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How to work smart, not hard: Hustlers Edition

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The term “work smarter and not harder” originated in the early 1930s by Allen F. Morgenstern.

Morgenatern was an industrial engineer who created a work simplification program that later coined the term “work smarter, not harder.” The programs intent was to increase one’s work output with less effort.

For boomers who watched cartoon in the late 1940s, they were introduced to this concept program in their daily childhood. Through Scrooge Mcduck is a cartoon character founded in 1947 by Carl Banks.

Banks incorporated the concept of “work smarter not harder” into  Scrooge Mcduck’s personality. Scrooge Mcduck always tells his three nephews, Hewey, Dewey, and Louis, ” work smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies.”

For those in that era, these concepts were ingrained into their minds and habits. Someone was born into todays modern time, and they have to go through different lenghts to grasp this concept in innately in their minds.

Even for myself, I’ve always pondered this concept that was told to me by those with mature aged thinking. I grew up watching cartoons in the 1990s, which consisted of 2D cartoons with a lot less words than music, primarily my favorite was the cartoon Tom and Jerry. Soon, cartoons started to evolve into 3D cartoons, also giving cartoons more personality and functionality.

Cartoons drastically evolved since then, taking on more concepts of the modern era, like emotions and personality. The term “work smarter not harder” is no longer ingrained into the minds of youths. The term now seems to be an old saying that comes across you even when you encounter someone from born in that era of the concept.

Let’s go over the “work smarter, not harder” concept idea in depth and understand why we must learn from it.

“Education Pays” graph by

In this graph, we can see that those who choose to get continue to get an education earn 300% as much as those without an education.  As the education level rose, individuals earn more income than those without. Furthermore, unemployment decreases as higher education is completed, while those with less completed education find it harder to find employment.

The more a job pays, the higher education is needed because of the complexity of the job. This is why doctors are thrones to one of the highest paying carrers in America. Meanwhile, cashier jobs, fast food workers, and cart pushing jobs are some of the lowest paying jobs in the country. These are the easiest entry-level jobs to perform.

Now, what if I told you that education has nothing to do with “working smarter not harder”? Over time, we’ve seen millionaires go homeless, and those who pushed carts rise to CEOs. Education plays a minor role in everyone’s ability to achieve this concept.

Studies shown by WealthX found that 68 percent of millionaires are self-made. According to Fidelity Investments, 88 percent of millionaires are also self-made.

Self-made meaning they didn’t inherent the wealth but earned it. This is important because we can not just save ourselves to millionaires in liquid cash without some drastic sacrifices to our way of living.

Inflation continues to rise over time, making it harder for our ability to save wealth. Therefore, this is why the concept must be studied and learned into todays modern times more than ever. Proven studies over time showed that continued investments in businesses, real estate, commodities, bonds, and stocks have been the best counter to inflation.

Economic changes of policies of tax, income, and laws can also make it harder for individuals to save wealth.  Pandemics have also played a role in making it harder to just save wealth. Individuals must be well prepared with a wide range of investments to truly achieve the concept “work smarter, not harder.”

Investments in businesses

On average, 4.7 million businesses are started every year. While 90 percent of businesses fail, 10 percent of businesses are introduced to large platforms such as, where investors can become part of the early beginning stages of their journey. Many of the largest corporations in history started this exact way. Before they became public, these companies search for early investors to gather funding to expand their business.

Those who did take part in their early beginning stages of business reap the best rewards. They’ve received early company shares that grew exponentially over time. Shareholders have special rights to vote on changes in the company. Most importantly, they’ve received substainal amounts of dividends.  Dividends are a distribution of profits by a company to its shareholders.

Investments in Stocks

Being an early investor into a company leads from a partner before incorporating to a shareholder after its incorporation. The individual’s wealth will continue with the company. If the company is successful. Most successful companies sometimes will split their shares as their share price increases over time.  A company share split is voted upon by the company board. If approved, this will make it easier for new investors to invest in their company.

With the spread of the internet in the early 2000s, many brokers started building electronic platforms to access online trading. Individuals can find many start-ups in mere minutes and invest with the help of the internet today.

Individuals earned themselves the concept of “working smarter not harder” by becoming early investors in companies, especially in the magnificent 7.

The magnificent 7 is stocks comprise these 7 companies  Nvidia, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, Apple, and Tesla. These companies have gained 49% in 2023, while some have continued to extend the lead into 2024, with Nvidia leading the most.

