Hard work is a competitive advantage. Most people believe that technology is the secret that will give them leverage in their careers. But it’s not. It’s about planting seeds, tending them, putting in the time, and doing the work. There is no way around that. Think of it like relationships. We would like to think that we can call someone a ‘friend’ by linking to them on a social media site. But friendships, authentic and meaningful ones, take time to build. They take work, just like one’s career or other business endeavors. There are no shortcuts to success and a key ingredient that goes overlooked, especially among younger people with an overinflated sense of entitlement, is doing the hard work. Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ mentions that anyone who is extremely talented in their skill, whether it be athletic, music, or business, has put in at least 10,000 hours of hard work. This is why there are so many open fields of opportunity in our nation because so many people are not putting in the time. Within my own search practice, I have achieved what I wanted because I have tried more things and have swung the bat more frequently than most. I have made more mistakes. And that means I have grown in the intangible dividends of hard work: wisdom, discernment, and people skills, and these attributes give me quantifiable and measurable leverage in my practice and this helps me get more traction on my searches than my competitors. Hard work is truly the best competitive advantage not just because of what it can give you, but because that in itself will distinguish you from everyone else.