Interview: 12 Top Online Entrepreneurs Share How Hard They Work

By Daniel Scocco

I strongly believe that behind every successful person there is a huge amount of hard work, and that is why I am always interested in learning how long and how hard other entrepreneurs work (maybe to confirm that I am not the only one crazy out there….).

Thinking about this issue I decided to run a group interview, asking some of the most successful people I know how hard they work. Below you’ll find an introduction with the interviewees, and then straight to the questions.

darren rowse
Darren Rowse: The original Problogger, Darren has created a web publishing empire over the past few years, and has been included in the “Top 25 Web Celebrities” list by Forbes in 2007.


Rand Fishkin: Rand is the CEO and co-founder of SEOMoz, a leader in the field of search engine optimization. In 2009 he was named among the “30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30” by BusinessWeek.


Aaron Wall: One of the most respected SEOs around the world, Aaron is the founder of SEO Book, a leading SEO resource and training program.


Neil Patel: By the age of 21 Neil had already co-founded three Internet companies. He blogs at Quicksprout, where he also offers a course for aspiring web entrepreneurs, called Quicksprout PRO.


Chris Pearson: One of the most talented web designers around, Chris is the creator of the hugely popular Thesis Theme for WordPress, which is used by over 20,000 webmasters.


Shawn Collins: Shawn is an authority inside the affiliate marketing industry, and he is also co-founder of the Affiliate Summit, the most successful affiliate conference around.


Yaro Starak: Yaro is a very successful online entrepreneur from Australia. Combining all his ventures he makes a 7-figure income yearly. You’ll find his blog at Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.


Dan Schawbel: Dan is the leading expert in personal branding around the world. He founded the Personal Branding Blog, and his articles are syndicated by Reuters, Forbes and Fox Business.


Jonathan Volk: A super affiliate who generates millions in sales promoting affiliate offers every year. At JonathanVolk.com you’ll find his tips on affiliate marketing, making money online, advertising and so on.


Chris Garrett: Chris is a successful blogging and Internet marketing consultant. He blogs at Chrisg.com, and he is also the co-author of the Problogger book, an Amazon best-seller.


Collis Ta’eed: Collis is the founder of Envato, one of the largest blog networks on the Internet. Combined his blogs generate over 20 million page views per month.


Trent Hamm: Trent is the owner of The Simple Dollar. With over 80,000 RSS subscribers, the blog is a must read for anyone interested in personal finance.

1. How many days do you work per week week?

Darren Rowse: 7 – but on the weekends its for only an hour or two.

Rand Fishkin: 5 full days plus mornings and nights on the weekend.

Aaron Wall: 6.5 to 7… mostly 7.

Neil Patel: I work 7 days a week.

Chris Pearson: Some weeks every day, and other weeks only a couple of days.

Shawn Collins: 7, but lighter on the weekend.

Yaro Stark: 7 days per week.

Jonathan Volk: 6 days, plus a couple of hours on Sunday.

Dan Schawbel: 7 days per week.

Chris Garrett: 7 days per week.

Collis Ta’eed: 5, but often times I work on weekends as well.

Trent Hamm: I work at least a little every day of the week, so 7.

2. How many hours do you work, in total, every week?

Darren Rowse: From 60 to 65.

Rand Fishkin: Between 65 and 70, but some weeks as low as 55.

Aaron Wall: 90+ hours typically, and often 100.

Neil Patel: I work anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week.

Chris Pearson: I’ve definitely pulled my share of 80+ hour weeks, but to balance things out, I’ve also pulled my share of 20 hour weeks, too. As an average, I probably work 30—50 hours per week.

Shawn Collins: Around 60 hours per week.

Yaro Stark: In terms of productive output I probably do about 10-20 hours
a week, but there’s plenty more time spent in front of the computer.

Jonathan Volk: Around 60 hours per week.

Dan Schawbel: I work approximately 110 hours per week depending if I’m traveling or not.

Chris Garrett: As many as it takes. So up to 90 hours on some weeks, and only 50 on others.

Collis Ta’eed: 40 to 60 hours usually.

Trent Hamm: 40 to 45 hours.

3. Do you have a fixed work routine? Hoes does it look like?

Darren Rowse: Most mornings I usually spend a couple of hours in a local cafe working. This is often writing time. Mid morning to lunch time usually has more of an admin/networking function. Afternoons are often more about email, commenting in forums, networking. Evenings are about finalizing posts for the next day, writing newsletters etc.

Rand Fishkin: Not at all fixed – very inconsistent based on travel, meetings, phone calls, engagements, etc.

Aaron Wall: Not really…I try to do something until I feel I am getting tired of it or losing efficiency (or am done with it), and then I will either take a break or do another task.

Neil Patel: I don’t have a fix routine. Most of my days are spent meeting with other entrepreneurs and answering emails.

