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Episode 25 – How Much Do Successful Entrepreneurs Actually Work?

I love these episodes where we go behind the scenes and look at – what does really go on? What exactly does it look like, what are people actually doing?

I find this quite fascinating actually because I want to know as well as wanting to share it with you.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be in contact with a broad range of people in the coaching and online business industry, some very very successful people, some people who are doing really well but are more behind the scenes and of course lots of up and comers.

I’ve had a number of key insights through being around the industry and hearing the behind the scenes info that I want to share with you.

  1. Most people work more than they need to because they aren’t working strategically

It’s not uncommon to see people working 20-50 hours a week and not using that time effectively.

Some of my favourite clients have been the ones that have come to me and said “I know I need to be doing better but I’m so overwhelmed with all the things I am doing for my business already”.

At that point I dive in, look at what they’ve been doing, what is getting results and what isn’t and start MAKING SPACE first so that people can have a life and then also so that different, more results-oriented work can get done. And this can be really transformative.

Lori Greiner on Shark Tank said “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”

Don’t let this be you if this isn’t the life that you want for yourself – right?

  1. How strong your business foundation is directly affects the effectiveness of your work, so the better you are set up the less hours you need to work to get a set level of results.

People don’t realize that as well as cutting out the busy work how much the so called beginner stuff matters. Often I see business owners failing and what they say is I don’t want to start over, or I know this stuff. When the truth is if you knew this stuff it would be working better and it’s not starting over, it’s getting your house in order.

You don’t invite people to a party at your place before you’ve cleaned up right? The same way as you shouldn’t do marketing for your business before your business is presentable. Otherwise your party will be pretty awkward and the business equivalent of this is people politely excusing themselves and moving on.

So, if you want to work less, do some clean up on your business. More about this in my masterclass at

I will honestly say most people work more than they need to because of this.

  1. How much I actually work

So I’ve kept stats on this since 2013. Nerd alert!

First up to let you know what is included and what isn’t. Everything where I am working towards my business is included.

Breaks, lunch, pilates, meeting former clients for a catch up lunch is not included, unless it’s to discuss working together. In the beginning I didn’t include learning. I just counted doing. Now I make a judgement call on that. If I am randomly googling something I don’t count it. If I am implementing a new strategy and researching I count it. So I am going to share the numbers and then my thoughts on them.

Okay, so here are the exact numbers of hours I worked each week this year… I feel like there should be a drum roll here…

22 hours

41 hours. I made a note here that said “biggest week in a while”

31 hours

28 hours

34 hours

26 hours

25 hours

30 hours

42 hours

38 hours

43 hours

36 hours

20 hours

23 hours

22 hours

24 hours

26 hours

41 hours

32 hours

26 hours

35 hours

So I’ll be honest, at times I feel like I work more than that and I think it’s because I don’t count any down time. I also have phases where things are pretty casual and then I decide to take on a big project.

For a while I used to wonder if I should work more because our culture does push you in that direction. But then I realized that’s not what I signed up for. I am fine to do it once in a while but not all the time. I like having projects and then having things a bit more relaxed for a while.

So this brings me to the last insight.

  1. When you see extraordinary results, they have almost certainly come from extraordinary efforts

This comes back the model we talked about in episode 2 – what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur. It takes drive, strategy and mental flexibility. The drive part in particular here.

So if you have seen some meteoric rises to fame and by that I mean the kind of people who hit a million in a year there are one of two things going on in the background.

Either they had been working on their business or supporting projects beforehand (meaning the overnight success was years in the making) OR they worked their asses off, literally, to the bone to get those kind of results.

One lady in particular who I spoke to who did make incredible numbers in her first year worked 100 hour weeks and hired a top tier coach who should would have paid at least 10% of that money to work with.

So don’t be fooled, where there’s smoke there’s fire – extraordinary results come from extraordinary efforts.

The key here honestly is to take it for what it is and know what you want.

I used to beat myself up for not being in that category. I’m competitive right, I want to be a winner, but at what cost?

But the truth is I know what an 80 hour work week is and that is way more than I want to be choosing. And it’s not just the hours it’s also the level of growth required to do that. Honestly I need to take my personal growth at a much slower pace.

So as well as thinking about what you want your life to look like as a business owner and entrepreneur living on your own terms, think about who you are learning from and their method of creating success.

If you are following people who create such huge amounts of output that you don’t know how they could do that, pay attention, because you want to create a life on your own terms in a way that works for you and my suggestion would be that 99.9% of us don’t want to be close to having a break down getting there.