Entrepreneurship vs Workaholism vs Obsession


I was reading an article today on a woman who was putting in 100+ hour weeks by working at both her corporate and entrepreneurial job she is developing.  What I found highly surprising was what was being said by so many in the comments section.

Many were highly dubious of anyone working those kinds of hours. Others were critical of anyone putting in so much time for work as opposed to a better work-life balance. It was clear that a big segment of the population is unaware of what it normally takes to successfully start a business.

I never realized so many people have no idea of what it can take to achieve financial independence via self employment. There is a saying that entrepreneurs are folks who would rather work 100 hours/week for themselves rather than 40 hours/week for someone else. Now that saying taken literally may appear to make these folks seem like workaholics or just obsessed, but for the vast majority of entrepreneurs, the plan isn’t to continue at that level indefinitely. New businesses typically require lots of front end time to get them to a level where one can live off the profits. People forget that the self employed have no admin support staff to take care of the mundane tasks in addition to all the major work required to move forward. They are a one stop shop of having to take care of everything which includes business planning, meeting with prospective clients, advertising, networking, handling all associated business/regulatory paperwork, budgeting, etc…, and all this alongside producing their main product or service.

Now factor in the reality that new businesses operate in the red for the first few years until they grow to be self sustaining (if ever), and that you have a limited budget. You now have a deadline to get the business to a net positive self sustaining cash flow before you run out of funds. This is the prime driver/motivation behind putting in all those hours to move the business along.

Of course the long term goal is to be able to scale back on hours needed once the business reaches a certain profit level, and the financial freedom that comes with it. The potential of having a world of financial options open up as well as self-empowerment/fulfillment are some of the rewards that make the initial work-crush worthwhile.

Many of the self employed wealthy who started from modest means have a backstory of having to work “insane” hours at the start of their business. It’s not about being a workaholic, or being obsessed with work or money, although it may be for some.  A successful business can provide a level of personal as well as financial independence and security that can be extremely hard to obtain in a salaried job. This is even more true in the current economic environment of high paying jobs being lost to overseas labor as well as advances in automation technology.



11 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship vs Workaholism vs Obsession

    • True, although it can come as a surprise when you are surrounded by those who put in long hours and have self employment aspirations- it’s easy to think that’s the norm of thought rather than the exception.


  1. I don’t have courage to jump out from comfort zone and no money to start my own business. Never will get the self-employment satisfaction. Guess it’s lot of pressure from wanting the newly set up company to go on track and at least not loosing money. Working extra hour is one of the few factors under owner control. Sorry, I know nothing about business. Just saying 😛


  2. Most people have no idea what goes into running a company, and the things behind it. Plus, market volatility and unforseen expenses…it’s a scary thing to do unless you have a safety net. I know someone that used to have her own business, and I did freelance consulting for her. She used to work a LOT. She was successful, but she also had a CPA husband, his steady income and benefits…when they got divorced, she had to get a desk job.


    • Running a business presents a big fat unknown for many, and can feel quite intimidating compared to the more familiar route of working for someone else for a steady stream of bi-weekly checks. The cons are a loss of steady income, heavy hours during the start up phase, no benefits like insurance, vacation, retirement, etc. The pros are a shot at full financial independence, being your own boss and escaping the hell of office politics, and a level of self fulfillment that can be hard to come by at a salaried job.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice photo.

    I believe people just do not know what it takes, generally speaking. And if they do, they are not busy online writing comments on anyone’s blog.


    • Starting a business is something that has to be experienced to really appreciate the level of work involved – it’s amazing how easy it is we take things for granted when we work in an office with all the “hidden” things we don’t have to do working for someone else.

      Yeah, folks love to add their 2 cents, actual knowledge about the topic at hand is “optional” …haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I just read an article for my Auditing class you might be interested in. It is not too long but very basically points out Red Flags for improper revenue recognition (profit boosting) and very simplified case studies. I will try and post it.


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