Chris Pearson: Generally speaking, I like to knock out “near zero sum” tasks like email, Twitter DM responses, and accounting first thing in the morning. In theory, this leaves me with the rest of the day to focus my attention on problems that I actually care about.

Shawn Collins: I do on the weekdays – I help get my kids off to school (4 kids in 3 schools) and then get to my desk around 8:30 am. I work through 6:00 pm and then stop to hang out with the family and have dinner. After the kids go to sleep, I work another hour or so – sometimes I work more after my wife goes to sleep.

Yaro Stark: Not fixed no, but loosely made up of some work on the computer when I wake up, usually around 9-10am and I do most of my solid writing at cafes, so about 2-3 hours every second or third day during the afternoons or evenings.

Jonathan Volk: Normally I work on routine stuff in the morning such as responding to emails, updating stats, checking profits, etc. By the time I am done with this, I normally break for lunch. After lunch I begin working on developing new projects and marketing campaigns.

Dan Schawbel: I don’t have a fixed work routine at all. I make a top ten list of things I need to get done each week and then commit to it.

Chris Garrett: No, one of the reasons I went to work for myself was to have freedom. There are things that I do to be productive, and stuff I have to do every day, but I do not have a fixed routine.

Collis Ta’eed: I certainly do, every day I begin by traversing my email in an attempt to keep my inbox down to zero (something I’ve only ever achieved twice!) Then I usually update my to-do list and check my calendar. And then of course it’s “real” work time!

Trent Hamm: On weekdays, I have a fixed routine. I usually block out several
hour-long chunks throughout the day for various tasks, blocking out
all interruptions.

4. How many times per year do you take vacations, and how long are they?

Darren Rowse: We try to do a combination of different types of vacations as a family. We would typically have 3-4 weekends away (often we’d do it over 3-4 days) each year. We usually would also take a week over our summer or autumn and 10-14 days in our Spring. I also tend to travel to the US for conferences twice a year (two weeks) which isn’t a vacation but it’s a break from the normal routine.

Rand Fishkin: When I travel for work to interesting locations, I’ll often spend the weekend or an extra day there with my wife when possible, but I haven’t had a serious, true vacation since my wedding in September 2008.

Aaron Wall: Roughly 0 :) . Need to work on that, and we will hire some folks soon to help out on that front.

Neil Patel: I don’t take vacations.

Chris Pearson: I prefer short trips to big vacations. My favorites are 3—4 day jaunts where I can either relax in an epic setting or else conquer something physically–like snowboarding, scuba diving, hiking, or launching myself off a rope swing into a freshwater lake!

Shawn Collins: I take long weekends here and there, but always bring my computer. I think the last time I took a week-long vacation was in 2002, and I was on my computer during that week. I can’t relax if I’m not caught up.

Yaro Stark: I don’t really have vacations. If I travel, I do my writing and other work wherever I am. There really is no solid line between holidays and work time for me, it’s all the same.

Jonathan Volk: I take a few vacations per year usually. I go to help out at my church’s youth camp each year for a week. I also am trying to take 2 vacations per year with my wife.

Dan Schawbel: Everyday is vacation when you’re doing what you love 😉

Chris Garrett: We try to get away somewhere as much as possible, even if it is just a short trip to the mainland. I work hard and can not always get as much family time as I would like, so it’s important for us.

Collis Ta’eed: I like to vary it up, sometimes a few little ones and sometimes one big vacation. My favorite type of vacation is to go away for a week to somewhere very peaceful in the countryside and then write lots.

Trent Hamm: 4 or so times a year, usually for a week at a time.

5. How many hours per day do you spend on email?

Darren Rowse: 1-2 – although it’s a bit scattered through the day into 15 minute blocks.

Rand Fishkin: 3-4, sometimes more. I do lots of “work” inside email that’s not what I’d consider just classic communication (product/project reviews, scope documents, etc).

Aaron Wall: Roughly 1.5 to 2 hours. Need to work on that, and we will hire some folks soon to help out on that front.

Neil Patel: I spend at least 2 hours a day on email.

Chris Pearson: I spend about 20 minutes a day on email, and 0 minutes if I’m lucky.

Shawn Collins: No way to really calculate it – I check email every waking hour and constantly clear it out as much as I can.

Yaro Stark: I review my email and respond to really urgent things for about an hour a day, then every two weeks or so I’ll do a proper batch process and clear the inbox entirely.

Jonathan Volk: 2-3 hours per day. I spend the most amount of time on email in the morning and then leave outlook open during the entire work day. I get a lot of proposals, joint venture requests, and questions from people who have subscribed to my affiliate marketing guide and I like to try to at least reply to everyone.

Dan Schawbel: 2 hours

Chris Garrett: I am trying to kick the habit, but at worst I could be checking email all day and right into the night. Not healthy!

Collis Ta’eed: I spend the majority of my time with email open, though sometimes I’m doing the task that the email is about (like filling in this interview!) So I would say about 5 hours a day.

Trent Hamm: 1 to 2 hours per day.

