I meet 4-5 new entrepreneurs every week as part of my office hours on Go-to-market help for young startups. Most are based in Bangalore, but surprisingly some are from other parts of the world (Chennai, Singapore and Estonia, even, via Skype).
I have an observation about work ethic that I wanted to highlight among startup entrepreneurs from various parts of the world.
Most every entrepreneur will tell you they work extremely long hours. That’s par for the course. Some “older” entrepreneurs (usually over 35 years of age) will share their ability to “strike a balance” between work and life. Practically speaking (I hate to break this to them) that does not exist in a startup. If you have that balance, you are not serious enough about your startup.
I understand they have families and kids, but I have come to the realization that both smart work and hard work are necessary (but not sufficient) to run a successful startup.
For purposes of this post lets define success as a company that’s growing significantly and rapidly, but does not have an exit yet.
The difference between a rapidly growing startup and one that’s growing “well” is productive (smart) hard work, not just long hours.