I was at a networking event a short while ago and the speaker stated that the average entrepreneur worked approximately 70 hours a week – and said it in a way that implied that to be successful everyone in an entrepreneurial business had to work 70 hours a week!
Needless to say, I stopped listening at that point and looked around the room. I noticed the tired faces, the greyed out expressions of a large number of small business owners who clearly empathised with the statement that 70 hours a week was to be expected – if they were to become established in business and successful.
This made me feel sad that many people in that room were having to work so long and hard to earn an income … and also slightly annoyed that this was ever suggested as acceptable. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be.
On balance, while I understand why long hours might go into something one feels so passionate about that they can’t leave it alone i.e. I know many authors who can not stop themselves from sitting at their keyboard when their creative mind is set free and the hours just roll by. But working 70 hours a week just because it’s your own business seems unfair and doesn’t leave time for other things you enjoy … those other things are often the reason you started on you own in the first place.
What’s the answer?
Start to look at everything you are doing in your business and what and where your currently spending your time – look at your working practices, pricing, hours spent hands-on as against getting systems in place to get the business to work for you. Look at where you are losing time in unnecessary travel, appointments, meetings etc. Analyse your business activities over a two or three week period and then look for ways you can work more efficiently and effectively.
I guarantee by doing that one exercise and making changes to what you are currently doing you will find the long hours syndrome has firmly been knocked on the head.