The world is losing the setup for hard work to get ahead anymore.
When I make that claim, I’m talking about hard work being synonymous with labor. While that’s not the only work that is hard, it’s the work that is traditionally referred to as hard work.
From the mythology I was told, the word “Spinster” people used to describe a woman past typical marrying age came from the fact that many of these woman were able to support themselves from their skill at spinning yarn or other textiles. They didn’t have to depend on a man. In a time of piecework pay, they were efficient workers.
The world as it fills up with computers, machinery, and other automation and tools is rewarding this kind of effort less and less. For many labor based tasks, if a person can do it, a machine can do it faster, with less variation, and around the clock. Working harder is the race to the bottom. One that will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not careful.
That means that instead of work hard, it’s time do the difficult work. Connecting with other people. Planting a flag in the ground with what you are offering. Messaging and promoting your own work in a way that resonates with people, figuring out how to finance the work you want to do, doing something that is uniquely you. All of that is difficult work. It’s also the way to build something for yourself, something for your family, and something that the world needs.