Do Founders Really Need to Work 80 Hour Weeks?
It isn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to work in excess of 80 hours per week. However, it’s not clear if doing so provides their companies with a competitive advantage over others in their industry. In some cases, it isn’t practical to expect those who have jobs, families, or other priorities to give up their lives to support your venture.
A Business Venture Shouldn’t Define You
It’s important to remember that hundreds of new businesses are formed each week. However, the vast majority of them will fail, and in most cases, they will do so in their first year of existence. This means that your odds of success are relatively slim regardless of how many hours you devote to it each week. Ultimately, it’s better to treat your startup as an important part of your life as opposed to the reason for your existence. Doing so ensures that you don’t ruin your finances, important personal relationships, and mental health for little more than an unproven idea.
You Need to Create the Right Culture
Founders are responsible for creating a culture that treats workers like human beings. Few people are going to want to work for a company that expects them to work 16 hours each weekday. Even if you allow your people to work remotely, it can be difficult for individuals to be productive from the moment that they wake up to the moment that they fall asleep at night.
Over time, you’ll likely find that employees will either quit, suffer from low morale or make mistakes that could negatively impact your brand. Therefore, it is important that you create reasonable expectations for your people by creating reasonable expectations for yourself. This typically means working as close to 40 hours per week as possible. Furthermore, you should try to leave the office at a reasonable hour each night and encourage your employees to do the same.
A Healthy Company Needs a Healthy Leader
It’s difficult to run your company effectively from a hospital bed or while you’re home sick with the flu. It can also be difficult to run a company effectively if you’re depressed, anxious, or dealing with other mental health issues. Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to take a few days off to recharge instead of heading back to the office where you might not actually accomplish anything useful.
Employees Will Talk About Their Experiences
It’s important to note that employees will generally talk about what they experienced while at work. This means that they could highlight your company’s shortcomings to their friends, family members, or social media contacts. If customers, investors or other important parties think that your company is little more than a sweatshop run by an incompetent leader, it could jeopardize your brand’s ability to grow. Therefore, it is important to create an environment that is conducive to success even if that means cutting the workweek short every so often.
What Are You Actually Accomplishing?
If it takes you 80 hours to accomplish your goals for a given week, you might want to reevaluate your priorities. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to look into ways to get tasks done more efficiently. For example, you could hire an outside accounting firm to handle the company’s payroll. It may also be a good idea to consider hiring employees to help reduce your workload.
Your Partners Don’t Take Orders From You
It’s important to treat your partners as equals who have the right to determine their own schedules. For instance, if they don’t want to put a mattress on the office floor, they shouldn’t be criticized for that decision. Instead of being critical, you should focus on doing your part to help the organization grow. Starting a new business can be an effective way to gain control over your professional life. Although it will take a concentrated effort to create a successful brand from scratch, it’s important to ensure that you don’t overexert yourself.
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