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.