Original question from Quora:

What are some smart things that lazy people do?

My Answer:

Lazy people are better at an important skill that makes them more productive than everyone else. Let me explain…

There once was a man who sold swimming pools for a living. He did everything you could imagine - he sold hot tubs, all different kinds of pools, accessories, cleaning, and all kinds of stuff. He had a retail location that sold all kinds of things related to swimming pools and on and on. They advertised every which way possible.

They did everything they could to make the business work.

He wasn’t making giant piles of money, but his business was getting by. That is until 2008.

The financial crisis hit and nobody wanted to pay $50,000 for a swimming pool. Nobody was buying accessories. The business was doomed.

Then he did something strange, and frankly a bit lazy.

He heard about HubSpot and a thing called “content marketing”, which is a fancy way of saying… writing helpful articles on your website and promoting those articles. It’s supposed to help sales.

It takes work, but I call it a bit lazy because instead of selling in person, you’re selling on the internet using articles and videos instead of face to face communication. Write once, pitch a million times, that kind of lazy.

Anyhow, he believed that answering customer questions with articles would help him sell more swimming pools, so he took his top 100 customer questions and answered all of them, one article at a time.

He wrote articles late at night, every night, until he had hundreds of articles on his website. A funny thing started to happen, more people found his website, more people signed up for more information, and more sales started to happen.

His laziness was paying off! The business was doing better!

Then something strange started to happen. As he focused on doing just fiberglass pools and not concrete pools, as he shut down the retail location, as he kept finding ways to focus and do even less…

Sales went up.

Paradoxically, the “lazier” the business got, the more money they made. Now, they still work hard, they still do good work, but they aren’t filling their days with all the nonsense they were before.

When people read a bunch of articles on his website, the close rate goes from like 10% to 85%. When your close rate is 8.5 times higher, you go on 8.5 times fewer calls to make the same money.

Fewer sales calls, more money. Fewer hours, more money.

Why?

It’s not that he’s a lazy good for nothing loser. It’s that in this case “laziness” allowed him to focus on the right things.

Being lazy often means you still do what you must to survive. That is a remarkable thing when you think about it because “survive” can mean a lot of things. It can mean being broke and on welfare or it could mean maintaining a billion dollar empire.

There are a lot of rich, successful lazy people who don’t work nearly as hard as people working in factories, fast food kitchens, and so on.

The secret is being lazy enough to focus on the right stuff and ignoring all the minutiae that isn’t moving the ball downfield so to speak.

There is a small handful of things you need to do to survive and thrive, the rest is to keep you busy.

Lazy people know this.

-Brian

P.S. Have you subscribed to Code Career Genius yet?