How many hours do entrepreneurs really work? It’s a question that’s been asked numerous times by aspiring entrepreneurs and even some entrepreneurs who are looking to balance their insane schedules.

Micro-business owners are working an average of 52 hours a week, 63 per cent longer than the average worker, according to research by call handling firm Penelope.

These are practical experiences of entrepreneurs (redditors) who are working long hours. You don’t have to put in 60 or 70 hours a week. You can actually be more productive by working the standard 40 hours a week.

1. First two years were hard. Worked 9 till about 10-11pm every night

“Started a company four years ago with staff. First two years were hard. Worked 9 till about 10-11pm every night and worked on weekends. Started to get ill and sick of working all the time. Relationship had issues because of it and just had to stop working so hard. At this point decided to move from a home office to a real office.

Once I moved into the real office my hours have been 9 till about 6 or 7pm. I get my weekends free and spend one or two hours on a Sunday afternoon planning the week. I could work harder but it’ll make me ill again.

The worst thing is my first customer who I still have now is a startup. They gave me a decent % of their business to keep me interested and to keep my rates low (but still profitable).

Once I moved from a home office to a real office they threw their toys out of the pram and wanted me to work the same number of hours (no overtime charging). They still kick up a fuss now, the other week they told me I should be working from 6am to 11pm every day. I refused. Hardest customer I have ever had.” –lumponmygroin

2.  8:30-5 with 0-20 extra hours as needed.

“As a digital marketing agency director, it’s not so much the number of hours as the flexibility to set my own hours. I don’t mind working nights if it means I can have the flexibility of taking a few hours off during the day to do something important or take advantage of a great opportunity.

The name of the game is to not mind working all the extra hours because you’re passionate about what you doing. that doesn’t happen overnight but it should be a goal that is constantly strived towards.

Also very important to know the value of an hour of your time… and not just at work, but overall, minus sleep what is the value of one hour of your time given your take home salary.

I do very detailed time audit once per quarter where I track every single task no matter what and compare to my goals of increasing my hourly rate. it’s not an exaggeration to say my business transforms itself once per quarter because of this exercise.

Most entrepreneurs don’t realize that the way they’re spending their time is causing unnecessary challenges to the bottom line and to growth rate.” – muzaktherapist

3. Side projects run on weeknights and on weekends when the inspiration hits.

“I work a 9-5 day job but with commute and overtime built in it’s actually about 7am – 7pm. Side projects run on weeknights and on weekends when the inspiration hits. (side projects are not currently bringing in any revenue)

I’ve tried working to strict schedules on the weekend, but after many long months of this i found I wasn’t able to relax, so i stopped doing this a few weeks ago. Sometimes i will work on friday and saturday nights too if that is when the ideas start flowing.

Currently I’m building software that’s still in the prototyping stage, so at the moment it’s about 50% R&D, 40% development and testing, 10% documentation and marketing. i’m doing everything myself, which i was convinced was a good idea in the beginning, but now because I’m at the pointy end of the project, finding that daily inspiration is more difficult.

i’m now tempted to stop any overtime at my day job, or cutting down to 4 days a week. i;m really starting to see the cost of not having a proper website/blog and putting myself out there…

but yes, since cutting my hours back from 100+ p/w, i’ve found that i’m more productive. also i’ll never do all nighters anymore, and never work past 1am. been there done that.” – suddenarborealstop

4. I work my desk job (from home) from 8pm-6am 2-3 times a week.

I’m 24. I own a trucking Company and work in mergers and acquisitions (investment banking).

I nap/field calls from 6-10 am. I work a desk job from 11-5. I field calls from 5-8pm. I work my desk job (from home) from 8pm-6am 2-3 times a week. Nights I don’t do this I sleep.

I think that many people who see what I do in my daily life don’t fully grasp the idea of having a business. To them, I’ve been the kid that has his little side project and may put some time into it. In fact, a friend asked me to tell him what it took to get to where I am: “I have no personal time.

I’m always always on call. While you’re at the bars this weekend having fun with our friends I’ll be driving to another city working another job. While you were at the gym this morning I was answering calls, fixing trucks.

When you go home tonight I’m going to be making more calls, either to get more work, hear the daily report, or to fix more trucks. When you’re asleep tonight I’ll be building financial models and writing reports”.

I understand time commitments aren’t the same for everyone and that each situation is different. But it’s an entertaining topic when I hear from others (either directly or in their tone) comments suggesting anyone could do it. Anyone could, but I bet they won’t. – That_Guy_From_