If You Can Do the Work in 20 Hours, Work 40 Hours

File this under “tough love.”

I hear a lot of salespeople say that they’d like to be paid for what they produce. They don’t believe that it should matter how many hours it takes for them to do the work. They say, “If I can do the work in 20 hours, as long as I get the results, what difference does it make?”

There is a lot here to unpack.

First, if you can produce the results that you need in 20 hours, what could you produce in 40 hours? If you work for a startup, that question might be around how much could you produce in 50 hours? If you are taking a part-time salary, then part-time work might be acceptable. But it’s more likely that your company needs more from you.

Second, and more importantly, if you can produce the minimum required of you in 20 hours, why isn’t your goal to do far more than the minimum? What does that say about you? Why would you set your personal standard at “acceptable?” Why wouldn’t you set it at “exceptional?”

People like to talk about the 40-hour work week being a product of the Industrial Age. Times were much harder before the modern age, and people worked far longer—and much harder—for far less throughout most of history. Anyone who grew up on a farm can tell you that work starts early, and there’s more than enough to last you until dark.

If you want to spend time with your family, turn off the television, the smartphone, and the iPad when you are with them. Give them your full, undivided attention while you are together. If you want to give your family the best life you are capable of, then you are likely going to have to miss some of their events so that you don’t miss the opportunity to give them other things that you believe are also important. You have to make trade-offs. Some now. Some later.

If you can do in 20 hours what others can do in 40, then double their results, live up to your full potential, and use the increased income to improve the quality of life for you and your family.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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