Hard work, knowledge, planning

You’re in business. You’re working hard. Are you getting the results you deserve?

There are three key elements that drive business. These are hard work, knowledge and planning, with a little bit of luck thrown in on the side.

If any element is missing you reduce the likelihood of success in your business. This means you will not get the results you deserve.

Look at the diagram above. Where would you place your business in the picture?

Do you have expert knowledge, and work hard, but struggle with planning? That would put you to the left of the Success quadrant.

Do you work hard, have a great plan but lack the correct level of expert knowledge? This drops you below the Success quadrant.

How about having the expert knowledge, a great plan, but you don’t want to do the hard work?

Each of these areas drives your business to where you want it to be. Take away any one and your results will plummet.


Hard Work

From a young age, we all have it drilled into us that we must work hard. We will not get anything if we don’t work for it.

When your business is new and you have few clients it can be hard to make yourself get up and go on. If times are tough and business takes a downturn, it can be difficult to force yourself to push on.

When nothing appears to be happening it is hard to keep going. Your only option in these scenarios is to push on. Force yourself forward. Look at the diagram, remind yourself that with hard work, knowledge and planning comes results. Trust that the effort you are putting in when times are tough will pay out in the future.

The hard work is not only expected of us. As your business grows and you take on staff you expect them to work hard for you. You need them to contribute to your business. This leads to its own set of challenges. These include staff morale, teamwork, commitment, pay, growth. This list is never-ending, and each area can impact on your results.



We all have areas we are knowledgeable in. Often we take these for granted. Building your business on that knowledge contributes to the delivery of results. Building a business in an area where you have limited knowledge sets you up for poor results. This is not a bad thing. You need to be aware of, and plan, for it. As your knowledge increases so will the results.

Knowledge in an area leads to the development of a related skill. It is possible for someone to have a lot of knowledge in an area, but very little skill. Skill, in this meaning, is being able to apply the knowledge in a practical way.

We all know people who have learnt everything they know from books. Ask them any question and they can answer. Ask them to do the actual work and they can’t. They have the knowledge. They do not have the skill.

Skill is developed over time through hard work and planning. Depending on the area skill can develop rapidly. In other areas, it can need a large amount of patience and practice. You cannot rush developing a new skill. Like a fine wine, you need to give it enough time to develop. Then it will only get better with extra time.

The good news with knowledge is that it is something you can get. Look on the Internet. There are courses, seminars, training events, books, articles, and more. Every area of knowledge you need is available somewhere. The biggest issues are can you afford to get the knowledge, and do you have the time to get it.

When starting out in business, or when taking on new staff, make sure you check for the correct knowledge. It is also a good idea to check for the skill as well. Have they had the right amount of practical experience?



This is the area that I see most people missing. The need to plan.

Most people think planning applies only to big projects and businesses. This is far from the truth.

People also think that planning is complex with lots of lines and timings. We see the pictures of Gantt charts. We see people pouring over the fine details of a plan. Again this is far from the truth.

A plan is a set of activities that need to take place. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your plan can be as simple or as complex as you need. It can be hundreds of lines long. It can be 5 lines long. The only constant is that you need to spend some time thinking it through and then write it down.

I can not stress enough the importance of writing the plan down. Once you have written it down you have something you can check against. You can put it somewhere you will be able to see it. Read it every day to remind you of what actions you need to take.

A plan is not a fixed thing. It’s not something you write once then leave alone. Plans are always changing. As you learn new things you see different paths to get your results. This means the plan needs to change to allow for these.

If you don’t have a plan you do not know where you are going. If you don’t have a plan how do you know that you have succeeded or not?

Planning is one of the major contributors to your results. I always keep in mind the slightly vulgar 6 P’s saying “Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance”.



Although not in the diagram, luck plays a part in the delivery of your results.

Luck shows itself in many different ways, including:

  • Being in the right place at the right time
  • Having a market that is available and wants what you sell
  • Having the network and contacts to grow your business
  • Many other external factors

Luck is fickle. It can, and does, change. This is why the key elements of Hard Work, Knowledge and Planning are what drives your results.



You need to have the three key elements for success in your business. Without Hard Work, Knowledge and Planning you are unlikely to get the results you deserve. If you rely on luck then you will go nowhere.

If any one of these areas is missing you will still achieve some limited success. You may settle for this. Why not challenge yourself and aim for the stellar results you deserve.

Take some time now to look at where you fall in the diagram. Are there any areas you need help in. Now is the time to write it down and make a plan. Now is the time to change so you can get the results you deserve.


Next Actions can help you build on your knowledge and hard work. This will drive your business towards increased profit and more free time. Please contact Garry at info@nextactions.com.au to arrange for a free 30-minute chat to see how we can help you.


For information on how Next Actions can help your business, please complete the enquiry form below.

Also published on Medium.