I was in the book store the other day and a title to a book caught my attention, “How come that idiot’s rich and I’m not” by Robert Shemin. That cracked me up. Over the years I’ve figure out that working longer hours is not the only way to get more accomplished although increasing the numbers of hours you put into any endeavor will usually yield a better result. Without getting too far off track let’s do some quick math so we can all agree on that point before we move on.
The average person puts in an 8 hour work day. That is 40 hours per week. The average successful business owner puts in 12 hours a day. That is 1.5 x more than the average person. If the successful business owner is working 4 hours more per day that is 20 additional hours per week. Over the course of a year that is 1000 additional hours. If I take that number and divide that by the typical 8 hour work day I get the equivalent of 125 days that the successful business owner is working more than the average person.
Now let’s get back to where I believe the real magic happens. Let’s assume that business owner A works 12 hours a day and let assume that business owner B does too. Then why does business owner A make twice as much as business owner B and still has time to relax on her boat on the weekends?
In the marital arts world we call it black belt focus. Simply put, business owner A uses the same 12 hours differently than business owner B; she is using her black belt focus to get the things done that will move her closer to achieving her goals.
Let’s see how it plays out in real life. Business owner B gets up around 7:00am. He goes down stairs, turns on the television to watch the news. B makes himself a cup of coffee and spends the next 30 minutes or so letting all of the negativity from the morning report set in. He then goes and takes a shower, gets dressed and heads into the office. On the way there B drops off his dry cleaning and stops off at FedEx to send out some documents. It’s a little after 9am when he gets to the office. B says hello to the receptionist and asks if he has any messages. She says “Yes, as a matter of fact I have a message for you and the person says it’s imperative that you call him back right away.” B goes into his office and makes the phone call only to find out that the call wasn’t urgent at all. B now spends the next hour responding to emails that are low value and won’t move him any closer to his “go up” goals. By now it is 10am.
Now let’s take a look a business owner A’s day. A gets up at 6am. The first thing she does is pick up a book she has been wanting to read about how to reach more potential customers using Facebook. A spends 15 minutes or so reading and then heads out the door for a run. She gets back, takes a shower and heads out the door to meet a group of other business owners for a breakfast meeting where they share ideas, referrals, etc. A shares one of the ideas she just read that morning. Everyone in the group likes A and refers people to her frequently. By 9am she too is at the office. A greets the receptionist warmly and hands her a latte that she picked up for her on the way. The receptionist tells A that she has some messages but she screened them and there isn’t anything that can’t wait. She knows that the first thing A does in the morning from 9-10:30 is spend 1.5 hours of uninterrupted time marketing and promoting the business. A sits down at her desk and puts to use the technique she just learned about Facebook to create and promote an event. A immediately sees likes and comments being posted. A is excited because she has created a flurry of new activity.
See the difference! A is definitely not an idiot. She is simply is more focused and has developed better habits than B.
How will YOU choose to spend your 12 hours?
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