How Hard Should You Work to Succeed?

A few years ago, we hired some extremely talented people from Silicon Valley who informed me after they started that people from Silicon Valley “usually don’t work that hard,” and that the famous “Silicon Valley ‘all-nighters’ are just myths.”

Those people are no longer with us for several reasons, not least of which was the work issue.

But, that still begs the question in regard to how hard people need to work to succeed. The answer is…. probably a lot harder than most people realize, and definitely a lot smarter!

I recently read books about “super coaches” Bill Belichick (of the Patriots) and Nick Saban (of Alabama) b/c everyone is looking for the secret behind their amazing success.

Their “top secret” though is really just working extremely hard with crazy-long hours even well past retirement age.

Super agent Michael Ovitz, about whom I blogged last year, also achieved extraordinary success with an unmatched work ethic, as did basketball great Larry Bird, about whom I also blogged.

I also blogged about NYU Professor Scott Galloway’s famous “Career Advice for the Young” video in which Galloway tells young people to ignore the myth of balance: “Work your ass off in your twenties, and you will have a lot more balance in your fifties.

On the other side of the coin, one of our team members recently sent me this article about a tech firm’s five-hour workdays.

The article illuminates the need to work much more efficiently and to avoid distractions at all costs (meetings are limited to 15 minutes; no phones are allowed out; etc.).

Lastly, I recently sat onstage at a Realtor event with an extremely successful KW agent (Renee White) who closes over $100 million in sales per year (and over 135 transactions).

She said the key to her success was, once again, very hard work and long hours.

BUT, she also implored everyone to monitor and map every activity they engage in for a period of five days so they could see how much actual work they are actually getting done.

Her point was that most people putting in “long hours” are actually putting in only a “two to three hours of productive work,” and that this discovery was a game-changer for her.

Anyway, based on the evidence at hand, it looks like hard work is a necessary condition for success, unfortunately.

But, it also looks like working smarter is another necessary condition – so you might want to monitor your activities for a week.

Quick Tip: There is a wonderful app that our Marketing Director, Lindsey Hansen, uses to track ALL of her time, and she is one of the most competent and efficient people we know. The app is called “Life Cycle” and we highly recommend it!

Quick note to the JVM Team who have been working way too hard for the last year – this blog is not an effort to convince you all to work harder 😊.

You’re working too hard, and Heejin and I remain determined to lessen all of your workloads with additional hiring, new technology, and smarter systems.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 310167

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