Effort Now. Success Later.

Do the minimum required.

How great does that nugget of advice sound? Pretty lousy, right?

Think about applying such “wisdom” to your parenting, relationships, spirituality, health…

You wouldn’t because those areas are so important to how your overall life shapes up. If we really think about it, we all know instinctively that how we act in one area will carry over to the other areas.

In other words, consciously doing the minimum to get by (not giving what we know is right) in one area creates the capacity to do less in other areas. Not a pattern we want to encourage.

Recently, a colleague in the self-improvement/business building category told a large audience of aspiring business builders to “do the absolute minimum required at your jobs and give the additional attention and energy to building your own business.” Ummm…what?!

My first thought was, “How would they like it if their employees took that advice?” Second, “That’s close to the worst advice I’ve ever heard.”

I would venture to say that most new businesses are conceived and birthed while the entrepreneur is employed by someone else. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, unless you take on the role of a parasite for that employer.

The idea of giving just enough effort to keep from getting fired is classically referred to as the employee mindset and is the very reason most people don’t make good entrepreneurs. They believe that it’s their right to have a job and are convinced that starting their own business would allow them to “make what they are really worth.”

They soon find out how true that is when the money dries up.

If we believe our lives are better suited by owning our own businesses, great! That isn’t permission to slack at our jobs. It’s actually an invitation to turn it up at work.

I’m not talking about adding insane hours or giving yourself a heart attack because you’re trying to control every detail. I simply mean we must look at those jobs as our proving ground. The questions isn’t, “How can I milk this thing for a while until I get my new thing going?”

Instead, we need to ask, “How can I deliver the most value with the position and resources available to me?”

Why that question? Because that is the exact question you’ll be continually answering as an entrepreneur! It’s crucial to develop a mindset that seeks new and inventive ways to maximize resources and create massive value in the most efficient way possible. I can promise you from experience, it’s much better to learn how to do this for someone else than to have to learn it by hard knocks on your own.

Besides, how many of us would be disappointed to employ someone that constantly looked for ways to maximize value for our company? Exactly!

The indirect benefit is how this attitude and action creates a greater capacity in the rest of our lives. Without any additional effort, our relationships, health, and spiritual lives get better too. We stretch as people and the idea of minimum effort seems like the lowest form of existence, because it is.

Be your best,


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