Dear SaaStr: Do CEOs of Successful SaaS Startups Ever Have Any Free/Down Time?

As CEO I’ve had as much free / down time as any exec on my team, possibly more:

  • I always took my vacations
  • Once I had great VPs, I didn’t even worry much about work on vacations
  • I intentionally didn’t come into the office (when we all had offices) on any weekends
  • I would often wait for the last one in the office to leave, but always leave with them
  • I’d make sure there was no guilt finishing the normal day at 6 or whenever, and no hustle drama
  • Even more, I’d save the first 90 minutes each day for quiet time to get things done by myself.

So nominally, I had plenty of free time and time to think.

But here’s the thing … being a CEO is all-consuming. At least, being the CEO of a fast-growing start-up is. The longer I’ve done it, the more of my mental bandwidth outside of the 8–6 time frame it’s consumed. And that’s both good and perhaps bad.

I’ve always worked 40–50 hours a week nominally as a CEO. But how many other hours have I thought about work, come up with new ideas, spot issues, etc.? That’s grown from maybe 10–20 when I was first CEO, to another 30–40 today.

A related post here:

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