How to Break Free from the Work Harder Mindset: A Personal Story

How to Break Free from the Work Harder Mindset: A Personal Story

loyb podcast Jun 17, 2024

Did you grow up or start your career being rewarded or recognized for a being a hard worker?

Most entrepreneurs have.

It's that drive, determination, and willingness to do the hard things that enabled us to turn our passion, idea, or opportunity into a business. But what if it's the same thing that's causing us to overwork, burn ourselves out, or slow down our results?

When we've consistently seen results from our hard work, especially when it's come from working harder than others around us, we can tie our identity to being a hard worker and develop unconscious beliefs that the only way to see results is to work harder or do more.

Have you ever freed up time in your week only to immediately fill it in with more work?

Or have you ever been on vacation or out with family and felt that pull to check in on things or do work even when you really had nothing urgent that needed to be done? 

That's a sign it may be time to dig into your beliefs about what it takes to be and remain successful. Not the surface-level beliefs where you consciously know that success doesn't only come from working harder…But the deep-rooted unconscious ones that formed early in our lives that still influence our actions today.

In this week's episode of the Lean Out Your Business podcast, I dive into breaking free from the “work harder” mindset and share my own personal evolution with this.
If you caught the story I recently shared about mining for Herkimer diamonds, I take you into the full story in this episode and what it taught me about not always having to work harder and do more. I also share:

  • How to break free from the "hard worker" mindset
  • Understanding what's needed in different seasons of work & life
  • Practical tips for working smarter instead of harder
  • Strategies that help you reclaim your time

Tune into Episode 181 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast or keep reading below.

Hard Worker vs. Working Hard

Being a 'hard worker' - what does that mean to you?

Does it mean working endless hours and trying to always fit in more?

And how do you feel when you think of yourself as a 'hard worker'? Has it become part of who you are, part of your identity?

It's important to define the difference between being a hard worker and working hard all the time. And recognize that it's possible to maintain a strong work ethic without taking on every task or working endless hours. This understanding is crucial in preventing burnout and getting you closer to a work-life balance that feels right for you.

Efficiency Over Effort

Efficiency is a non-negotiable component of sustainable success. Implementing tools like AI can significantly reduce the time spent on tedious tasks, allowing you (and your team) to focus on more strategic and creative activities. Embracing efficiency enhances productivity, saves time and money, and should be an integral part of your systems.

What about 'right place, right time'?

Success often involves being in the right place at the right time, and I am sure you can think of a few brushes with serendipity that you have encountered in your lifetime.
The Herkimer diamond anecdote that I shared in this episode illustrates that sometimes, luck plays a role in achieving goals. Success relies on so much more than just the endless hours of work and sacrifice, that sometimes luck also plays a role. Recognizing this fact can help you appreciate the value of strategic thinking, a little bit of luck, and of course, hard work when creating your success. 

Your path to success does not have to be paved with constant overwork and burnout. By reassessing the ingrained "hard work" mindset, we are able to adopt a more balanced approach that values efficiency, strategic thinking, and well-being. 

One of the best ways to work smarter not harder is to learn how to strategically use AI to simplify and scale your business.

If you're ready to go all in on simplifying and scaling your business leveraging AI, click here to learn more about my new program.

For access to the workbook that accompanies this episode and all recent solo podcast episodes, sign up for our weekly newsletter at

by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast. 


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