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Disclaimer: At some point, we all need to put in our time and grind in order to build experience and tolerance. My thoughts following this disclaimer are for those who have already made a few steps up the ladder.

I’ve recently hit a crossroads with the ideology behind the saying, “hard work pays off.” My beef isn’t so much with the saying because when you work hard, the work will speak for itself. Right? I think in the world that we’re in now, the HOW is not so much, if at all, important when the end result of your efforts are what really determines your value.

ie. You can spend 60 man hours on a project and deliver a presentation that lands you a petty pat on the back and a “nice work” e-mail OR you can spend 50 hours binge-watching a new Netflix original in your underwear while a college student you paid $100 dollars to, creates the same presentation. Which in the end only cost you 10 hours or so. Ya’ know, to cover the introduction to an NDA, hosting the onboarding dinner, supervising and revising the presentation until their work was presentable.

You get the same petty pat on the back and the same “nice work” e-mail. Nobody got pissed at you for not putting your already fragile relationship on the back burner to finalize those graphics. You didn’t get scolded for missing a family event. In fact, you find that everything was actually better than ok.

Maybe it’s time to build a team? Maybe it’s time to be more RESULTS driven. I’m of the impression that some of us develop a super-hero complex. Have you ever noticed how some parents put themselves last? Like, really last. Like, when everyone else is dressed up and neat but Mom looks like she stuck a fork in the toaster-kinda-last.

That’s the same thing. That is a person sacrificing themselves, their appearance, their happiness to give all of their focus and attention to one thing. Here’s the pill that is hard to swallow: NO ONE ASKED THEM TO.

Don’t hate me. Wait a minute. Just take a second to register this. The kids can wait. They really can. Mom doesn’t have to feel bad for spending an extra $20 on her nails or some extra money on her hair and outfit. The kids didn’t ask you to do that. That is the super-hero complex I’m talking about. Where you feel you need to over sacrifice to deliver on something. When all that matters is that you all look presentable as a family and have a good time.

No one asked you to put in 60 hours on the project. You just did it. To save a day that really didn’t need saving. The kids didn’t stop and ask you to NOT do something for yourself. Drop the complex. Sacrifice doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you bitter.

I think the new saying should be, “results pay off.”