Everyone, everywhere has been told and has learned that hard work pays off. So, take the road with the hardest work. Choose the paths that pay.
Shortcuts can be useful in developing areas, but neither as permanent routs nor long term strategies. Cutting the soap consumption, reducing towel waste by 10%, downsizing 2% of the labor force, and buying up brands that only the selling founders understand might improve figures for the month or even the quarter, but they are no framework of an ongoing strategy.
As with art, body building, and innovation, the champion’s secret ingredient is elbow grease.