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Work Smart, Not Just Hard: Startup 101

Work Smart, Not Just Hard: Startup 101

While growing up, we were told that hard work is the key to success. But with changing times, the mantra has changed from ‘hard work’ to ‘smart work.’ Working hard is no longer enough. Rather, efficiency, multi-tasking and the ability to get things done quickly are of paramount importance for businesses, given the highly dynamic environment in which they operate.

Smart work makes it much easier to achieve your goals in the long run. Working smart is all about thinking beforehand, about how you can accomplish something faster or more effectively with minimum effort. It’s about tapping into all the resources already available to you, be it physical resources or the connections you’ve build over a period of time, to get to your goal faster and better.

Given the highly competitive scenario today, combining smart work with hard work is the key to reaping higher dividends in the long run. Hard work alone will not only leave you drained, but also disheartened, since the returns may not match up to your expectations. And getting caught up in that loop of hard work and less than expected returns can dampen your spirit in the long run and make you want to quit, which is probably the last thing you want to do as an entrepreneur.

So, you need to be smart about working hard, and become more efficient and productive at work.

Working smart can be as simple as first figuring out your strengths and learning how to leverage them for the success of your business or by tapping into some free or cost effective resources online to boost productivity. It may not even cost you a penny extra to reap higher returns from your business!

Here are some easy ways to complement your hard work with smart work and see your fortunes soaring:


Networking and improving your social skills can prove to be a lifeline for an entrepreneur and can make all the difference between success and failure. There are many entrepreneurs, who work very hard and focus on getting things done but undermine the importance of building relationships to grow their business. Little do they realise the value of their connections and how they can help take the business to an altogether different trajectory, in relatively less time with far less effort and money.

So, attending relevant business networking events and even tapping into your personal network is crucial for an entrepreneur. For networking to prove fruitful, the key is to build a lasting relationship over a period of time rather than stopping at exchanging visiting cards.

Productivity Tools

The Internet has proved to be a big blessing for businesses. There are more resources available online for businesses than you could have ever imagined that can significantly boost your productivity without burning a hole in your pocket. All you need is a little time to research and figure out the right productivity tools that are relevant for your business, thus saving valuable time and effort, which can be put to better use elsewhere.

These tools can even help cut cost significantly by automating your processes, thus minimising the need for human resources. This will lead to quicker turnaround times and better accuracy and tracking, thus making you more agile, which is a must for a business to succeed in a dynamic environment.

Building Your Brand

A strong personal brand of the founder or brand ambassador can be a huge advantage for a business. Look at how Patanjali became an overnight success simply by riding piggyback on Baba Ramdev’ brand! So much so, that even MNCs like P&G and Unilever that have been around for several decades, could see a huge dent in their market share within a year of Patanjali’s launch.

It is an easy way to gain the confidence of your customers, current and potential employees and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, and fast track your growth.

Impressive Personality

While this may not seem to be a very valid point to many, I strongly feel a good personality helps you stand out of the crowd and get noticed. So, it helps you open the doorway quicker than others, who in spite of being better than you, faded in the crowd.

Of course, there on you need to have a great idea or product/service to make it big. Your personality can only take you so far.

Prioritise Your Work

As an entrepreneur, you will always have more things on your things on your plate than you can handle. To accomplish everything in a timely an efficient manner, it’s important that you maintain a ‘To-Do’ list and prioritise the work based on its importance.

Above all, you need to learn to delegate. Not only will it take the pressure off you, it will also help those lower down the rung to take on more responsibilities and satisfy their urge to learn and grow on the job. Moreover, if a specialist can do something better than you, then it is in the best interest of the business!


While every entrepreneur needs to work hard, working smart can maximise the impact of all the ‘effort’.  It is the easiest way to get better results and realise your goals faster. These small successes can be the biggest motivation to push you along the bumpy road of your entrepreneurship journey. Moreover, the agility you derive from working smart can become your biggest USP in today’s competitive times.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.