The 20 Hour Workweek

It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” – Henry Ford

“I have always felt that America is the land of unlimited opportunities for those who will ‘pay the price.'” – J.W. Marriott

In the next week you will have between 20 to 60 good hours at your disposal. I say 20 for those who sell their time to an employer at a fixed cost and 60 for those who are looking for work. With this time, you get to choose whether you will use it to get ahead or just waste it.

Have you ever noticed something about all the literature of successful people we read? They work hard. They love what they do. They work hard. Imagine if you worked just as hard as Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln or Dale Carnegie. They understood what J.W. Marriott understood as a hard working American, “The price of success is a hard workout – not just 8 hours 5 days a week, but nearly all our waking hours. At least that has been my experience. When I started, it was about six and a half days and nights for many years. It paid off. I set an example for others and gave many who were willing to pay the price an opportunity to grow and have the good things of life.”

It’s amazing how we are fooled by laziness. Words like “balance” or “someday” or “can’t” are code words for laziness. It is an epidemic. The truth is that there is not much stopping people from getting what they want if they are willing to work, especially in an age when things are easier to do and cost less to get going.

If you really can stop fooling yourself and realize what laziness looks like, then here are some things to do with the time you can turn into gain:

  • Read more and share it. To teach is to learn again.
  • Learn how to become a master of web tools. Then get a customer.
  • Look at the areas of your business that deliver a mediocre experience. Start thinking of the customer rather than yourself.
  • Make a difference in a personal way with a new person. Think creatively, personally and put some sweat and thinking into making an impact.
  • Study your competition. This may also be the people that can replace you in your job.
  • Study how to present yourself. Learn to master the first impression – how you look, speak, behave, and make someone feel.
  • Make your knowledge systems work better and better. Always optimize.

Think of all the 20 hour weeks you have let go of. That’s 80 hours in a month. That’s a thousand hours a year. If you cannot turn a thousand hours a year into something profitable, worthwhile and exhilarating, then what are you doing? Maybe the wake up will come when your competitor who is willing to work displaces you in opportunities, status and rewards. How about beating them to the punch and get harder on yourself to perform and work? Those that are willing to work hardest and be the best get their reward.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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