For example, if you invested 1000$ into Nvidia 10 years ago, that would be a whopping 148,226. That’s a 22,340 percent increase. Stocks investments, qto me, rank superior to other investments like real estate, commodities, bonds, etc.

Investments in Real Estate

Investing in real estate comes in many forms, such as residential, commercial, land, industrial, and special purposes. Whether you live in the U.S. or not, this doesn’t stop anyone from investing here.

Since 1963, according to data by the St. Louis Federal Reserve collecting on housing showed that the median sale price of a residential home rose from 17,800$ to 436,800$, that’s an increase 2353.93 percent.

Many self-made millionaires made their wealth primarily investing in real estate. Through flipping houses, wholesaling, or renting. These are proven to still generate massive amounts of passive income.

Investments in Commodities

Commodities comprise of any raw material or agricultural product that can be sold or brought. The most valuable commodities are known to be traded even on the stock market. These most valuable commodities are oil, gold, and other base metals.

Countries are trading oil every day between other countries. Oil is the most valuable commodity because it’s a major source of energy that can generate heat and power various types of machinery or vehicles. It’s also used to make many products like plastics, paints, and cosmetics.

To invest in oil, you can either buy stocks such as $CVX, $XOM, or $SHEL, which are the most popular oil investments. You can also buy mutual funds or exchange traded funds. ETFs are a bundle of different equities together. These types of investments can minimize exposure to risk. Some oil ETFs are $XLE or $VDE. Lastly, you can invest in oil through holding futures contracts that are traded on the stock exchange. Futures comprise many other commodities such as natural gas, cotton, live cattle, etc. Futures symbol for oil is /CL.

Like oil commodity, the second most valuable commodity, gold is also traded through stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, or futures. Most notable stocks are $GOLD, $NEM, and $FNV. Some ETFs for gold are  $GLD and $GDX. And if you’re looking to hold futures contracts, the symbol for gold is /GC.

Unlike oil, gold can be easily stored in the physical form, making it tradeable on or off the market. Ways to invest in physical gold would be to buy gold bullion; which comes in gold bars. There’s also gold coins and gold jewelry.

Effortlessly producing massive amounts of wealth against rising inflation with investments in gold has been most preferred by the most successful entrepreneurs.

Investments in Bonds

Bonds presumably is the least riskiest investment compared to investing in business, stocks, real estate, or commodities. Bonds can provide steady income from interest payments prior to maturity. Income from manuicpal bonds are generally exempt from federal income as well as state income tax where bonds are issued by the state.

Bonds can also be held with futures contracts under symbols /ZB, /ZN, /ZF, and /ZT. Each one consists of different ages till maturity of the bond such as 30 years, 10 years, 5 years, and 2 years. Bonds are also traded under mutual funds or ETFs, such most notable for bonds is $TLT.

To learn more about investing in commodities with futures contracts, I recommend visiting to learn more by first getting familiar with unknown terms and then learning about the different derivatives. Finally, learning the times their traded, the leverage multipliers, and the amount needed by your preferred brokage to enter the futures market.

It’s never too late to get started

We’ve gone over all the most common investments that have created the majority of self-made millionaires in the U.S. The majority of these investments require minimal effort and provide life changing income over time. But we must understand that there’s risk with everything in life no matter which life path you choose. The point is to “work smarter, not harder.”

While needing money in order to invest hinders most from participating. But those who understand the concept of “work smarter, not harder” are willing to take risks and sacrifices to invest.

40//40/40 rule is a notion in America that individuals work 40 hours a week,  40 years on their life, and to retire with only 40% of what they’ve earned. The average income in the U.S. is 37,585$ after the 40/40/40 rule individuals ate left with 601,360$. This is not including taxes, life expenses such as medical, children, school loans etc. The median amount left by the retirement age of 65 is 200,000$.  Which coincides with the 40/40/40 rule after most of life expenses.

While we didn’t go over one the most talked about investment in modern history, Bitcoin. We’ll cover Bitcoin in another article as I think Bitcoin is an anomaly. Those who were fortunate enough to buy bitcoin when it was less than 1/4 of a penny may never have to worry about money problems ever again. Until then, still keep an eye on Bitcoin. It has already doubled in the first quarter of the year 2024. Bitcoin is currently priced at 69,342.50$.

It’s never too late to start “working smarter not harder”. Most of these investments can be bought and managed from a smartphone. Whether you work as a customer service agent at your local Target or work as a lawyer for Greenberg & Bederman, LLC. Without investments, you’ll surely be working harder than working smarter. Hope article has drilled the concept into your mind, and you’ll soon be taking the necessary steps to becoming a self-made millionaire.

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