Small business owners: Why do you put up with it all?

Small business owners: Why do you put up with it all?

Despite the rough seas and occasional storms we face, business owners like me love steering our own ships. Being the captains of our fates. Standing up and (warning: mixed metaphor ahead) taking our best shots.

OK, most of the time, anyway.

This is confirmed by a new survey from the Wells Fargo/Gallop Small Business Index. It found two-thirds of small business owners it surveyed are satisfied with the balance between their personal lives and work schedules. Sure, we put in long hours, an average of 52 hours a week. But we’re doing what we love — hopefully. (If you’re not, pick a different business.)

Other stats, according to the survey:

  • Over 50% of small business owners work six days a week. Over 20% work seven days a week.
  • 14% took no vacation days in a year.
  • Almost 40% of those who do take personal time off said that they still answer work- related phone calls and email while on vacation.

Now, if I were somebody’s employee, I’d hate those working conditions! But as small business owners, they don’t bother us that much. After all, we’re the ones who gain if the biz thrives. Almost 90% said they were generally satisfied with being a small business owner.

Take another look at that last stat: Over 90% of small business owners are pretty satisfied running their own show. Despite our constant grumbling, most of us wouldn’t have it any other way.

[Aside: Do you work in an office? Just for laffs, take a quick survey of your fellow cubicle dwellers. See if 90% are “generally satisfied” with their jobs. How many even like their jobs (if they’re being honest). 50%? 20%? 80%? I’d love to hear what you uncover. Post a comment and let me know.]

I guess it all boils down to doing what you love — or loving what you do. (Either way works fine.) I, for one, spend a ton of hours at my work — because, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s sometimes hard to tell if I’m really working or not.

Laine Caspi, owner of Parents of Invention, echoes that idea. It’s “not just a willingness” to work more hours. “It’s more like — you want to do it,” Caspi said. “It’s a choice, as opposed to someone else saying that you have to be there.” Link

What do you think?

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