3 Successful Entrepreneurs Share How They Worked Smarter This Year

3 Successful Entrepreneurs Share How They Worked Smarter This Year

Leadership | Posted by YouInc.com - December 27, 2016 at 12:30 am

“Don’t work too hard,” is a saying I’ve been hearing from family and friends since I started my career about 10 years ago. I always wonder, do they think I’m working too many hours? A friend in the industry recently said, “If someone has to wonder when you work during the day, then you’re working smart.” So, what’s the difference between working smart and hard? YouInc reached out to the Canadian entrepreneurial community to decode the difference.

Three entrepreneurs in the food, construction and social commerce industries, share how they focus on working smarter every day, rather than putting in long hours. Plus, they reveal their biggest business lessons of the year:

  • Nariman Haghighi, CEO, Candid, a social discovery platform for e-commerce companies to build community and drive sales.

How he focuses on working smarter 

We try and work smart by anticipating the next bend in the road and making sure we have the agility to respond first. We don't try and do everything, we try and find the perfect harmony between pieces we can leverage that deliver meaningful results for our customers. In a field as fluid as social commerce, you can easily spend a year in R&D or build for a technique that will be obsolete by the time you're ready.

Biggest lesson he's learned this year running a biz

The biggest overall lesson is competition is fierce and you're never quite done. Regardless of how successful you are in realizing the vision you have today, by the time it's a reality there will be a ton of new concerns and new competitive forces nipping at your heels for you to worry about. Don't treat it like a race, pace yourself for the long haul by leading a balanced life because your work is truly never done as an entrepreneur.

  • Abigail Hopkins, co-founder, ThatCleanLife.com, a meal planning platform for people who want to eat healthy recipes that don’t take a lot of time.

How she focuses on working smarter

There are a million things I could be working on at any given time. But working smart means identifying the most important thing(s) on my to-do list each day and making them a priority. Somedays this is one gigantic task, other days this is four or five smaller tasks. I have to constantly ask myself, "Is this the most important thing I could be working on right now?"

Biggest lesson she's learned this year running a biz

The biggest lesson I learned this year is that the age old saying is so true – all good things do take time. Now that we have real momentum, I realize it’s all about being persistent, patient, confident and working smart every day. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and to do something well always takes time.

  • Mandy Rennehan, CEO, Freshco, an on-call retail maintenance provider, located across Canada and eastern U.S.

How she focuses on working smarter 

Working hard today is not enough to sustain a business and grow; being smart is being able to do 15 different items to broaden your trajectory. This includes asking questions of your peers, understanding the speed of technology, and delegating outside of your comfort zone. This is the attitude of a true leader. 

Biggest lesson she's learned this year running a biz

Everything, from people to governments and politics, were completely unpredictable in the last year; they can affect every aspect of your business and what you thought you were going to do.

What we’re seeing is the more blue collar industries like ours are becoming over inflated overnight. With confidence comes infrastructure and building, which turns into a supply and demand scenario for qualified technicians, who are already scarce. So, we have to keep our rates the same for our Fortune 500 clients based on contract; the private sector can pay these trades a higher wage, like Alberta all those years, so it changed our growth strategy a bit. We need to keep pumping out students into the field but that takes years of time and experience.

How do you incorporate smarter ways of working into your daily routine? Share with us in the comments below.

Tags: business advice, entrepreneurs, lessons, new year, productivity, stress, stress management, time management

Kristen Marano

Kristen Marano covers women and their work for publications around the world. She has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders in Canada and the most passionate change makers in towns and cities as isolated as Perth, Western Australia. Most recently she interviewed Canadian businesswoman Zita Cobb about reinvigorating the economy in Newfoundland through the arts. Kristen's work encourages women to share honest and open perspectives about the emotional challenges of their journeys.

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