Survey Says Small Business Owners Work Hardest

Over 70% of adults think small business owners work harder than government workers, big corporation employees and corporate CEOs.

That is the conclusion of a survey by the Rasmussen Reports here in the United States not long ago.

I’ve always felt that small business owners worked really really hard, based on what I’ve seen of the schedules of business owners around me. The only thing that surprises me — pleasantly surprises me — is that the majority of the population agrees.

Also, I never took the time to compare small business owners to, say, corporate CEOs. However, I do hold the opinion that certain corporate CEOs tend to be overpaid and overrated, and don’t earn their pay. Not all of them, of course. Just a select tiny group earn my scorn, such as the ones who made millions of dollars but put their companies in the tank through ineptitude and bad decisions, requiring the rest of us taxpayers (and small business owners) to deal with the mess they left behind (Lehman, Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, AIG — talkin’ about you). But I digress.

Anyway, let’s not pat ourselves on the back with smug satisfaction just because we may work hard. Let’s make all that hard work result in enjoyment for a job well done; a better lifestyle and standard of living for our families; and continual growth of our businesses. Hard work without enjoyment and reward is just … hard work.

Read about the Rassmussen small-business survey here.

Follow us for more Small Business News:

More in: 13 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

13 Reactions
  1. That’s so great to see that people realize how hard small biz owners work. I agree with you that you need to enjoy the success you work so hard for. We all get sucked in by the glow of the computer screen but it’s more important to have a happy and full life.

  2. “Hard work without enjoyment and reward is just hard work.”

    Love that last line. Because the ultimate reward is not how much money you’ve made at the end of the day, it’s how much enjoyment and fulfillment you get during, and as a result of, your hard work. And I think the majority small business owners have that statistic nailed!

  3. Good Job to us (small business owners)! I did not know the majority of adults believe we (small business owners) work harder than others! Thats news to me and I am going to continue to work hard because I love my small business and the joys thats come with it!

  4. “Hard work without enjoyment and reward is just hard work.” – Well it really is. I’m glad with the result of the survey though I would love more if small business owners are labeled as the smartest workers.

  5. I’d like to think that we all work so hard to provide a more comfortable lifestyle. What’s the point of doing that if you aren’t going to take the time to enjoy it. Life is too short not to take advantage of having good health and great small biz success.

  6. It’s not easy staying in business. You’ve got to work very hard at it.
    I’m glad the majority of the population recognizes this.

  7. In addition to working harder and longer hours we also get hit by that inevitable responsibility of bad decisions. And we don’t get the golden parachute, too!

  8. There’s no doubt that small business owners work harder but I think that so many are enjoying being their own boss, having the ability to work flexible hours and seeing the fruits of the labor – that it doesn’t feel like work much of the time. But we all have to stop and smell the roses every once in a while!

  9. This makes sense to me as most small business owners are intimately in touch and connected to the bottom line. However, I would also say in my experience I have worked TOO hard sometimes, not realizing there were easier ways to get things done if I only asked around a bit.

    So, hard work is a great value but sometimes working hard can mean time for a change.


  10. The big question is: Do we have the right to the fruits of our labor?

  11. I think that one of the advantages of being a small business owner is our ability to control our business; unlike Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, etc. who are managed and controlled (or not) by many or perhaps a few. It’s good that the hard work we do to be successful is recognized; it’s better when we get the reward for that hard work; and it’s best when we can enjoy it.

  12. I wonder what percentage of adults think that small business owners have a higher quality of life than corporate workers? Because from the small business owners I’ve met nearly all of them seem to be extremely happy. Work hard and love it I suppose.

  13. Of course they work hardest because they must do everyhing. You are director and cleaner at the same time. At the begining you must work 12 or even more hours per day. Learn new thing and develop skills.

Win $100 for Vendor Selection Insights

Tell us!
No, Thank You