It’s very common for entrepreneurs to work themselves to death. They work so hard to escape the 9-5 only to find out that the life of a business owner hardly has any downtime at all.

It’s challenging to take time off when you’re self employed. After all, there’s always a long and varied to do list and rarely, if ever, can you declare yourself “done” for the day. Still, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t work yourself to the bone as an entrepreneur. Here are some of them:

Sleep Equals Health

Staying up late to work is great if you need to get something accomplished or meet a tight deadline. However, staying up late every single night and not getting the rest you need can have dramatic negative effects on your health. Without quality sleep, you’re more likely to get sick as your body doesn’t have time to repair itself over night. It’s important to note that coffee, while it is truly the center of the universe, is no replacement for sleep, so instead of grabbing another cup late at night, try going to sleep instead. After all, that’s what most of the world is doing too so that e-mail or that proposal can wait a few hours until you’re refreshed and awake for the next day.

There is More to Life Than Business

Gasp. It’s hard to imagine, but there is so much more to life than work. For many entrepreneurs, we are driven by passions for our businesses. Our work becomes our life’s purpose and our goal, which is different from many people who experience 9-5 work. However, it’s still important to invest in other aspects of your life, like family, friends, and hobbies. When you take break and enjoy a book or a conversation with a friend, it helps clear your mind and makes you excited to get back to work.

You Will Burn Out

Burnout is extremely common among business owners. In fact, Ariana Huffington recently wrote a book on why sleep is important after collapsing in her office from exhaustion. So, small business owners take note: Even the most accomplished and incredible business owners need sleep. No one can escape the need for sleep no matter how many employees they have or how much money they make.

Burnout is real and it can cause a huge detriment not only to you but also to your family, your employees, and your clients. People can tell when you’re not your best self, and they can tell when you’re exhausted and not living up to your full potential.

So, before you decide to burn the midnight oil or say yes to one more client who you know you can’t take on, instead use the power of the word, “No.” This will help you to experience what it’s like to only focus on the tasks you want to focus on while still allowing yourself some time to see friends, have hobbies, and even read a book for fun every now and then too.


Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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