I heard a quote today: "You can beat 80% of the competition by working hard. You can beat another 15% by educating yourself in your endeavors. The last 5% is a dog fight"-Dave Ramsey.
This is a great quote. Anyone can work hard, even the slowest minded person. Hustle is always good in sports so it is in business. If you are up at 5 am reading business websites, blogs, or online magazines while your competitors are still asleep you get an edge in knowledge. If you spend Saturday afternoon printing out some flyers or researching clusters of lawns in your service area while Joe's Lawn Service's owner is at a cookout, you gain an advantage. There are lots of people out there with good ideas but few are willing to do the grunt work to make the ideas HAPPEN. In the Mark Cuban blog post about motivation I linked to last week he talks about all the boring manuals on computer software. I am sure that sucked but he got an advantage in his field and it helped him leap ahead of people not willing to go the extra mile.
Tips for getting the hard work in:
get up early, schedule reading time (maybe in the morning), set goals (very important).