Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day and the Entrepreneur

The American tradition of Labor Day is more than just families getting together on a day off from work to celebrate the end of summer, it actually has great meaning. Dating back to 1882 when a group from the Central Labor Union took an unpaid day off, its origin was to celebrate "a workingmen's holiday" and to recognize the social and economic achievements of the modern laborer. Over time, more and more states enacted laws that gave many workers this day off, when in 1894 it finally became a national holiday. Labor Day became a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. It also was recognition for a more balanced outlook to work and a worker's life.

Entrepreneurs across the country should take heed of this day and celebrate the spirit idea, at least on some relative basis. While many entrepreneurs are not able to share one of the benefits of Labor Day legislation, in which the 58 hour work week officially became 40 hours, it should be not be casually brushed aside either.

Being an entrepreneur can have many tremendous benefits, but this career choice is usually not an easy path to economic prosperity. The dream of the 40 hour work week seems fairly idyllic when one is working 58 hours - or more - which is often the unwritten requirement and reality check that entrepreneurs face when first starting out. The hours can mount up fast, while other parts of an entrepreneur's life can become unbalanced.

So with Labor Day upon us, I challenge every entrepreneur to celebrate this holiday in some meaningful fashion, if for no other reason than trying to achieve some sort of work-life balance. The everyday world of an entrepreneur is hard enough. Be sure to take some time off once in awhile. Your startup, your American Dream, your email box - it all can wait once in awhile.

Happy Labor Day from Thing Big Partners!

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