Work Hard, Brake Hard

When I left Canada 7 months ago, I went to a co-working/co-living space in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My goal was to focus on working on my game.

And boy did I work hard! I was so focused. I had so much momentum! I was working 12–14 hours per day. I got so much done during that time.

My gas pedal was all the way back.

“There’s no substitute for hard work.” — Thomas A. Edison

Part of the reason I worked that hard was because I knew I’d take a vacation with a friend after two months there.

In those two months in Cambodia, I had accomplished more work than I would have done in 3 months of normal work. Way more! It’s not just because of the number of hours, but the focus also. In fact, it was mostly because of focus.

But obviously, I was quite exhausted from the crazy hours. So when came time for a vacation with my friend, I was ready. I needed it. With the exception of sometimes providing my team with guidance, I didn’t work at all.

My brake pedal was all the way back.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” — Mark Black

And here’s the magic: both moments felt amazing!

As entrepreneurs, we rarely find focus in anything we do. When we take a vacation, we think about work. When we work, we think about vacation. This didn’t happen to me.

I was completely focused on my work; and

I was completely focused on my vacation.

I’ve since adopted this work hard, brake hard mentality. I’ve done it three times so far. Every time it was fantastic.

How Can You Do That?

Now, I realize it’s not that easy to accomplish for most people.

For one, it’s pretty hard to pull off if you’re working for someone else. The company mentality also has to allow for that.

At Power Level Studios, everyone is pretty much self-managed and everyone can work from anywhere, at any time they work best. It’s in our culture. We plan for that. Most of us have taken full-month breaks.

If you are a small business owner, you can try it out. Think of it as buying vacation time. Let your employees work as much as they want, when they work best. Let them accumulate hours of vacation time. Your employees will be more than happy to give their best for such a compromise.

And when they finish their much-deserved vacation, they’ll be more than happy to put back as much effort when coming back.

Any company that lets employees take long vacations is well-respected by their employees.

I also realize that you can’t change the mentality just like that, because of clients, deadlines, etc. Try on the next project. Experiment with a division of the company.

Think outside the box. Don’t shut off the idea just because you’re in too deep.


Focus brings the best in all of us. That applies at work, at home, on a vacation, etc. Yet in today’s world, focus is a rare commodity.

The Work Hard, Brake Hard approach teaches you to focus on the present moment. When you work, you work. When you take vacation, you take a vacation. You stop thinking about vacation at work, and you stop thinking about work on vacation. It’s magical!

Think about how you can implement this in your life or at work. Experiment. Think outside the box. See what works for you. See what doesn’t. Refine. Try again.

Reap the benefits of working hard and braking hard!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

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