How hard should an entrepreneur work?

We have heard that entrepreneur must work hard.

How hard?
First, how many hours of work should an entrepreneur put in?
The simple answer is: Entrepreneurs must work more hours than any of their employees. If your office hours are, say, 9 to 5, and every employee is expected to work for at least 8 hours a day. Now, if you are also looking for an 8-hour work day for yourself, entrepreneurship is not for you. You should give up business and take up a job with fixed hours.
If you feel that you pay your employees so they should come early to work for you you can come late or leave early everyday, it is a very bad idea. You have a liberty to do that, but such businesses, where the owner does not put in much work generally don’t do much.
A business owner must work equal or more hours than his employees. Undoubtedly. Remember, a general can’t relax when his soldiers are battling on the field.
Secondly, an entrepreneur must be available for his/her business 24×7.
See, it is not about working 24×7. You must ensure balance between work and other areas of life for yourself and for your team. It is about being available when your business needs you. You can’t shut yourself down.
If everyday you wait for evening so that you can “have some time for yourself after a hard day’s work”, you should not be an entrepreneur. For a true entrepreneur, there is no “hard” day of work.
Yes, you can party. But, you must be available and accessible to your troops if they are fighting it out.
Some entrepreneurs are victims of maxims like “We should do smart work and not hard work”.
As a boss, we should give tension to others and not take tension on ourselves.
Such dialogues can’t help us build businesses.
You can’t build a business by proxy.
Entrepreneurship is not a fixed time job. It is a full-time job.

A great business requires work.

Hard work.

A great business can’t be built looking at a clock.

Or a calendar.

Author: Sanjay Shah

Sanjay is the author of "Business Management Simplified" which provides Practical, Actionable Solutions for Entrepreneurs. It is an all-in-one guidebook to start, run and grow a small and mid-size business to the next level. He is also an SME Business Coach, Seminar Leader and Motivational/Keynote speaker, Sanjay is based in Mumbai (India). He advises many businesses on Strategy, Leadership, Marketing, Branding, Customer Experience Management and Organization Development. He conducts various self-help seminars and workshops for companies and groups in English, Hindi and Gujarati. For more info, visit :

3 thoughts on “How hard should an entrepreneur work?”

  1. Dear Mr. Sanjay,

    I am Ted Blackwater, the Leadership author for POST Online Media (, the international business-oriented website existing since 2008.

    We opened a new section, Op-Ed, in which we want to give space to people we recognize as experts in their field to share their thoughts with POST readers.

    We are currently contacting authors for which we know they are well-recognized and we would like to publish your post “How hard should an entrepreneur work?” from in our new section.

    We would:
    – publish your text as it is, without cutting or additions from our side
    – your name at the beginning of the article
    – under the article there would be a few sentences about the author
    – and there will be tweeting to promoted the text, as we are doing with our other article.
    – put your name under Contributors on our Authors page

    I wonder what do you think about this proposal.

    Ted Blackwater
    POST Online Media

    1. Dear Mr Ted
      Thank you for the mail.
      You can publish the article.

      Can you send me the link once published?

      Also, let me know if you would like to get more content on business.

      Thank you.

      – Sanjay

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