The number of hours entrepreneurs work vary with the size of the company, number of employees and nature of the business where sole proprietors tend to put in more work. Online businesses also tend to require more time input at the beginning with some late night and early mornings schedules. How much we work can determine our productivity to a huge extent.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they much work and here are the responses.
#1- Fluctuates every week
I define productive hours as time spent on important items whether they are urgent or not and don’t include items that are urgent but not important. Urgent items always creep up that aren’t necessarily important, so the number of productive hours I work each week fluctuates. I’d say that I put in a solid 25-30 hours a week on productive items. Half of that productive time comes from work I do at home in the mornings and evenings.
Thanks to Derek Perkins, Nozzle!
#2- 60 hours
I feel like when you are growing a business as an entrepreneur or business owner, you are rarely 100% off because people need you for direction and guidance and because you are always thinking about your business…This being said, I do believe that work-life integration is very important to being happy. I get up early so that I can get some productive time in before anyone expects me to be available and then I take about a 45 minute break to help get my kids ready and off to school. I then pack in as many productive activities as I can into my schedule before 6 pm. From 6-9pm I focus on spending time with my family and avoid emails, calls, and texts as much as possible. After my kids go to bed, I will put in a little more time on my projects and reach back out to anyone that I missed from 6-9pm. Most entrepreneurs accept that they will put in more hours than other people and I find that if you keep some balance you can stay productive and happy.
Thanks to Nick Disney, Sell My San Antonio House!
#3- 95 hours
I am an entrepreneur, business owner, Realtor. There are so many misconceptions about the amount of work that Realtors do. I often hear
comments that Realtors receive too much money for their commissions. My day starts at 6:30 AM everyday with answering e-mails, preparing documents needed for my day (whether that’s getting together last minute paperwork for a listing appointment or preparing for a closing), checking the multiple listing service for my buyers. On an average day my day ends at 10:30 PM with that last phone call or e-mail. I take a break for lunch about 15 minutes but most days I work while eating and take a break for dinner about 30 minutes. Some days I am working through cooking and eating dinner. On average my productive hours are 95 hours per week. While showing houses or selling houses sounds like an easy task there’s a lot of work that is done behind the scenes that is necessary for a positive experience for my clients. My clients’ happiness is worth the amount of work I put in everyday.
Thanks to Kerri Jonikas, HomeSmart Realty Group!
#4- I am always on
Even when I am running errands, exercising, grabbing coffee, etc. my antenna is always up. Marketing is about spotting trends, talking to people, asking questions, connecting the dots so you always have to have your eyes and ears open. On a typical day I have meetings, conference calls, networking events, I respond to e-mails, draft proposals and presentations, I may give a speech, meet with a mentee, exercise, grab a meal with my friends and family and try to read or listen to the latest news. My days fly and I am never bored. I¹ve never worked harder and loved it more. I guess if you added it up I would say ~40 hours of actual work/week in front of clients or on the computer/phone. The rest of it is info gathering/trend watching, reading, watching TV, etc. but that is kind of work too when you are in communications. All in it would be closer to 60 hours/week I think.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!
#5- Approx 35 productive hours
I normally work 9am till 6pm but then often come back to work in the evening, where I can’t be interrupted. I have a lot of non creative productive hours when speaking with clients, or freelance artists and animators working on projects for me. These are still productive hours when speaking about a design etc, but not actually producing myself. Then I animate myself, I would estimate I work approx 35 productive hours a week, where I am creating and animating on different projects. This may vary week to week but being a business owner has a certain amount of hours taken up with admin, outreach and other tasks.
Thanks to David Mattock, Full Rotation Ltd!
#6- 70 productive hours
I complete 70 productive hours of work each week. My typical day combines blog post writing and editing, taking insurance agent calls, and creating YouTube videos to promote my insurance agency. I typically start around 5AM each day and stop between 5PM and 6PM. I do take a lunch break for an hour or two a few times a week to do jiu-jitsu midday. I’ll also spend a few hours each week writing on the weekends as well.
