Do you need to work overtime to run a successful business?

Do you feel overwhelmed with your workload – and find yourself working late at night to get stuff done? Are you trying to cram too much work in – or procrastinating too often?

We’ve all heard the quote ‘work smarter, not harder’. But are we actually doing it? Or are we pushing ourselves beyond exhaustion, because we think that’s what it takes to run a successful business?

Personally, I started my business with the aim of being flexible around my young family. I didn’t go into it with the entrepreneur mindset of making millions or being one of the highest paid women in Australia. I wanted to use my passion for writing and helping others and turn it into a form of income.

My first goal is to match my full-time income before having kids.

My second goal is to match my husband’s salary – or even earn more!

What are your reasons for starting your business? Are you remaining focused and true to those reasons?

Are you living a bigger life?

I recently came across George Bakrnchev’s story while reading ‘Secrets of Small Business Owners Exposed’ by Dale Beaumont*. George founded ‘Red Day Coaching’ and has a different perspective on business.

In one section of the book, he says:

“You should only go into business for one reason – a bigger life! Unfortunately, the reality is most business owners don’t end up with a big life, they end up with less, simply because they have convinced themselves that owning a small business will one day get them that life.

What I have seen is most business owners create a business that takes their life away from them.”

Does that resonate with you? Do you feel like you have no life since starting a business?

Working smarter with the 24-170 formula

George believes in the 24-170 formula:

  1. Work a maximum of 24 hours per week (Red Days and Yellow Days)
  2. Take a minimum of 170 days off per year (Green Days)
  3. Have increasing yearly profits
  4. Have no desk or office

While I can’t see myself working without a desk or office (for a job which NEEDS a computer!), I love the sound of the first two. Currently, I’m working around 24 hours per week – so I still have a special bonding day with my toddler.

One of George’s most impactful quotes (and possibly one of my favourite quotes in the book) was this:

“If you can’t work 24-170 today as a business owner and thrive, then you have a job and not a business; and what’s worse, it’s the type of job you can’t leave because it’s all based around you.”

Wow. This is exactly what I want. How about you?

Gain some perspective

I asked Create Action Now* founder and mindset coach, Cynthia Painter, about her thoughts on the idea of working smarter, not harder.

At times, especially through growth, we need to put in the hard yards. Especially when we are juggling our businesses and our lives. But there is also the blessing of mixing up our days and nights to have more flexibility. So we can fit more of life in, as long as we remember to get the work done.

We need to check why we feel like we have to work hard. Why are we working the overtime? Check first that we aren’t just avoiding things (and then having to catch them up).

Are you:

  • Prepared to let go of some perfectionism to increase efficiency?
  • Prepared to let go of control and delegate to another for the sake of growth?
  • Taking time out of your business to work on your business by reviewing your processes, strategies, goals, and direction?

Well, it all adds up to time – and time is money, as they say. So you need to look at your mindset. Are you aligned with where you are going?”

There are some wise words from Cynthia right there!

What are your thoughts on working smarter, not harder? Feel free to comment below!

*Please note I am not paid to promote or affiliated with this book, Red Day Coaching, or Create Action Now in any way.