Recently there was a discussion on LinkedIn about companies shouldn’t have the unspoken rule of how long an employee needs to stay.

The article went on to say that we shouldn’t feel bad for “leaving on time”.

That employers should NOT only look at who’s working hard but reward those for working smart.

I’m not the biggest fan of the distinction.

As we’re entering 2019, I think the concept of working hard is really starting to fall by the wayside.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving time. Delegating as necessary. Freeing self up so self can do bigger things.

But there seems to be an unspoken feeling that you can get to the “smarter” phase without the “harder” phase.

Can Smarter Come Without Experience?

My belief and actual experience is that the “smarter” phase won’t come until you have worked your ass off.

Dug deep.

Laid a foundation.

Sharpened and honed your skills.

Become a student of the game.

Hours logged.

An absolute ton of trial and error.

More error than success.

Lot’s of doors closing in face.

You listened and realized you didn’t know everything. Even when people told you something you heard before, you still acted like it was the first time you heard it (you know, the ancient lost trait of “humility”).

Investing resources on the wrong path until the right path manifests…

Unless you’re some sort of savant who quickly masters what the majority of humanity comes by from (and here’s the key word) EXPERIENCE, then you’ll have to go through these trials and tribulations before the word SMARTER can enter your vocabulary.

When I started out…

When I started my professional life, there was no way I could shoot for “smarter.”

I could barely handle “dumber”.

But what I understood was logging in time and hours. Showing up wasn’t something I had to be taught.

I was the first to the office.

I was the last one to leave.

I would flex my listening muscles. Pick up words. phrases, lingo.

On Sundays, I took a bus across Nanjing to go handle and prepare for Monday morning.

Was I doing this to impress my boss?

No. A million times no.

I was doing this so I could understand what I was doing.

I had to put in the time.

It’s that simple.

Youngsters and would-be entrepreneurs seem to learn a chunk of work ethic off the internet.

From people selling something telling them they don’t have to put in a ton of work.

That’s an extraterrestrial idea to me my friends.

In the past few years, I’ve worked with some young people who had no thoughts of staying late.

They would talk about work.

Mention projects and the difficulty thereof.

But I never saw them actually roll their sleeves up and want to burn the midnight oil.

They desired the fruit. So they said.

But I didn’t see the desire to till the soil. To get their hands dirty. To sweat.

Certainly it’s not all young people. But this modern idea of leave as soon as the whistle blows infects the youth.

They want the entrepreneur, remote lifestyle.

They don’t want to be treated like an expendable worker.

They want to be affirmed.

Except they don’t seem to understand what it means to put in the work.

There would’ve been no way I could’ve started my own business, if I didn’t treat my previous job, like my own business.

I learned my work ethic from washing dishes until 1am on Saturday nights at the Steakhouse.

From waiting tables throughout holidays and summer months in resort areas (talk about busy).

In moving to China and staying in the office until I couldn’t think straight.

When Li and I started our own business, rinse, repeat.

And by the way there wasn’t Youtube videos back then to learn from. You had to read old school websites with funky font that didn’t look that great.

If you’re at a job and want to leave on time because you’re going to start your own business…that may be something to consider.

If you’re at a job and you need to leave on time because you’ve got to go to your next job, that’s understandable.

My point in a nutshell (and perhaps you’ve read this far and are praising God I’m getting to a point),is that either way, if you want to learn, to grow, to go to the next level, it takes putting in the work.

There is no 2 ways around it.

I feel for any young person today whose parents didn’t instill in them this work ethic.

But it’s never too late.

Hopefully someone reads this and decides, YES, it’s about time, patience and simply putting in the work.

Regardless about harder, smarter, wiser, faster, it’s about gaining the experience.

Look at your calendar and then contemplate how fast this year flew by.

It’s almost 2019.