To most small business owners, work is an integral—and time-consuming—part of life.
They know that uncertainty, long hours, and never-ending pressure are constants that come with owning a small business.
And most small business owners understand the tradeoffs for the benefit of having your own business and calling the shots.
But small business owners who light the candle at both ends run the risk of burning themselves out—and harming their company—from working far too many hours and not getting enough sleep
A study done last year by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index showed that small business owners slept 6.7 hours a night, 1.3 hours less than the recommended eight hours.
The study also showed that some small business owners devote 60 or more hours a week to their companies.
The study revealed that 54% of Americans—the highest percentage—work an average 40 to 49 hours per week.
Another 22% work 50 to 59 hours a week, and 9% work more than 60 hours a week.
By contrast, 14% work less than 40 hours a week.
But as the study notes, the amount of time a small business owner puts in often depends on the company's stage of development.
For a startup, 60 or more hours is common.
But if your company is more established and runs efficiently, less than 40 hours can be adequate.
However, putting in 60 or more hours can be counterproductive.
It can lead to burnout, which often means that while you are working more hours, they may not be the most productive hours and, worse, it could harm your company if those extra hours result in mistakes or poor decisions.
One way to reduce the pressure and workload is to invest in new technology and applications that streamline certain aspects of your business.
Despite the long hours and headaches, small business owners love their work because it puts them in charge of their own destiny.
They love the freedom of owning their own business, they say running their own company makes them feel empowered, and they feel they are providing a legacy for their family through the business.