Breedlove's Briefing: How Many Hours Should Entrepreneurs Work Per Week?

February 25 - Stephanie Breedlove

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

How Many Hours Should Entrepreneurs Work Per Week?

Who it’s for:

Calling all entrepreneurs.

Why it’s important:

Becoming an entrepreneur takes hard work. Whether you quit your job and jump right in or you start with a side-hustle while working full-time, it’s going to be a sizable commitment. So how many hours should you work per week to generate success?

  1. There’s No Correct Answer: This isn’t a lazy answer; it’s simply the truth. You shouldn’t equate hours worked to success. The hours you work are a meaningless measure. You work until you achieve what you need – whether that’s your first product launch or your first customer sale.

    The more accurate way to look at it is “substantial sacrifices” rather than saying “18 hours per day for an extended period of time.” Research actually finds that working long hours can be detrimental to your productivity and your health.

  2. Factors to Consider: Instead of measuring success in hours, view other factors in evaluating how much work progress you’re making, and whether the hours you’re putting in are enough. Some industries require more hours than others: A caterer may have to work long events and on weekends. A professor running a subscription-based website with career advice may be able to work fewer hours per week. Note that the professor isn’t working less productively, but total hours worked may vary drastically.

  3. Is Your Business Growing?: Starting a business, especially with minimal initial investment, requires a significant time commitment. In the early stages, we tend to do $10 tasks rather than focusing our time on $100+ tasks, like a CEO should. This is a core reason for working long hours, and it’s not glamorous.

    Once your business grows, it’s important to add expertise and delegate, which allows you to spend time at a higher level. I call it transitioning from working “in” the business to “on” the business.
  4. What’s Your Personal Situation?: Do you have a family? Are you a single parent? It’s important to fully understand how the time you spend as an entrepreneur will affect other aspects of your life. It’s not who worked the most hours, but who worked the most efficiently while keeping their mental health in tact.

Top Take-Away/Final Thought: If you love what you do, your passion and stamina will grow. Your sacrifices will be no big deal. Work as many hours as you can without harming your personal life, productivity and overall health. This is the key. Don’t compare yourself to entrepreneurs on social media who claim working fewer than 90 hours per week will destroy your business. Do what works for you and not someone else.

There are so many differing opinions on how many hours generate success. (More proof there's no correct answer):

Self-made Millionaires Agree on How Many Hours You Should Be Working to Succeed

Do Entrepreneurs Really Work 60 Hours Per Week?

Common Traits of Successful Small Business Owners

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