If you believe everything you read or see on TV, you have to work every moment you’re awake, subsist on leftovers, and live out of your car at some point in order to become a successful business owner.
Although that may be the route to success for a few entrepreneurs, not everyone follows the same path to greatness. To gain some insight into how successful types actually spend their precious time, the Intuit Small Business Blog interviewed dozens of small-business owners. We asked them one telling question: What do they do on weekends?
Contrary to popular belief, small-business owners aren’t all constantly focused on the job. In fact, the majority of them told us they prioritize spending time with their families, pursuing hobbies, and recharging their mental batteries on weekends.
Here are seven things that entrepreneurs say they spend their Saturdays and Sundays doing.
1. Enjoying recreational activities related to business — Entrepreneurs start businesses because they’re passionate about something, so it makes sense that what they do for fun relates to their business. Michael Prichinello, co-owner of Classic Car Club Manhattan, says: “On weekends, I race either cars or motorcycles on tracks up and down the East Coast.”
2. Getting some exercise — Working sunrise-to-sunset on weekdays doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise, so some professionals try to catch up on the weekends. Chris Russell, CEO of CareerCloud, says: “I spend my weekends biking or kayaking. Being alone on my bike or boat gives me much needed alone time where I can think about the week ahead.”
3. Catching up on administrative work — Of course, many business owners do work on the weekends, at least for a few hours. Mike Kawula, founder of Self Employed King, says: “Weekends are an awesome time to get stuff done without being interrupted: Employees aren’t asking questions. Salespeople aren’t calling. And the mindset is more relaxed.”
4. Finding balance — Many business owners report that they don’t work weekends, but they do take time to think about their business, learn something new, or strategize for the next week. Vanessa Wade, CEO of Connect the Dots PR, says: “For years, I neglected my social life, but once I found balance, business actually increased!”
5. Setting boundaries — Noel Chandler, co-founder and CEO of Mosio, says that he has two rules for weekend work. “I can work, but it has to be idea or strategy-related, and it can’t involve sitting at my laptop.” This, according to Chandler, allows him to spend time with family while working during “calm spaces of nothing between [family] activities.”
6. Redefining “weekend” — When you run a business, “weekends” aren’t always Saturday and Sunday or even two consecutive days. Nick Ramil, co-founder of the Elevator Life, says: “The gift and curse of an entrepreneur’s schedule is there are no set hours. Everything depends on the workload you have corresponding to each day. My days to relax may be a Monday and Thursday one week and then Friday and Sunday the next.”
7. Being flexible — Although it would be nice to take every weekend off, successful entrepreneurs are prepared to work when the right opportunity comes along. Chris Brusznicki, CEO and co-founder of GamedayHousing, says: “Clearly, I’d prefer to be 100 percent about leisure on weekends, but the demands of a growing business sometimes dictate otherwise.”