April 26, 2016 | | by

The latest term that makes me gag is “growth hacking.”

For a while it was “hustle” and “innovate” had its moment in my sights as well.

Take five minutes to scan any social network and I guarantee you’ll find multiple pieces of content promising you ways to hack, hustle and top ten your way to success. These are rarely more than empty promises from someone looking for easy attention.

As parent and a professor, I’m witnessing first hand the negative effects this is having on the next generation.

They are being fed bowls full of promise and yet they are nothing more than over sugared bowls of lies.

Here is how you succeed in the world:

You work hard.

Growing up in a blue collar family, I witnessed first hand how hard my parents worked to provide for us. They still work hard today.

Instead of looking for shortcuts, you need to first determine where you are trying to get to and then map out a path to get there.

In the old days, we were taught that there was a straight ladder we could climb to reach where we wanted to go.

Today, we know that while that may work for some, more often it is a series of twists, turns and roads less traveled.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about saving time and energy when I can, but when it comes to finding success in your desired career there are few things that can help you get there better than good old-fashion hard work and determination.

If all you do is spend your days reading posts and watching videos promising you success if you hustle harder, you’ll never get where you want to go.

Get out there and work hard today. Stop looking for shortcuts that rarely will help you.

  • RTF

    Good call, CC. Especially in our field, it is all about providing value day and day out. I’m all about doing fewer things at a higher quality and that just requires hard work and dedication.

    • Exactly and too often it seems people forget that.

    • I don’t know. I hear phrases like “you work hard,” “you provide value,” “know where you want to go,” and to me it sounds like “Here’s how you fly a plane: get in the plane, know where you want to go, and then go.”

      This is not to say that I disagree with you. These hacks and empty promises from “life coaches” and the like make you feel good, but they lack substance.

      What I don’t like, however, is when you speak from the other side but say the same things.

      • I agree. As we were just discussing on FB, working hard on the WRONG things isn’t any good either.

        MUCH more to success beyond only working hard. You and I know that, but without hard work I don’t think anything happens.

      • ebrenner

        Some of that comes from the “curse of knowledge”: once you know something well, it can be difficult to remember what you didn’t know at the beginning and therefore share that information. Steven Pinker talks about it from a writing perspective in his book “The Sense of Style,” which is explained a bit here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-cause-of-bad-writing-1411660188.

  • ebrenner

    People will always gravitate to the easy answer, and this advice is out there because there’s an audience for it. It’s one reason success can be so elusive. If we know better (and I think people here are a good example of folks who know better), we can try to educate others on better approaches. It’s a task that’s never done, but I think it’s worth doing if it helps just one person.