Some readers out there in Blogville don’t believe me.
“Are you for real?” they question.
“How can you grow a business from scratch to employing 1100 people without work hard? It just isn’t possible,” they shriek in disbelief.
“Clearly you ‘busted your butt’ to grow your businesses. There can be no other way,” they conclude with righteous conviction.
Crushed to see my veracity challenged, I have decided to use this week’s post to answer these skeptical, suspicious souls.
Let me first explain my involvement with the game of golf. Please bear with me as it relates . . . eventually.
I love golf. I love everything about it. I don’t think there
is a more satisfying experience in all of sports than executing the perfect
golf shot and watching the ball scrape the heavens to the joyful accompaniment
of celestial hosts oohing and aahing their appreciation in four
Golf is a game. And games are to be played. So I play golf; I don’t work golf.
Now here is the punch line:
I approach business the exact same way as I approach golf. Business is a game to me. It is like a giant board game, only more fun because there are more pieces, more players, more variations, more rules, more dice, more unpredictability, more possibilities, and more ways to win. There are even chances to create new rules if the traditional ones don’t suit you.
I love to play the game. I adore all the challenges that
business offers (and some of those challenges are even self
I have never busted, nor will I bust, my butt. I simply and unequivocally don’t believe busting a butt accomplishes anything. I vastly prefer my butt in its pristine, unbusted state as it comfortably resides in its organic cotton habitat.
“Okay, then,” some readers may counter, “you must be gifted/lucky/talented/blessed.”
Guys, I am not any more gifted than anyone else. In fact, I may be LESS gifted than most. I am not particularly smart. I don’t know finance. I don’t know technology. I don’t know law. I have no expertise in anything. I don’t have a good memory. Things go in one ear and out the other. I don’t have a long attention span. I don’t have a comprehensive vision that can hold many details/issues in my mind at once. I read excruciatingly slowly. And whatever intellectual capability I have is easily derailed by the slightest fluctuation in my emotions.
But, even still, I built some substantial businesses. Two of my businesses were named to INC magazine’s list of the fastest growing companies in America four times. In 1995, one was even ranked #2 – the second fastest growing company in America.
Here is how I was able to do it.
I did not do it with hard work. I did not do it by busting my butt. I did it by having fun – so much fun that people were attracted to that fun. I then picked the most competent attractees to be on my team and off we went. Whatever “hard work” there might have been, I had long since turned into a game and we had fun “playing” it.
We had fun and by having fun we discovered stuff which led to more fun which led to more discoveries which led to more fun and so on. In my opinion, when the fun stops, that is an indication that the end is near. Preserving the fun, nurturing the fun, and stoking the fun are the keys to a thriving organization.
Hard work is not the formula to success. If you think it is, then you have been misled. If you are espousing it, then you are misleading others.
You are welcome to confront Goliath thinking work hard will
defeat him. You can even think your blood, sweat, busted butts, and smashed
skulls are badges of work
Isn’t it smarter and more effective to stand away from the fray so you don’t have to smell Goliath’s foul odor and lazily defeat him with a mere flick of your wrist? That way you don’t have to discharge a bead of sweat, you get home before lunch, and you take the rest of the day off.
And how did David perfect that solution? While he was tending flocks, he “played” around with his sling and got good at it. He beat Goliath via an entertaining pastime.
If someone is working hard, it means only one thing – that that
person didn’t use his intelligence, or his creativity, or his light
Hard work should be avoided at all costs. Instead have fun, play
games and laugh. Don’t collaborate,
Workaholics are lame. Playaholics got game.
P.S. Next week's post (maybe) -- Dealing with hardships, setbacks, failures, obstacles, betrayals, and three-putts