One of my favorite questions we ask is about the typical days of entrepreneurs. True, no two answers ever seem alike as most two days of entrepreneurs are ever alike. But, there does seem to be a trend. And that is that entrepreneurs work incredibly hard. How hard?
Well, how about by working from 7am to 11pm.
Or how about by going back to work after you put to bed your kids and have talked to your partner.
Or how about by getting all your emails and voicemails done before your three kids wake up.
Or how about by not even tackling administrative work before 6pm.
Here are the typical days of some incredibly hard working entrepreneurs.
Brad Feld breaks his day up into chunks, starting at 5am
Normally I have a very structured day between Monday and Friday that is broken up into three discrete chunks.Chunk 1: Me time: 5am – 9am: I get up every morning at 5am and work for a while – I write, blog, catch up on email, and follow a daily information routine. I then go for a run, shower, and head to the office or my first meeting. Chunk 2: Work time: 9am – 6pm: I am very scheduled during the day including almost all phone calls. I schedule in 30 minute increments so I have plenty of time to catch up on quick stuff in between things. I have an extraordinary assistant who handles everything in the background. Chunk 3: Dinner time: 6pm – 9pm: I almost always have a dinner meeting or go out with Amy (my wife) and friends. If I’m on the road, it’s always work. When I’m in Boulder, it’s a mix of stuff. On the weekends I try not to schedule anything.
Douglas Lusted gets back to the office at 6pm.
I wake up 7am and start organizing and discussing the week’s goals with our team. I then progress into several meetings with various people throughout the day all over Waterloo and Toronto. I get back to the office at 6pm to start writing necessary reports, proposals and business plans. I complete my day by answering emails from 11pm on and repeat.
Robin Jay goes from 7:30am to midnight
It’s LONG! I start around 7:30AM and work at my desk and on the phone until midnight most days. I stop to eat (occasionally) or take my dog for a walk. I’m doing the work of many people and because I’m on a very tight budget, I’m not in the position to hire a staff. This means that I do it all – from social media and blogging to recruiting experts to writing the screenplay and planning every aspect of the film. I will be happy when I have all of the experts lined up for the next film and we can begin scheduling the actual production.
Jack Holt goes back to work after everyone goes to bed
I wake up, roll over, and check news and email without waking my wife. I head into the office in the morning and work on the product with the dev team, user research, and designers. Monday is the only day with regular meetings. The rest of the week is flexible for all 14 of us. I’m usually in San Francisco every other week or so, with trips to New York once a month. I head home early enough for family time, and then get back to work after everyone goes to bed.
Neena Vlamis takes care of email Emails and voice mails before the kids get up
I have three kids – ages eight, six and two, but I try to return voice mails and emails before I get them up and ready for school and day care. I’m not a great cook, but I usually make a crock pot dinner before I leave so I don’t have to worry about it when I get home. When I get to work, I’m back on the phone and on email. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I block out two hours to work on my vision for the company. I do this religiously. Then I’m pounding the pavement until I go pick up my kids. After dinner, my husband and I spend time with the kids, usually in Kumon- inspired learning activities including advanced reading, math and music. Then its bedtime until the alarm goes off the next morning and we start it all over again.
Tobi Walter doesn’t start any administrative work before 6pm
I do multiple math quizzes on my alarm app to get myself out of bed; start with a lot of coffee; do the daily morning Shoeboxed cheer (just kidding); and then try to stick to my rule of “No administrative work before6pm.” Most of my day involves talking with customers, the team, partners and investors as well as carrying out marketing and product brainstorming sessions before getting back to my desk to answer the mound of emails. Inevitably, some nights end with me crashing on a couch in the office.
Justin Esgar starts beta testing when he returns home
I spend my morning discussing with my team the plan for the day. Then my day-hours are spent doing Apple consulting, and when I return home I’m handling beta testing, support emails and such.
Ioannis Verdelis has checked his email twice before “really” starting his day
I wake up at 7:00 and check my email on an iPad before I get out of bed. I’m in the office by 8:30 and do a second round of email responses before really “starting my day.” Throughout the day, I spend a lot of time one-on-one with our team and product, as well as in meetings and calls with clients and investors. Email is a large part of my day, as I use it both as a tool for communication and to manage my workload.Oftentimes, we have long brainstorming sessions in the office, which can last for hours. This is where all the creativity takes place. I spend a lot of hours in the office, typically 10 to 11, and checking email on my iPad is also the last thing I do before going to sleep.
Jodi Tatiana Charles starts at 5
My days begins at 5am, I started my career as a morning radio producer and I love this time of day to catch up on everything going on in the news and answer emails. I then commute 45min into Boston to meet with our first client around 7:30am. These meetings are an hour each throughout the morning and finish at about 1pm. From here I check in with my team on pending and new projects get client updates across the four branches of my companies (The Embargo List, La Capoise Galerie, La Capoise Photos and Media Bootcamps) and grab a pseudo healthy lunch (my favorite is soup). I spend the rest of the day setting up meetings, guiding my team, and completing the many day-to-day operations of building businesses. Evenings are split between networking events, some sort of exercise and family and friend time. I TRY to be in bed by 11pm and do it all over again six of the seven days of the week (Thursdays are all about me days).
David Niu is in bed by 10 to tie up any loose ends
I like to start my day by meditating. I’m a believer in slowing down to speed up. My daugher usually bursts into our room shortly after my sitting around 7. My time at work focuses broadly on three areas: delighting clients, thinking about our current and future offerings, and how I can uplevel my team’s skills and experience. I usually get home around 5ish to have dinner with my family. Then I try to squeeze in a run or workout before hopping into bed around 10 for some computer time to tie up any loose ends.
Naeem Zafar emails from 10:30 to midnight and then watches Jon Stewart
A typical day would be to wake up at 6 or 7, catch some news, 2 to 3 times a week exercise in the morning and then head into a conference call or a meeting starting anywhere between at 6am or 10am, depending on which time zone we are doing, and then usually ending around 7 or 8pm, and then another check in with the emails around 10:30 to 12 midnight, and then watch some Jon Stewart and go to sleep.
Andyshea Saberioon‘s typical day = a 12 hour gap
Everyday is different. I start and end every day answering and writing emails. What happens in between the next 12 hour gap usually includes meetings, calls, events, a brief workout in this Houston heat, and research, research, research. In order to stay ahead of the curve, we have to constantly educate ourselves to learn more. The best part about running a startup business – everyday presents a different challenge.
Still dark when Steve Pressfield gets to gym, then total collapse after 4pm
I start at the gym really early. It’s still dark when I get there, most days. Correspondence and promotion take up a few hours each morning, particularly now with three books coming out in the next couple of months. I work from maybe noon till four, followed by total collapse. I just try to make it to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.
What does your typical day look like?