There is a huge difference between working hard and working long - but in Hong Kong, people don't always understand the difference.
Working long means clocking in 15+ hours every single day or working 80 hour weeks. For some people, it means just staying in the office until the boss/manager leaves (regardless if they have work to do or not).
Working long means that you're aware of the amount of time you're spending on your job. It is, after all, just a job.
Working hard means something else entirely. Working hard means that you're doing something different, something that hasn't been done before. If you're lucky, you'll end up with a positive result. There is some sort of risk involved.
You can fail at working hard, you just have to show up if you're working long.
The two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, and working long might end up resulting in working hard (if you show up and work efficiently, you’ll likely end up in the position of attempting hard work).
Working hard takes a leap of faith. No matter how hard you try, working long won’t reap the same benefits.
When selecting a marketing agency or partner, are you looking for one that does the basics or one that is going to work with you and take some risk? Do you want similar ideas you see in the market, or ideas that make you stop and think?
Amateurs and 'do-it-all' agencies tend to be cheaper, but they also tend to just to the basics. On the other hand, the agencies that work hard are the ones that will come up with new, exciting ideas. One type can only do one thing (work long), the other can do both (work hard and long).
If you're looking to use marketing to stand out from the crowd and differentiate, then you need to look for an agency that works hard (not long).