Hard Work vs Smart Work: Moving Forward in the Business World

Right now, I am at a high school house party. Not a literal high school party. These “adults” are college kids from Kingwood, range on a good-looking scale of 7-10, and come from wealthy lineage. I am at a party where the kids are more interested in the brand names of their clothing than foreign policy. Their parents are expected to hand down the family business and it’s common for introductions to be consisting of kinship terminology such as “John Smith the 3rd” or “Jane Scott the 4th.” Therefore, when I read an article discussing Eugene O’Neill’s letter to his unmotivated son, I had something to relate to. Although a lot of what he said was motivating, it was also difficult to agree with some of the material to a certain degree.

For instance, I had a hard time resonating with this quote,

“You simply have to face the prospect of starting at the bottom and spending years learning how to do it.”

The whole reason I applied to Praxis was the fact that I didn’t believe in this statement. I didn’t believe in the American dream that so many of my fellow colleagues do.  Graduate high school. Go to college. Get a good job. Get a wife/husband. Buy a house. Have kids. Etc…Praxis completely bypasses what this quote means. I want to create my own business working “smart” not “hard.” Not starting from the bottom. Just starting.

It was clear. There was a difference between me and the Kingwood offspring. And they all knew it. I tried explaining the ideology of “just starting” to a Kingwood boy while we were sharing a cigarette near the pool. Like his peers, he would take go into the same profession as his father and attend college because that’s what his ‘father’ wanted him to. I kept asking him the number one question to dig deeper, Why. He couldn’t tell me why, neither could he tell me how, or what his plan was. Granted, he was decently drunk, but that shouldn’t overlook some sense of knowledge in how his life was going to occur. I intellectually raped his mind and succeeded in making him question his life plan hoping he would remember the conversation and carry the knowledge onward.

As I continue to mature through the business world. This quote by O’Neill seems less and less relevant. Yes, I believe hard work is necessary to succeed, but that should only apply when you don’t know how to be smart about your business. If you don’t learn quickly. If you need a babysitter when it comes to assignments. If you’ve never worked for anything in your life because that life plan is just too ingrained into your motives. I understand people’s confusions, but I am personally beyond that stage in my life and ready for the opportunity for Praxis to help me create something wonderful.

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