Outsmarting vs. Outworking

Note to future self…

Yesterday I was discussing with a friend the following question:

Can you outsmart people (e.g. your competition) or do you outwork them?

In practice, it’s probably both. The question then turns to figure how much of someone’s success can be attributed to outsmarting your competition and how much of it can be attributed to simply outworking them.

Right now I am leaning towards the “outsmarting” side. What does this mean? I believe that whomever has the clearest vision of what they want to accomplish will eventually win (assuming that vision is right). To me this clarity means being the smartest person.

Furthermore, if you have this clarity of vision then you will work harder because you know exactly what has to be done in order to win. In other words, “outsmarting” someone is a lot higher leverage than “outworking” them.

I mean think about it. No matter how many more hours you work than somebody else you will never work 2x than your best competitor. It’s physically impossible. Nevertheless, you can definitely figure out a plan that’s 10x better than your competitor and THEN execute against that plan with everything you’ve got.

Ok that’s it for now. I will follow-up if there’s anything else.

Now back to work…