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Jeff Harbach Jeffrey Harbach

Why Putting in Long Hours May Not Help Your Business

Entrepreneur LogoThe following story was a guest column by Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach in Entrepreneur.

Your health is a company asset.

A common pitfall for founders is that they will overwork and overextend, and can potentially make decisions from places of burnout. Some CEOs have been known to work themselves to the point of collapse.

Jason Seats, partner at Techstars, has an important suggestion for how entrepreneurs can reframe their justification for overwork. Instead of imagining that you are sacrificing yourself and your health for the sake of the company—which can feel like a noble thing to do—recognize that you are actually giving away something that is not yours to give.

After all, your health and capacity for clear-headed decision-making belongs to the company as a whole. If you are not sleeping, if you are working to the point of poor health, if you are burning out, you are actually taking something away from the company, not contributing something to it.


Jeff HarbachJeff Harbach (Class 16) is President and CEO of Kauffman Fellows. Jeff has been an entrepreneur and investor since 2002, and was Executive Director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), based out of Austin, TX, from 2011–2013, where he served his fellowship. He has led multiple startups, including two 7-Eleven stores, a luxury furniture store and interior design firm, and a private country club golf network. He was also an angel investor himself with the Vegas Valley Angels. Jeff holds a BS from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. jharbach@kfp.org