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I have a friend named Jim who has his own business in which he inspects restaurants to help improve their sanitation. He does this part time, primarily on weekends. Then he has his regular job in which he is in charge of the food service for over 200 assisted-living facilities throughout the country. His primary job requires him to get up at 5:00am and drive into downtown Chicago from the suburbs everyday that he is in town and then there are weeks when he travels throughout the country and checks-up on some of the facilities he helps run.

In essence, Jim work 6-7 days a week! We talk once a week on the phone and he always tells me how busy his life is that week. Jim never complains about how busy he is because he accepts the fact that he has created the world he lives in. Jim has two kids, one is married with a child and the other just graduated from college and is living at home, so for the most part it is just him and his wife at home. It’s not like he works all the time and never has time for his family. In fact, he makes sure he checks-in on his kids every week and sees his Granddaughter as often as possible.

When Jim works hard, he works hard, but when he has fun, he has fun! He and his wife are not afraid to spend the money they both work so hard for. They periodically travel together, go to sporting events, sitting in good seats, and regularly go out to eat at five start restaurants. They have been to Australia, share season tickets to the Chicago Blackhawks, and eat at places like Perry’s!

So after always hearing about his work life for years now, I finally asked Jim recently “how do you do it? How do you work so much? Aren’t you afraid of wearing yourself out? You know what Jim’s response was? “A little hard work never hurt anyone!”

It was a such simple response, without a lot of follow-up to it, but after he said it, it got me thinking about my own work ethic. Am I afraid of a little hard work? Am I afraid to put-in MORE work than I could or should? Why do I limit how hard I work? As long as I am balancing my work and family life, what have I got to lose by working “harder”?

I do work hard. If you ask most Americans they would say they do. However, I do also hold-back a little. I could work a little harder, maybe putting an extra hour in here-or-there or putting a little more energy into my work. I mean what would it really hurt? It’s not like a work 60-80 hours a week. Who knows, maybe I will increase my sales? Maybe I will move-up the ladder faster in my line of work? Maybe I will increase my income? Are any of things bad things?

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