By, Dr. Tayo Oyedeji
I chose to address this issue because of the pervasive belief that financial success is a by-product of hard work. My view is that hard work is not enough.
1/ I will address the 2 myths that perpetuate this belief and propose an alternative model.
2/ MYTH 1: Hard work leads to financial prosperity.
The hardest working people I know are construction workers. I work with them on my real estate business and have developed immense respect for their work ethics. Unfortunately, their hard work produces ONLY about $10 per hour.
3/ MYTH 1 (cont.) I have also worked with some incredibly hardworking people in the corporate world and we all know that they don’t always get that promotion or win that contract or get the recognition. There is obviously a lot more to financial success than hard work.
4/ MYTH 2: Don’t just work hard, work smart.
My problem with this myth is the unsaid meaning it often conveys. “Smart work” in many circles means taking shortcuts, skirting the edges of legality, playing unethical games, and speculative investments.
5/ MYTH 2 (cont.)
Shortcuts often lead to dead ends; illegal stuff eventually gets people in trouble; unethical work destroys reputations; and nothing kills capital faster than speculations. I obviously don’t advocate “smart work”
6/ ALTERNATIVE PROPOSITION: Strategic work leads to financial freedom.
Strategic work (SW) is a plan of action backed by hard work designed to achieve a key goal.
Let me share how I work strategically.
STEP 1: I develop a single strategic goal.
2002 – My strategic goal was to get a scholarship to study in America
2008 – To finish my PhD at the top of my class
2010 – To leave academia for a top-ranked MBA
2011 – To become a CEO within 5 years
2017 – To become financially free
STEP 1 (cont). Many people develop long-winding convoluted goals that require a management process to remember. I try to keep it simple and by focusing on one big goal per year. Just ONE.
STEP 2: I do the research.
2002: Dropped MBA plans cos research showed that a full scholarship was more probable for a non-MBA graduate degree.
2008: Publish like crazy to build academic rep.
2010: Score 90%+ on GMAT.
2011: Explore the “road less traveled”
2017: Side hustles
Step 3: I create a plan of action.
2002: GRE + great essays + TOEFL.
2008: Study 8 or more hours daily
2010: Get into Oxford or Cambridge MBA
2011: Go back to Africa where the path to CEO is more straightforward
2017: Compound interest plus multiple streams of income
Step 4: I do the work and enjoy the result
2002: Got the scholarship
2008: 4.0/4.0GPA, 4 global awards, assistant professor at UGA.
2010: Got into both Oxford and Cambridge, went to Oxford.
2011: CEO in 3 years (2014).
2017: Became Financially free.
My view is that hard work is not enough. You need to work strategically to become financially successful.
Here are the 4 steps again.
Step 1: Develop a single strategic goal
Step 2: Research the goal
Step 3: Develop a plan of action
Step 4: Do the work and enjoy the result.
There are obviously many models and processes. This is what works for me and I have a feeling that it can work for many of my Twitter followers too.
Dream big dreams, make big strategic goals, work hard towards it, and watch those dreams come true.
Guy’s. It took me 15 years of consistent hard work. It may take longer for other people. Let’s stay in the game; let’s do what we know to be right.
Slow but steady wins the race.