Podcast Episode 15 - 40 Hour Work Week

by Johnny Shiu

In this week's episode ...

Faith Driven Entrepreneur - Episode 15

... we discuss how we should view the “40-hour work week” in relation to our faith, family, and overall balance of life?  When we unwrap this topic, it touches on issues of prioritization, and leadership.

As entrepreneurs, we are wired to work, and work a lot.  It’s almost romantic to admit that we work 50-70 hours per week (or much much more :).  But at what cost? We must recall that there are at least two groups of people whom we affect with how much we work: family/spouse, and employees/teammates.

From the employee’s perspective, they see what we do.  We are modeling to them all the time. If they see us working long, ridiculous hours they will feel compelled to do same.  If we send emails at 2am, they will think they need to be ready to respond at 2:01am.  Remember, the shadow of a leader is large.

The second group of people that we impact with how much we work is of course our loved ones.  Rusty shares with us a personal experience during his early career. In 1998, he and his wife moved to California so Rusty could join Electronic Arts.  After a year or so, his wife suggested that she should move back to New York because Rusty didn't spend much time with her anyway - he might not even notice she left. Bam - that was a wake up call.

As a litmus test, William chimes in with a story he heard recently about seeking the “fellowship of the unimpressed.”  No matter how big of a deal you are at work, your kids, your spouse or your best friends will just never be that impressed with you.  No matter if you are William Norvell or Warren Buffet.  If you find yourself in a situation where everyone at work can't stop talking about how wonderful you are while simultaneously your friends and family are giving you criticism, it might be time to pause and reflect. 

In short, it pays to remind ourselves of our motives.  As faith driven entrepreneurs, we should promote the motive to know God,  As opposed to looking at “work-life balance,” we should adopt the “work-life priorities” model. As the late Dr. Stephen Covey said, “we should never put ahead what matters most with what matters least. “