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Washing socks doesn’t count

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Some professionals complain about the long hours they put in. These professionals are compensated for their time and are moving and shaking because they want to make as much money as possible—even at the cost of family time, recreation and health.

It’s difficult to sympathize with such complaints when you know these people have chosen to do this.

But many professionals face long workweeks for which they are not adequately compensated. Some of these people are simply not charging enough. They have priced their services at a too-low rate, believing this to be the only way they can compete.

They have not learned how to create value for clients so they don’t feel confident requesting and receiving greater compensation.

Still others in this group may confuse attendance at the office with productivity. They feel “busy” at work, but the hours they spend each day aren’t actually making them money. They may spend an hour or two each day involved in non-business conversations.

Maybe there’s another half an hour or so spent trying to resolve computer issues. Then they schedule lunch with someone they already see every day.

Don’t confuse being present with being productive. You may spend an hour and a half at the gym or health club, but how much of that is spent talking sports, waiting for a machine or “resting between sets”? You could even count washing your gym socks…

But, according to a sales manager I work with, “the only time that counts is the time you spend with the weights. You do have to wash your socks, but you can’t count that time.”

When you’re selling and providing services, the only time that counts is the time spent calling or meeting with clients or prospects.

If you’ve been working long hours and not making enough money, try this: For the duration of your workweek, write down everything you do, all day, every day.

Don’t change what you do, just record it. Then, go back and see how much time you actually spent “with the weights.”

Stop washing your socks and start making sales. You’re the only one who knows the difference.

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Sandy Schussel is a speaker, business trainer and coach who helps sales teams develop systems to win clients. He is the author of The High Diving Board and Become a Client Magnet. For more information, go to


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