Lessons I learned From Seth Godin #1: Long Work vs Hard Work

When I was in sales (ages ago), my manager told me that you don't want to sell Honda as a salesperson. You want to sell a Ferrari - there is no money in selling Honda.

Yes – the market is bigger.

Yes – there are much more demands for Honda than Ferrari.

Yes – you could probably sell a lot more Honda than Ferrari.

However, Ferrari has a much higher rate of commission.

How many Honda do you think you need to sell to earn the commissions of selling one Ferrari?

I don't know the correct answer, but my guess is probably a lot.

(Disclaimer: this is just an assumption – I never worked in an auto-industry before)

That's the difference between long work vs hard work.

Selling Honda is long work.

It's easy to sell, but you'll need to put in long hours of work to achieve significant results.

Whereas selling a Ferrari is hard work.

It's hard to sell.

You probably have a difficult time selling even one Ferrari if you're new to sales.

However, if you managed to sell one Ferrari, the commissions you earned from the sales will be well worth the efforts.

(Again, this is just an assumption – I'm just using this as a metaphor to prove my point)

As someone who makes their living in a gig economy, we often think more gigs are good.

Just as it's easy for me to build a simple 5-page website in 1 – 2 days and earn probably $500 – $1000 in the process, and all I need is to get 10 of these jobs in a month to make a 5-figure income.

But… think about it for a second….

Is this strategy gonna work in the long run?

Probably not.


Let's say – I get 10 gigs per month. That would be 120 gigs per year.

Do I really want to build 120 websites in a year?

HELL NO !!!!

A much more feasible strategy is to focus on hard work.

Finding better clients is hard work.

Better clients challenge you to do better work.

Better work provide better job satisfaction.

Better job satisfaction pushes your career forward.

And finally…

Better clients afford to pay you at what you're really worth.

Hard work is HARD.

Hard work is TERRIFYING.

Hard work is RISKY.

Otherwise, it wouldn't have called Hard Work (Duh…..)

Yes – it's easy to focus on the long work now and called it a day.

But, in the long run, long work will tire you down. Eventually, it becomes the feeling of a construction worker putting another brick on another wall.

As Seth Godin said it best in his original post

It seems, though that no matter how much long work you do, you won't produce the benefits of hard work unless you are willing to leap

- Seth Godin