I think that mentality of working harder is a comfort zone when you don’t know what to do. You don’t have to take ownership of your direction. You can simply, perhaps mindlessly, keep going down a path of merely working without thinking.
If you are a hard worker, that’s great. You need execution to make ideas happen. But if your mindset to win in your market or with customers is to be merely better than everyone else then it can be a losing strategy.
It’s extremely difficult to stand out. It’s also inertia to put on the brakes and pivot when you need to.
Stopping to observe what is happening around you, assessing and exercising creativity will likely get you much more returns on your time and effort. You want to be different, not necessarily better. This means figuring out a game you can stand apart in and win.
It may be a small twist on what you are already doing or positioning your offering within a niche. The differentiation happens because of how you state your position and what is happening in the mind of your customer. You can influence and shape this from your entire approach, communications and consistency.
Yes, you want to be known as a hard worker. But the better positioning is to be known for your ideas more than for your execution. Great execution is expected, thought it often does disappoint when there is a lack thereof.
Someone with ideas that can act on them is extremely valuable. It takes slowing down so you can think through options, scenarios and opportunities to practice idea making and creativity well.
You may be busy. But don’t be so busy that you are only going fast. Often, direction is much more important than velocity. And those you serve will see it this way as well.