How many hours a week do you work?

You might say 50 or 60, and some advisors will proudly proclaim that they work as many as 80 hours a week.

Whatever your answer, are you working enough? Enough, I mean, to ensure that your practice is maximizing productivity?

You might believe that you are indeed working as hard as necessary to achieve the level of success you want. But I don’t agree. I contend that you’re not working hard enough. You just think you are.

How successful you are and how successful you can become depends in large part on productivity—that is, how many productive hours your practice gets each week.

It could be that you’re standing in the way of greater productivity. Let me explain how that can happen and how you can fix it.

First, let’s set a benchmark. Care to guess how many hours a week I work?

OK, it’s a trick question. Still, the answer is (drum roll, please):

At least 20,000 hours. Per week.

How can that be?

Easy. Edelman Financial Services has 500 employees, each of whom works 40 hours a week. I’m getting at least 20,000 hours of productivity each week. Even if my employees are lazy (they’re not) and work only 20 hours a week, I get 10,000 of weekly productivity, five times more than you’ll do by yourself in a year.

And that, quite simply, is the secret to high productivity. All you have to do is hire talented people, make sure they understand your mission, give them the tools they need and get out of their way.