We have good friends in Melbourne. Smart people. People whose insight and opinion are valued, despite the fact they are from Melbourne. (Just kidding). And one day this friend said something that has taken me a long time to process.
She asked me: “Why do you always do it the hard way?”
And as I thought about that, I realised that doing it the hard way was ingrained in me. I had always thought the hard way is the same as the right way. And I also realised that it wasn’t easy for me to switch my approach readily between the hard/easy options – it is as if people had a natural predisposition one way or the other.
Although the hard way is NOT necessarily the right way to do things, on balance I think it is the better way. The pay-off may be later, the effort may be bigger, but generally speaking the easy way is usually the crowded way. Invariably it is also the less interesting way. Of course that is not always the case. If you are lost in the jungle you would be silly to ignore the well-worn path in favour of hacking your own way.
If there is an easy way and there is a hard way; and the question is which one are you inclined to choose?
This is the easy way.
- Politicians taxing bad habits, instead of…
- Cops writing speeding tickets, instead of…
- Ads made of slides on TV, instead of…
- Retailers discounting prices instead of…
The easy way may get results, but results with many unintended consequences.
- Bad habits become the mantel the rebels wear with pride
- People make accidents watching their speedometer instead of the road
- People become immune to the blatant pitch
- People learn to wait for the inevitable sale
The hard way is, well…hard.
That would be to:
- Create taxes that may be politically unpopular, but effective – or possibly to curb government spending
- Train learner drivers proper defensive driving skills
- Create engaging, relevant ads
- Build a relationship based on the right value proposition and to deliver delightful experience.
The sad thing is, even though we know that, most people will still seek the easy way. Check the Lotto queue if you don’t believe me.
You don’t have to though.
It is a decision.
Here are some warning signs:
- If things go wrong, you wonder who is to blame.
- You check the number of likes instead of the number of orders
- When you are presented with an opportunity, you think of all the things that can go wrong first
- When a rep/consultant cold calls, you close them out without hearing if they have anything of value to your business
But, unlike me, you don’t always have to choose the hard way. Just be careful: I bet that the apple that Eve ate was once low-hanging fruit.
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