Law 7: Get Others to Do the Work for You


Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you an aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Just ask Thomas Edison. He was the consummate genius of other people’s efforts. After hiring a Serbian scientist and inventor by the name of Nikola Telsa who toiled day and night to improve Edison’s antiquated invention, dynamos, or as we know them today generators. Telsa was told by Edison that he would receive $50,000 for redesigning this system of electrical current. Within a year Telsa created an improved version of the dynamo and instead of receiving $50,000, he was given a raise by Edison who knew that his company would get credit for the work that was done by Telsa.

Nikola Telsa is a prime example of what not to do. He was never credited for any of his work. He was the inventor of the alternate current system (AC) which is synonymous with Westinghouse. Financiers divested Telsa from the credit, patents and riches that he would have received which approximates at $12 million instead of the $216,000 that he accepted as payment. He was not even acknowledged for his patent filed in 1897 when another man, Guglielmo Marconi took credit for inventing the radio. Telsa is the true father of the radio.

This is a sad yet true story about a man who was obsessed with his work, yet really never got the accolades, or the money, nor the respect that he deserved. Edison on the other hand saw the requisite to hire the best in the field to do work that he himself would take credit for. This does not beg the question, who would you rather be? Rather it is a cautionary lesson.

4 Reasons Why You Should Utilize Others

1. Nobody likes a run-down, burned-out hero

If you insist on doing all the work yourself then you will never get very far. Hiring someone or others to do the work for you will give you a godlike quality that others will admire. Take artist Peter Paul Rubens for example, he assembled a vast array of outstanding artists to paint canvases so that when a client would visit Rubens’s studio it appeared to the client that Rubens was working arduously on his painting when in essence the painting was already nearly finished.

2. There are some skills that you do not possess

Hiring people who possess skills that you yourself lack is probably one of the wisest decisions you can make. Like in the case of artist Rubens, he hired different types of artists. One artist specialized in robes; another specialized in backgrounds and so on. This is what enabled him to appear to be working diligently on his paintings. Although he had procured others to do these paintings, he was able to put his name on the work, thus being the genius who got the credit and the money. 

3. Standing on the shoulders of giants can be brilliantly manipulated

Isaac Newton, a genius in his own right made his discoveries built on the achievement of others. Shakespeare borrowed plots and other works from several writers and we can only guess how many people plagiarized the works of Shakespeare himself. Using the knowledge of the past just makes you a clever borrower and this in of itself is genius.

4. Sharing the credit with others

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing the credit with someone especially when that someone is your superior. Take Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state under Richard Nixon. If it had not been for Kissinger’s diplomacy Nixon’s historic visit to the People’s Republic of China would not have been as successful as it was. Knowing when to hold back by not hogging the spotlight is also a talent that will be beneficial in the long term. Be wise in your decision. Make sure that your position is unshakable or you will be accused of pushing people out of the limelight and deception is not a word that you want associated with you.

Picture the vulture, he has it the easy. The hard work of others becomes his work due to their failure to survive and they become his nourishment. Keep an eye on the vulture. While you are working hard, he is hovering. Do not fight him, join him. He is vigilant, ruthless and quiet. Three qualities that you must acquire to secure credit for an invention or creation until you can make it your own. The credit for an invention is as important, if not more important than the invention itself. Bismarck once said, “Fools say that they learn from experience. I prefer to profit by others’ experience.”