Abe here, with another important lesson.

There’s nothing more important than having a vision.

You can’t live the life of your dreams if you don’t know what that life looks like in the first place.

But once you have that vision, how do you get there? How do you close the gap from where you’re at now?

Today, we’ll be starting with one of the most important truths of all:

Hard work doesn’t matter. It’s a huge myth.

You see, we’ve all been conditioned to believe that working harder is what will get us ahead. That if we just clock a few more hours each week or take on a bigger workload than everyone else, someone will finally notice all of our hard work and reward us for it.

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The reality is, that’s one of the biggest lies we’ve ever been taught… and learning the truth for myself really bothered me at first. You’re probably not too happy about it either.

For every handful of people out there who made it big by working hard, there are countless others working their asses off who definitely aren’t – and never will be – millionaires.

But no matter what the reality is, we’re still taught to cling to this idea that being “busier” than anyone else will launch us straight up the ladder and make us one of those few-and-far-between success stories.

There’s not enough room for everyone at the top. And those left at the bottom, often end up tired, burned out, and miles away from the life they wanted for themselves.

The hard truth is that getting ahead isn’t about the time and effort you put in. No one cares about your hard work if it doesn’t get results. If it doesn’t provide value.

Your employers aren’t paying you for the hours you spend on the clock or the effort you put in… they’re paying you for what you deliver to their bottom line (in other words, the value you create). It’s a giant game, and you’re already playing it whether you know it or not.

The trick is learning how to get better at the game, starting by maximizing the perception of the value you’re delivering. In other words, figure out how to spend less time achieving valuable results and then make sure those results don’t go unnoticed.

Throughout my own career, I’ve become an expert at finding the best and fastest way to do things.

I like to call it this the “short-division” version of life.

Remember when they taught us long division and we spent the whole year doing it? And then at the end of the year, they showed that there was a shorter way to do it and still get the same result.

Wow, was I pissed. Fourth grade Abe was LIVID!

But…taking that same approach to life and my career, has allowed me to reduce my jobs to more manageable hours, all while creating more value along the way.

Here’s an example…

By the time I was 26, I was an executive at a Fortune 500 company with a revenue between $300 to $400 million per year. In my role, I was in charge of the company-wide budget.

Now, this company had around 60 locations. The people running each individual location would normally wait until the last couple of days of each month to do the billing and invoices for their sales… which created a problem.

Because they waited so long, we had no idea what each location’s sales looked like along the way in the month. I’d have to spend hours every day crunching numbers and digging into data to figure out if each location was on track to meet their goal on any given day.

I quickly realized that this process wasn’t working – for me or for my company. So one day, I decided to pull two years of data all at once and put my statistics hat on.

After some time, I realized that every single month followed the same sales curve at each location with roughly a 99% accuracy.

This solved two problems. First, we were able to see that at any given location, in any given month, sales were likely doing fine… even when it looked like they were tanking.

And second, it took about two hours of work off my desk every single day.

In one move, I reduced my workload by 25%…and made things go more smoothly for my boss, the CEO. That’s the point I’m getting at here.

No one cared about the hours I put in every day crunching those numbers. And putting that time in didn’t matter because everyone was still stressed out by the uncertainty of the monthly sales projections.

What ultimately mattered was that I’d just gotten rid of one of the biggest sources of stress for my company, all while shaving hours off of my day that I could use to do… well, literally anything else.

So ultimately, you need to lose the idea that working harder is your only path to success.

Instead, focus on the value you provide and maximize the perception of that value. When you do that, you’ll be even closer to “making it” than you ever were by simply working harder.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be diving even deeper into what it means to maximize perception and some of the most important lessons I ever learned on my way to the top.

You can also learn all about that (and more) in my FREE newsletter, Think Rich or Die Broke.

Click here to sign up. When you do, you’ll automatically be added to the list, where I’ll break down all of the lie about success and money you’ve been conditioned to believe are true and help you set out on a path to achieving the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

We’ll talk soon. See you next time,

Abe Wagner