost in time of a 6 month detour doing pizza delivery.

    There’s no time like the present to start something that will pay off tomorrow.

    • You’re right Justin. If you have no debt and no initial investment that’s needed for you passive income stream, then you can for sure skip the “work harder” portion of the equation.

      Do you have some passive income currently? It’s sounds like you’re speaking from experience! 🙂

      • I’ve been fluctuating between working sole for myself and having a corporate job for the last 8 years (I got out of private consulting to join a startup that is still around but on life support). I am back in a more typical corporate job but am working on additional income streams through my own startup,, I’ve been working on it part time for about a year, it finally launched about a month ago and I am still knee in the “working harder” phase, there’s nothing passive about it yet 🙂

        • Yeah, passive income definitely doesn’t come without hard work. Often times, it’s 10x harder than regular hourly work, which is why so few people succeed in creating passive income.

          Good luck on the venture. IT sounds like you’re heading in the right direction!

  2. First, you main job is a resource often overlooked. Do you main job well, increases and promotions should be used to reduce debt. Weekend jobs can be another alternative as well as online businesses. Last, cutting expenses and changing priorities will also help.

  3. I loved this article, and I aboslutely agree with you. So many times people say they NEED more money, but don’t look at what’s right in front of them–increasing hours worked. Of course the extra hours will be a drag, but so what? You might make some new friends, and if it’s really that horrible, you’ll appreciate the money all the more and not go out and simply blow it. 😀

    • I’m glad you liked it Jessica! Not only will it make people appreciate their extra money, but it will also get them to think about working smarter (hopefully) so that they won’t have to put in all that time for slightly more money.

  4. I’d have to agree with some of the other comments regarding working harder if you can just skip to working “smarter.” If you can begin working on “passive” sources of income, that’s the smartest thing to do. However, many “passive” streams of income aren’t so passive after all. Blogging is great (I love it myself) but it’s not very passive. 😉 I don’t think rental income would be considered passive either since there’s maintenance. But it’s a great way to diversify income!

    • @Little House. I would agree. Both are great ways to get some extra income into your life but they don’t come work free that’s for sure. I honestly think very few things if any require no work.

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