Guest article by Bill Belew.

I grew up in the Midwest. In addition to getting a solid grounding in my Christian faith,  also entrenched into my psyche was the belief that with hard work you can accomplish anything.

Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

I say, “People often give up far too soon and never know what might have been.”

Faith in Working Hard

I firmly believe in working hard. I am a content marketer, a problogger who has grown up, and now gets approached by firms, big and small, who ask me, “Bill, how did you do that?” That = get 90,000,000 people to visit your site through pure organic visits = they came looking for me.

“Hard work,” I, um, boast as I drag my tired sizeable backside home, plop (literally) into bed and fall asleep immediately.

What Hard Work Cannot Do

There are some things you canNOT accomplish with just hard work.

  • Hard work will not create balance in your life.
  • Hard work will not usually allow for time off to play with your kids. And when it does, more often than not you are too tired to play well.
  • Hard work will not get you kudos for being a smart worker.

Indeed there is nothing wrong with being a hard worker unless work becomes your religion, your end game, the means by which you think anything and everything can be accomplished.

When to Work Smart

It is in that scenario of being consumed with the commitment to work yet harder that working smart comes in.

My answer to working smart is to put my head down and work harder. I know, I know. It’s not the answer.

Somebody smarter than me, or at least somebody who has my respect and trust, needs to tell me when and where to back off. And they have to be able to talk loud enough to get my attention. No doubt, I will be focused on working harder and harder.

More importantly, I need to know how and when to listen to who it is I want to be my coach.

My Conclusion to the Work Smarter Not Harder Dilemma

Truthfully: I still don’t know.

How about you? Who’s your coach?

How have you solved this problem?

Bill Belew is a regular publisher here at LinkedIn. He invites you to take a look at his articles on professional speaking and content marketing. And if you feel inclined … follow him for updates.