Friday May 7, 2021
Over 126 million Americans say they Work too Hard.
That's equivalent to 1/3 of the national population. Statistics show the real number could be as high as 40%, which is a considerable margin when one considers the number of employees I'm talking about. To put that number in perspective, for new business registrations 2020 saw a historic, record-breaking jump of just 12%, or an increase to 1.5 Million.
That's an economic response through-and-through, and it reveals how individuals are willing to trade risks under a particular kind of pressure. These new entrepreneurs, however, now face a more saturated and competitive marketplace, and under those circumstances the dream of entrepreneurship might be more of a challenge than anyone anticipated.
So How Many Hours Should you Work?
Opinions differ. In countries other than the US, the standard workweek can flex from 40, like in the US and the UK, to much higher in countries like Costa Rica, Columbia and the Phillipines. As an aggregate, in nations like Denmark and the Netherlands they fall under 37.
On average, even in countries that are historically known for less stressful workweeks, the number as an aggregate really doesn't fall far under 40, so what's the issue?
Though the standard of the 40 hour workweek exists, the crunch of the American Laborer is Overtime. The average laborer in a non-union position in the United States works 8 hours of overtime. It goes higher.
There is no existing standard for what an employer is allowed to ask for Overtime in the US. An employer can demand as much as 100 hours of overtime from an employee without violating any federal law so long as the employee is compensated.
A 40 hour workweek with 100 hours of overtime leaves an average of 4 hours a day for sleep.
Americans are, in fact, overworked.
According to Gallop labor statistics July 21, 2020, 39% of Americans work over 50 hours a week. Nearly 20% work over 60. If you account for the number of Americans who work in part-time jobs of less than 30 hours (30%), you find your 40hr aggregate.
How does Entrepreneurship Stop you from Working too Much?
That's the thing. It doesn't. As an Entrepreneur how much you work and why you work is up to you. The discipline of managing your time comes from building your business and scaling it out. Most Entrepreneurs and New Business Owners put 40 hours into their work, often more. It's often necessary, often the cost maintaining momentum, finding leads and fulfulling on obligations.
Different, not Less.
The secret to Entrepreneurship is that work-life balance is often a scaled and intentional benefit of success. Having the resource of time management and the discipline to use it is at the core of what new business owners do (and, as I frequently point out, is something to teach).
By measuring your expectations going in and by following through with effective goal setting, balance is attainable, it just might not come in the form most expect.
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