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A big part of personal growth and development naturally entails seeking some sort of inspiration and motivation from sources which demonstrate to be in line with your very aspirations and this could include anything from attending personal growth and development seminars, listening to motivational messages or watching videos, or perhaps reading a book written on a topic you’re interested in to better yourself. There are naturally just as many areas in our lives in which we seek all this inspiration and motivation, such as matters of the heart, family life, careers, debt and money.

The finances seem to lead the way however — I mean who on earth doesn’t want financial freedom, or just to be able to afford more of the things their hearts desire as opposed to falling short of the money they need to even buy some of the things they actually need?

For all that people get out of reading motivational books and attending seminars, or even attending or reading up on boot camps with guidelines on how to achieve their financial goals, how many actually go on to achieve those things? Not very many, in my own personal experience, if any at all. Granted, a lot of the content is indeed only meant to inspire and motivate you to get up and find something which will catapult you to your financial goal heights or perhaps even just help you get ahead in your career or get out of debt. At some point however it all becomes useless if you don’t have any actionable steps to implement in your life to move closer to your financial goals.

Specifically with regards to that material on financial freedom and getting ahead in your career, one little piece of advice which always comes up is that of working smart over working hard, but what exactly does that mean in practice? We’ll make use of a simple example to demonstrate, with a skilled, experienced photographer as the subject of our exploration.

So let’s say we have in front of us a highly skilled photographer who’s really good at their craft and whose talent is tied to a whole lot of potential to take their career in photography in just about any direction they wish to pursue. If this photographer decided to work hard (hard work is always a must, regardless), they’d perhaps have a website set up on which they display some of their good work along with contact details for interested clients to get in touch for photography services such as wedding shots, etc. The photographer makes good money as a result of working hard and racking up the photography gigs.

If the same photographer rather decided to refine their craft further by perhaps mastering advanced photography aspects such as composition, they could take just a few killer snaps, upload them to a stock photography sourcing and selling platform and essentially enjoy some great royalties from having their photos downloaded over and over again, for commercial and editorial use.

So basically working smart entails building up structures which will pay you while you sleep, while working hard requires you to get back to work each time so that you can make up the money you keep spending.

Andy McGowan
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