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Cram a Week's Worth of Work in 4 Hours? Think Again.

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The only sure thing you have going for you as an entrepreneur is knowing that when things get tough, you can roll up your sleeves and do what no one else can do for you:You can work hard.

Hard work seems to have fallen out of fashion recently. Try to find a workshop at a business conference talking about the importance of hard work. I dare you to find even one.

Related: 5 Simple Cures to Work Smarter and Save Time

The work-smart echo chamber. What you're likely to hear are glowing testimonials by leaders who "work smart" and about how you should be smart and work smart, too. You're likely to hear several variations of a seven-step process for putting your marketing on autopilot.

You'll learn why you should delegate more, outsource frequently and stop doing anything that somebody else can do for you in the first place. You’ll discover better ways to do less, grow your business faster, live happier and make more money.

What you won't hear is that success demands massive amounts of gut-busting effort.

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Sweat, tears, blood -- and more sweat. You're going to have to work so hard that you don't think you have a bit of energy left inside. You're going to throw up your hands, look at the sky and ask anyone willing to listen when this will be over -- when what you’re doing is finally going to work.

But the truth is to be successful, you’re going to have to work hard -- really, really hard.

And even then you’re going to fail more times than not.

It's fun to think about success as if it were part of a scientific formula built around four or five reproducible elements that never change -- that if you do a few things right, you'll always end up with the same results.

Life is a little trickier than that. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it will again in the future.  

It's inspiring to read a book like The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. And if you just read the front and back covers, you might believe that you can be successful by working just a few hours each week.

But quite frankly, the book you should be reading (and writing) is The 400-Hour Work Week.

Working less doesn’t pan out right now. And it's not something that likely will work for you in the future.

Related: Motivating Employees to Work As Hard As You

Master hard work first. You'll figure out how to work smarter later.

But being lazy has never been a credible foundation for long-term success. Think about that the next time you're feeling  wowed by the grandiose plans of someone trying to tell you that you can be successful by working less.

Oh, and you could also plan to become lucky.

Neither approach is a great strategies for achieving goals. Hard work is.

Related: What High Performers Do When Things Get Tough

Written By

Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker, author and extreme athlete. His consulting firm, Waldschmidt Partners, solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for companies around the world. He is the author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success.