The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about effort vs leverage.

Using leverage can be seen as being lazy by some and being smart by others. Sometimes it might be in your best interest to put in the effort to perform a task or it might better to have someone else who better at it than you do that task for you.

In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about when to use effort vs leveraging what you have, the idea of working hard versus working smart, what approach to take at the early stages and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:24 Why this topic was created.

01:37 How people tend to see leverage.

02:50 The two sides to leverage versus leverage.

03:37 Why you have to be more mindful where you put your effort and when to use your leverage.

04:46 What approach to take at the early stages.

05:01 Hiten’s point of view on the issue.

05:54 How most people are not naturally inclined to get other people to do stuff for them.

05:50 Why you probably have more leverage than you do.

06:17 How to leverage your time better.

3 Key Points:

In the beginning, you might need more effort than leverage.You have to be more mindful where you put your effort and when to use your leverageIs there a way to get someone better than me to do this.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. And today on The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about effort versus leverage. So, this is just an interesting topic that came up last time that we met in person when we were recording an interview at a conference. Or, not an interview, an episode at a conference. So, why don't we dive into kind of the difference between effort versus kind of leverage? I think one concept that you mentioned, Steli, about this was that in the beginning, maybe you can't use leverage in your business or even in your work because you might not have anything to leverage, and you need to spend more effort. I think the big thing on my mind about this is that we're taught to do hard work and that's where effort comes in. So, effort to me, the AKA, also known as, is hard work.


Steli Efti: Right.


Hiten Shah: Well, leverage, the AKA, also known as, is lazy. And-


Steli Efti: Wait, is it lazy, or is it...


Hiten Shah: Smart?


Steli Efti: Smart. I'm not sure.


Hiten Shah: It could be seen both ways, right? If you're... One way to think about leverage, at least one way I think about it, early on in a business or not, is do I have to do this? Is there someone better than me that I can get to do this? Or, something like that. So, that's what I meant. That's kind of what's on my mind about it which is, is there a way that I can get someone else to do this? Possibly someone who can do it better than me.


Steli Efti: So, I love that. So, I think one of the reasons we wanted to talk about this, just to give people kind of a window into some of our private conversation, was that we were discussing something. And then we both looked at each other and we went, "Well, we don't want to do this because this would be a lot of effort and we'd rather use leverage."


Hiten Shah: Yeah.


Steli Efti: And then we both laughed, right? And that stuck with me because I thought, I mean, there's two sides to this, right? One is kind of the psychological one, which you brought up. I think we both have this and many, many founders probably have this. We've been brought up with this sense that hard work is good, right?


Hiten Shah: Yep.


Steli Efti: And putting effort into things is good.


Hiten Shah: Yep.


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