Thanks to David Duford, Buy Life Insurance For Burial!
#7- 45 hours
Through my experience, I have learned that it is not necessarily how long you work, but how smart you work. As an entrepreneur I am all too aware of that famous saying, ‘it is not that number of hours you work, it is how smart you work’. I try and bare this in mind each and every day. I set milestones and goals for myself. What do I want to achieve in my day and in my week? Once I have clarified this, I set about planning what I call my ‘smart hours’ for the week. This method enables me to work enough hours, about 45 a week, affording me the opportunity of achieving so much more than working an unstructured 75 hours a week.
Thanks to Ollie Smith, ExpertSure!
#8- 16 hours
As an author, mom of a baby and a preschooler, and owner of a 7-figure business, I have plenty on my plate. One might think that to get everything done I work overtime, after the kids go to bed, and try to fit in as many hours as possible. But instead I apply my do less philosophy. I schedule open time 4 mornings a week between 8am-12pm for my most important work (content creation and writing) and am not available for meetings until the afternoon. Knowing that I’ll have those 16 hours a week of uninterrupted, dedicated time to do the 20% of tasks that give me 80% of the results in our business, has not only allowed me to significantly improve the quality of my work, I’m so much happier and calmer which makes me a better entrepreneur, mom, and wife.
Thanks to Kate Northrup
#9- 60 to 70 Hours
On a weekly basis, I easily clock in 60 to 70 hours between my day job and other ventures. It’s not atypical to climb even higher than that if it’s a particularly busy season, or my team and I are working hard on strategy for the year. That’s why it’s important for me to carve out specific blocks of time to literally do nothing but relax and recharge my brain.
Thanks to Shaan Patel, Prep Expert!
#10- 50 % of the time making new strategies
Transitioning to CEO was one of the most challenging transformations of my career. Before taking on the role of CEO, I led all of our creative and marketing efforts, so I was in the trenches outputting new work every day. I viewed my output as a direct correlation to the success of the company, and it fueled my productivity and passion. Now, my days and my views on productivity look very different. Leading a team of incredibly talented individuals requires a new set of skills and a new set of criteria for success. More than 50% of my week is spent casting a vision for the future, communicating with the team, evaluating our approach and goals, and thinking creatively about innovation in socks; none of which look anything like my old metrics of productivity. Although challenging, I am now coming to believe that this 50% matters for the future of our company and can actually be labeled as productive.
Thanks to RyanRoff, boldSOCKS!
#11- 30 hours is my Max!
I’m an early riser but not an early starter, I have to ease into my day. Over the past seven years of being an entrepreneur, I have noticed that my most productive hours are mid-morning and mid-evening. After I’ve had an espresso or two and taken care of my dogs I’m ready to jump into my work. I go hard for about three hours but then I need a break! Late in the evening I tend to feel refreshed and have more creativity to tap into so I work for a few more hours. This split schedule may not appeal to everyone but it works best for me. I get more accomplished by only working during my peak productivity times.
Thanks to Millette Jones, Cast Consulting!
#12- 50-55 hours
It’s important to understand your most productive working schedule so that you can minimize your hours and maximize your productivity. I get into the office at 7am. 7-9am is very productive as there are fewer people clamouring for attention. I find there’s a lull in my productivity at around 3pm so I go to the gym (we have one on-site) then drive home at 3:30 to avoid the worst of the traffic. Leaving at 3:30 versus leaving at 4:00 saves me 15 minutes crawling along in first gear and reduces the risk I’ll be held up even longer if there’s an accident. I often do another couple of hours at home in the evening, usually between 8-10pm, which I find very productive. My total working time is around 50-55 hours per week.
Thanks to Darren Cottingham, DT Driver Training!
