Truth Conquers
"Work Smarter Not Harder" Is This Generation's Big Lie
By David Tirsch
Dec 1, 2003 - 11:24:00 PM

***image1***I am going to tell you a story about a "Webmaster."  Most of you know exactly what that is, while the ones of you that don't, probably think a "Webmaster" is someone that is a cross between Spiderman and a Dominatrix, and, in a dungeon somewhere deep in the heart of Hollywood, you would be right!  But for the sake of this article a Webmaster is someone who creates, promotes, and manages an internet website.  He is the "Master of the Web" and, eBay aside, anyone with an ounce of success with an internet based business knows that your Webmaster is the most important part of your online presence. 

 

Anyway, I employ a Webmaster, who I will call Phil for the sake of this article.  He is very talented at what he does.  I run several websites, and he manages just about all of them.  Phil is about 25 years old, barely squeaked through high school, and lives off of Taco Bell and Beer.  As much talent as he has, he has no motivation to work, zero, nada.  I have to push him along like a child in every facet, forcing him to complete projects.  He has been working on an upgrade of one of my websites for about 8 months now, with no end in sight.  He is like the painter from the Murphy Brown show that never finished painting Murphy's house (in 10 seasons!), but without the wit, humor and bubbly personality.  If it weren't for the facts that I've been working with him for 4 years, and he is so entrenched in my business, I would have canned him a while ago. 

 

This problem really is that he doesn't get paid until he finishes projects.  He is always broke and all he would need to do is finish projects in a timely manner and he would have a lot of money.  Over the last four years, I've tried explaining this to him, but his excuse is always that he is frustrated.  Frustrated because he hasn't made his millions yet.  Frustrated that he doesn't have a Ferrari, a Condo on the beach (with plasma screens and PlayStations in every room) and a beautiful blonde waiting for him in his bed.  When I tell him that he needs to pay his dues and work his way up, he doesn't comprehend that concept.  For some reason he feels that he was cheated because a genie never appeared and snapped his fingers to make him successful beyond his imagination.  Almost as if success is an entitlement.  I couldn't figure out why he thought this, and then it hit me.

 

He is a by product of the self-esteem generation.  He was raised in an era where schools shifted their concerns from classical education and focused on feeling good about one's self regardless of performance.    Where students were told they can be anything that they want to be, and to reach for the stars, but were never told that there is a long journey to get there.  The journey is forgotten with this generation. 

This is the generation that was raised on playing sports without keeping score as to not hurt the feelings of those that lost.  The first place team , the last pla ce team, and all those in between received trophies as rewards for their participation, regardless of how hard each player tried and how well the team performed. Each team was rewarded equally with positive re-enforcement and there was no victory.  Nothing to strive for, or work hard for.  No Reward.  What is the incentive to perform at your best when the reward is exactly the same for performing at your worst?  Why would someone want to excel to the next level when they are taught that whether they work hard or not, they will get the same results.  They learned that working less will yield the same reward as those that work hard.

 

They were the ones that left school in the tail end of the dot.com era where anyone with a computer made a fortune.  Easy money. 

 

It is no wonder that Phil will continue to sulk in his own anger that the silver platter he was promised was never handed to him., and unfortunately he will be a victim of the instant gratification generation that was told they can be all they want to be, but never told that they had to work hard to achieve it.   I don't know if he can cope with the fact that the lies told to him growing up that he will have success no matter what effort he commits doesn't apply to the real world.  

 

As critical as I am of this generation of what some people call the "quarter lifers," I am sure the generation before mine thought we were slackers, too.  What happened to our old fashioned American roots of hard labor reaps rewards, instead of "working smarter not harder" which is turning out to be this generations biggest lie.



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