81% of entrepreneurs work while on holiday

61% of small business owners say they feel more like sweatshop workers than the glamorous ‘rockstar’ image put about by Elon Musk

One in five entrepreneurs have to work while they’re meant to be on holiday, according to training group Skillshub.

And nearly one in five entrepreneurs (18 per cent) did not take a holiday within the first two years of starting their business.

Indeed, 61 per cent of entrepreneurs say that running their own business makes them feel more like sweatshop workers – a world away from the entrepreneurial “rockstar” image exemplified by an Elon Musk or a Richard Branson.

Nearly 60 per cent of small business owners said they worked more hours than what they did when they had a regular job.

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And four out of five entrepreneurs experience poor mental health, according to the Skillshub survey of 200 small business owners.

Michael Aleix, CEO of team-building experiences company Teambuilding.com, said: “The initial years are full of intense pressure and stress, leading to long hours and little time for self-care or family life. It’s simply a lot of hard work and sacrifices.”

Entrepreneurial burnout

That feeling of entrepreneurial burnout is not just for small business owners, it affects founders of high-growth startups as well – the kind of businesses venture capitalists fawn over

According to VC Balderton Capital, 72 per cent of founders say that it’s hard to find time to prioritise looking after themselves, with four in five (83 per cent) saying that constant high pressure can lead to team burnout, with most (64 per cent) saying it can negatively impact business performance.

Unfortunately, the lack of selfcare and constant threat of burnout is part of the package, with 82 per cent of founders believing that working long hours is inevitable when you’re an entrepreneur.

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Balderton interviewed 230 founders to discover the levels of burnout among entrepreneurs.

To remedy this, Balderton has launched a Founder Wellbeing Platform to help founders take better care of their mental and physical health.

Suranga Chandratillake, general partner at Balderton Capital, said that the historic approach of simply working harder and putting in more hours no longer made sense.

“Rather than resulting in more success, Balderton’s research shows that, past a point, this can negatively impact decision making, creativity, and even result in burnout, which is cited as one of the top reasons that startups fail,” said Chandratillake.

Further reading

One in 10 small business owners contemplating suicideSmall business owners cite cashflow problems, trying to meet COVID-19 workplace guidelines and late payments as biggest factors affecting mental health

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...