Many entrepreneurs will start a business because they want a sense of purpose. They want to create something, earn money, and most importantly create freedom. Ironically, what happens to most entrepreneurs is they have zero freedom.

Usually what they do instead is create a job for themselves. They start a business thinking, “I’m going to start a business, I’m going to have all this freedom, I’m going to have all this time off,” and then they’re working more than anybody else in their business. All the while feeling completely out of control about it.

The 40-hour Rule

The first rule is this: you are only allowed 40 hours a week to work on your business. Period.

Your brain is likely having a temper tantrum right now. You’re thinking “You don’t know what I have to do. I don’t have a team like you, and I don’t have…” Whatever your brain is saying to you, you need to write it down.

There is no reason why you need to work more than 40 hours a week. Many of you are not proactive enough. You are just running around in your business responding to fires, putting out fires, and trying to solve this, and trying to solve that.

The only way you’re really able to understand who you need to hire and how many people you need on your team is if you are working reasonable work hours. If you have people on your team working more than 40 hours, you don’t even know what their capability is on a normal workday, and they will get burnt out, and it will take you more time and more energy to replace them.

Managing Your Time

When we tell our clients, ”Hey, you need to just work eight hours today and then you need to go and do something else,” they’ll often say, “What do I do?” Many entrepreneurs don’t know what to do with themselves because they use their business as a buffer. Just like some people use food, wine, or shopping to avoid or distract themselves, you have to pay attention to what it is that you’re trying to avoid by working.

You may also think that working 60–80 hours a week is the secret to your success. But until you can believe that you can be successful without having to be exhausted, you will continue to perpetuate that.

It’s so important to start with looking at what you are doing with your time. How well do you manage your time? How well do you plan your time? Do you set boundaries around how other people have access to your time? This is something you must do before scaling your business and building a team.

And when you don’t manage your time well, what you’ll end up hearing from your employees is how they don’t have enough time to do their job. You’ll create a belief within your whole business that you’re short on resources.

Letting Go

Once the computer is closed, the day is over. Have a way to end that day and move on. We want you to have some personal goals in your life that aren’t included in work, so we know you can shift your focus away from your job. This will benefit your business so much. You’ll be able to go back to your business with fresh perspective and new ideas for how to make it even better.

It starts with the simplest thing—40 hours of a work week. This will give you your life back. This is what will create your freedom. If you’re very disciplined in this, you will start building a business that supports itself, instead of being 100% dependent on you.