In Career, Money

Being smart is useless if you’re lazy

I know a lot of smart people … or so they tell me.

Know what I hear?

I’m so smart, I know I could do better if I was just given the chance.

I’m so smart, I don’t know what I’m doing in this part-time minimum wage job.

I’m so smart, but I have a crappy degree which is why I can’t make more money.

I’m so smart, it’s just that other people don’t recognize it.

… blabeddy bla bla bla…!!!!

WHAT I REALLY HEAR: “I AM LAZY”

Frankly, these so-called ‘smart people’ who feel like they aren’t successful because of their circumstances (or whatever else they want to blame it on), are just plain LAZY.

No one gives anyone a chance these days for nothing, which is why if you want anything you have to work for it.

Make your own luck and take the opportunities right in front of your face.


Anything worth having, is worth working for because great opportunities aren’t handed out like candy to people who didn’t work for it.

People become successful because they are inspired by others, and they aim to achieve the same, or better results.

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WORKING HARD WILL ALWAYS YIELD RESULTS

I’ve always said that I’d rather be stupid and hardworking than smart and lazy. I hold true to this belief, because just having brains doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want.

Take for instance the sales profession.

If you’re smart, and you know how to really sell to people, but you’re too lazy to cold call, follow up on leads, respond in time and really be hungry for commissions, then it’s really your fault and no one else’s that you don’t make bank.

If you don’t put in the time, you won’t get the money.

People who may buy from you, won’t care that you have an IQ of 180 and you could run mental circles around your other colleagues; what they care about is that you care about them as a customer.

Coasting on your intellect or whining to others about how smart you are if you’d just have the opportunity, is really freaking’ stupid because you’re throwing away the opportunity to use your smarts to their fullest potential and be better than your competition, just because you’re too damn lazy.

IT’S NOT EVERYONE ELSE OR THE TOOLS, IT’S YOU!

This will be the one time where I tell people that it’s not their crap degree or that no one taught them how things should have been done — IT IS YOU.

If you’re working a 20-hour a week job at minimum wage, but you think you deserve better, then go out and prove it.

At the very least, stop being so darn lazy and pick up 20 more hours (or more) to have a real living wage while you search for a better job.

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MAKING MORE MONEY ISN’T NECESSARILY HARD

The funny thing about money is that there’s always an opportunity to make money, it’s simply a question of how hard you’re willing to work and what you are willing to sacrifice for more money.

Are you willing to work 80 hours a week by taking on overtime or another job to make more money? No?

Are you willing to stop spending money on eating out so you can save your money? No?

Are you willing to go to night school and study so you can be better educated for the working world? No?

Are you willing to take on the jobs that most people wouldn’t want to do? No?

Then STFU*!

*Shut the $*#$& up 🙂

It is a very rare case indeed that you cannot make any kind of money (perhaps you have a visa or a health issue and are restricted from working), so more often than not, it all boils down to the fact that people are more than likely just friggin’ lazy.

That’s why when self-proclaimed smart folks, talk about how smart they are and how the system is screwing them, I always probe lightly to see if it is within their control or not.

9 times out of 10, they’re just lazy and don’t want to put in the time, effort and the hard work that it takes to change their situation.

They’d rather just sit there, DO NOTHING, whine, garner sympathy coos, perhaps some dole money from mommy and daddy, and complain about how smart stupid they are.

Put in the time and effort it takes to get what you want out of life, stop the whining and stop blaming other people in your life for your misfortune.

 RALPH WALDO EMERSON

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions.”

Translation: You can wax poetic about how smart you are, and how you could join Mensa, but if you don’t take any action, it’s all talk.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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12 Comments

  1. Anne

    I definitely would rather be smart and lazy. I know some people who are like that, they are a lot more interesting company than stupid and hardworking people. They don’t complain as they are not interested in money or success in a traditional way.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Hmm.. the smart and lazy people complain a lot to me. I hear them complain quite a bit about not having money or success!

      Reply
  2. Jessie's Money

    I think this is pretty right on. Well, you and one of the other commenters. People can absolutely be smart, but lack focus, drive, passion. To really be successful you need to be able (i think) to get excited about what you’re doing, and be great at it.

    Reply
  3. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    I think the smart people I know who haven’t succeeded as well monetarily do try hard (in fact, very hard) but try in the wrong ways if what they want is better pay. They apply to a ton of jobs through random online portals, figure maybe they’d have better luck if they get their Master’s, etc. I think in addition to being smart and hardworking, people really need to figure out what are the most effective tactics for getting what they want, even if they are at first very uncomfortable.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Or maybe they should just take a minimum wage job, do the best that they can, get promoted, and leg up from there. You have to start somewhere, show initiative and not complain about how smart you are and that’s why someone should hire you. Prove it first.

      Reply
      1. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

        Well part of the issue is that the folks I know are/were interested in particularly flooded professions. For example, it is extremely tough to get a teaching position out here so those who had done that route in school, which requires a Masters in my state, had difficulty finding K-12 jobs. The sub market, which is one entry point, is replete with semi-retired instructors with decades of experience. Even those with years of aide or ECE experience aren’t finding positions (and at some point you become “too experienced” for those toles as well). So it wasn’t even them needing to find minimum wage job and work their way up but rather that there were no such jobs to get in that industry (at least in our region).

        Now, of course, most folks we knew left the field entirely and did find entry level positions in corporate, social work, or other settings for the money. And that’s one of the things I am referring to as an uncomfortable but neceasary tactic. Giving up on a dream often is. Some in their new fields were able to “work their way up” while others were not.

        While I agree with the sentiment that folks should be willing to “pay their dues”, it is important to note that you can pay and pay and pay those dues but may not be in the right context to succeed in a particular career path. Sometimes you have to let go of those previously non-negotiable items for your hard work to reap reward.

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          That’s a good point: “Sometimes you have to let go of those previously non-negotiable items for your hard work to reap reward.”

          Reply
  4. raluca

    Whenever these people complain, they show their deep disrespect for their good fortune. Yes, they are smart, but they are also profoundly lucky to be born in a first world country, where they had access to quality education and a safe environment where to develop and thrive. The world is full of smart people who got about 10% of the chances afforded to us, who do not get the luxury to complain.

    I keep thinking about this guy who built a windmill in Africa without the benefit of a formal education or youtube how to videos. https://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_on_building_a_windmill?language=en
    He’s a very smart guy. If he would have been born in a first world country in a rich family, instead of in an african village, how far would he have gone?

    You can complain about your lot in life, you can squander your gifts and chances or you can work harder and smarter.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      That is brilliant. THANK YOU I love TED Talks.

      Reply
      1. Catherine

        This is TED talk is from that the book I was telling you about – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwambe! You were meant to find this book and read it 🙂

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          !!! I have it on my list.

          Reply

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