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Guest post by Erika Cruz, Latina coach and speaker.

I grew up in an immigrant household where my parents valued hard work. My father worked 10–12-hour days as a landscaper, and my mom cleaned houses during the day and managed the home in the evening. I never heard them complain about how labor-intensive or difficult their jobs were. They simply wanted my brother and me to have access to the education that they didn't have.

I genuinely believed that the harder you worked, the more success you’d have. When I started my business, there was so much to do that I was working 90-hour weeks. When I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. Needless to say, I burnt myself out within a couple of months. I began to re-evaluate the belief that “you must work hard to be successful.” I realized that the most successful business owners actually work smarter, not harder.

I’ve run a successful multi-six-figure business for two years, and here are some of my tips for how to work smarter:

1. Repurpose content

It’s no secret that social media is vital for business. Right now, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. If you are already creating one piece of content, such as a podcast or blog post, you can repurpose content to create 4–6 additional pieces of content from that main piece of content. No need to reinvent the wheel. Here is the flow we use in my business.

From one podcast, we create:

  • A video with an audio clip from the podcast to post on IG, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
  • An email summarizing the podcast and driving people to listen.
  • A tweet from a central point in the podcast that is then shared across platforms.
  • A carousel post summarizing the main points from the podcast.
  • Instagram stories talking about the podcast.
  • A call to action promoting a service or product in each of these pieces of content.

2. Simplify

There is so much to learn as a business owner, and you can’t learn everything at once. Look at your data, identify what is making the most impact in your business, and focus on that.

For example, if 80% of your leads are coming from email, double down on email. There is no need to invest in a video production team for YouTube—forget about YouTube for now. Remember that doing one thing well is better than doing a lot of things inadequately.

3. Delegate

Know your strengths and hire people who are strong where you lack knowledge. Just because you are a business owner doesn't mean you need to run your business on your own.

I remember early on in my business, I resisted hiring someone to help with my website and operations because I didn't want to spend the money. However, I was spending days trying to do it myself. I finally gave in and hired someone. What had taken me hours to do was now done in minutes. It gave me time to focus on what I was good at: marketing and coaching (revenue-generating activities). In the end, we were more productive and more profitable.

When you learn how to work smarter instead of harder, you create more space for creativity and joy—two things that lead to a sustainable business.

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