#13- Schedule changes frequently
The short answer is that I probably “work” no more than 50 hours a week. The reality is that I’m the founder & CEO of a venture-funded startup that is less than a year old, so I’m always thinking about the business and my schedule changes frequently. There are some weeks when I’m traveling that it seems like I’m working from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep. However, we have a ‘half day Friday’ policy and, as the father of 3 young girls, I’m very conscious about spending as much time as I can with my family. I’m home by 5:45 PM every day and we always have family dinners. Once my kids go to bed, I typically work 9-11 PM. My wife does the same — she recently started her own company as well. I manage burnout by always feeling prepared for my days. I am in the office around 7 AM and the first 2 hours of the day are my time to get tactical items done for the day before chaos reigns down on my schedule.
Thanks to AJ Bruno, QuotaPath!
#14-About 80 hours
Workaholic – That’s why my wife calls me. I work roughly 12-14 hours a day and weekends (about 80 hours a week). I think about work 24×7.. even when I’m not at work or on vacation. I was in Paris last Spring break with my family. I was in constant communication with my employees, vendors, and customers. I can’t never detach myself 100% from my business.
Thanks to Yungi Chu, HeadsetPlus.com!
#15- 40 hours
I’m a partner at a consulting firm, a partner at a $25M venture fund, and a professor of marketing at Kellogg. And yet I work 40 hours a week pretty religiously. My advice: Have hard edges you decide on in advance. Create a schedule and stick to it. Constraints impose focus. If your doctor said you will drop dead if you work more than 40 hours a week, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. Focus on intensity, not length. Be ruthless about prioritization. And develop strategies for energy management that allow you to be as focused and productive as you can while you’re in the office. Delegate early. People probably aren’t as good as you are, at first. But the sooner you develop systems to replace yourself, the sooner you can focus on the most important things and the sooner your business can scale.
Thanks to Sean Johnson, Digital Intent!
#16- Average of 38.5 hours
My husband and I have 5 kids and run a film production and marketing firm. While I am the main caretaker for the kids and am there for them after school, etc. this means I start my day usually earlier than my husband, and he works the later shift. I probably work around 22 hours/week, and Shmuel works around 55 hours a week. The average between the two of us is 38.5 hours/week, although during crunch time, when we have a bunch of deadlines all at once, we tend to work overtime for sure.
Thanks to Margelit Hoffman, Hoffman Film Agency!
#17- 65 hours
This is a bit more than the typical 40, but the workload is spread out fairly evenly throughout the week. Some days are busier than others, with meetings and phone calls in and out of the office, but I’m able to maintain a great work/life balance through it all. I like that every day is an adventure from start to finish!
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#18- As many as is needed
I’m not one of those founders that claim to be at spin classes at 5am and do 20-hour days. In the beginning when it was me, myself and I; I was putting away 70+ hour weeks. But quickly learned 20 of those hours weren’t productive at all. Now I schedule my days at the end of the precious days and do around 50-55 hours of super productive work per week. Listening to podcasts on the communicate, reading news on my iPad at the gym and regular 9-5 hours allows me to get all my work done on time and to great effect. I often follow the Pomodoro technique to ramp up my productivity during busy periods.
Thanks to Julian House, Discount Promo Codes!
#19- 15-50 Hours
I love working. I love all of the work I do, for all of my business. I have two brick-and-mortar businesses (flower shop and Corporate Events company) and two online businesses (PR and Virtual Assistant Placements). Most weeks I work 15-20 hours and mostly coordination with my teams, but there are also weeks when work is too heavy due to a big event, a big launch, or a big requirement by one single client in any of those businesses. I still have time to enjoy life, take holidays, and go out at nights, it just all meshes smoothly because I love work as much as I love my personal time and freedom.
Thanks to Karla Singson
#20- Between 50 and 60 hours
This time of year, until June, is a very busy season for us. I usually work between 50 and 60 hours per week. In the summer I work a more traditional 40 hour work week. My time is split between working in the business, as I continue to enjoy the clinical work, and working on the business which includes networking meetings and events, meetings with financial advisors, projects to develop new niches and income streams.
Thanks to Leigh-Ann Larson, Elevate Counseling Services, Inc.!