6. When you are not working, what are you doing?

Darren Rowse: Sleeping, being a dad, reading novels, playing with my cameras, watching sport (either going live to the football or TV).

Rand Fishkin: I like cooking, having friends over for dinner, traveling (www.everywhereist.com) and sight-seeing and meeting other entrepreneurs and search folks around the world :) .

Aaron Wall: I like hanging out with my wonderful wife and our shih tzu. And video games are fun, as is reading books.

Neil Patel: I am having fun with friends when I am not working.

Chris Pearson: Over the last few years, I’ve established a pattern of learning and exploring new things when I’m not working. These range from cycling to reading books about neuroscience and economics. That is, when I’m not playing Modern Warfare 2 or Rock Band on my XBOX 360 :) .

Shawn Collins: Hanging out with my family and friends, exercising, going to baseball games.

Yaro Stark: I like sport – like tennis and skating. I also socialize and eat out with friends a lot. We head to the beach sometimes, see movies, travel locally around Australia, attend events in my industry, the usual.

Jonathan Volk: I enjoying hanging out with friends, playing wii or PS3 with my wife (She is awesome at modern warfare 2 haha), going to church, drumming, and finally flying my RC airplanes and helicopters.

Dan Schawbel: Going out and enjoying the nightlife here in Boston, MA.

Chris Garrett: Like many bloggers I read a *lot*, and there are a few TV programs I really enjoy, but really when I am not working it’s all family time. We like to eat out, go shopping, take the dog on long walks, and take snaps with my camera (we live quite near Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood fame, which is one of our favorite walks).

Collis Ta’eed: It’s embarrassing to say, but I’m usually thinking about work :-) Although I do really love movies as well as I can switch off when I’m watching a good movie. My current favorite is the movie “Kick-Ass” which really lived up to its name!

Trent Hamm: Mostly spending time with my family – a wife, a four year old son, a two year old daughter, and a newborn son.

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98 Responses to “Interview: 12 Top Online Entrepreneurs Share How Hard They Work”

  • John Paul Aguiar

    This is awesome man.. good to see why these people are all successful.

    Maybe now newbie bloggers will realize blogging takes hard work and on some cases hard work every day.

  • abhishek

    Hi,
    Its really inspiring..
    One more question..
    How many hours you have already worked on it(approx..)??

    • Daniel Scocco

      Worked on this interview? I would guess 2 hours combining everything (emailing, getting answers, formatting the post, etc).

      • Pankaj – BloggersDesire

        Wow this is what we say Killer Post and why you are also successful as others. You should have shared your thought also here for these questions.

      • Nate @ Practical Manliness

        I agree with Pankaj; I would like to get your answers to these questions!

      • Roshan Ahmed

        I’ll say that 2 hours produced a great information which is, for me, worth than a week on my blog. I love this one! Interviews are really a great attraction and when it comes to 12 professional at one spot!

      • abhishek

        Hi,
        you have misinterpreted my question. It was “How many hours these blogger put in blogging till now since starting?” So we can know how long they worked to achieve such a great position in blogging.
        I am waiting for an answer.

  • Allen – Personal Brander

    Hello Daniel, you made a wonderful post with all these great online personalities! Its inspiring! Every question has its own significance and best related to their work life! This is specially useful to those who might feel that they are alone on this world who are hard working 😉 And of course it also works as an alarm to every online competitor as the established are doing out of the expectations!

  • Hal Brown

    This is interesting to say the least. I wonder if any of these people consider that chance plays a part, albeit small, and they are fortunate to have “the right stuff” to be successful?
    Andrew Carnegie once said (paraphrasing) Some men work and work and can’t make a dime while others have a knack for making money.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Chance always play a role. But that is something you can’t control. That is why successful people work hard, cause that is something they do can control.

  • Yasagun K. Michi

    Inspiring entrepreneurs…
    They seem dedicate their life to make something different and valuable. What they do, not wholly people could follow it. Meaningful post. Thanks for sharing Daniel… :)

  • Barbara Grassey

    Great post! It’s so refreshing to see people who will admit how hard they work. I am so OVER all these internet marketers who make it sound like you just have to push a button and you’ll be an overnight internet millionaire. I spend half my time with new clients lowering their expectations. Wait til they find out there’s no Santa Claus.

  • Ramkarthik

    It is quite interesting how almost everyone works 7 days a week and pretty much similar hours. They have a lot in common. Even the hours they spend checking mail is similar except for a few. They all work 7 days a week, 60-80 hours a week and spend around 2 hours checking mail.

    And one of the best responses in this interview is Dan Schawbel’s:

    “Everyday is vacation when you’re doing what you love”

    It is so true.

    Great work Daniel, in putting together all the information.

    – Ramkarthik

  • Greg

    Great interview with an impressive cast. Probably not hard to explain why they’re successful. Hard work isn’t a guarantee of success, but you can safely say that without the effort, you won’t get much traction.

  • David

    I appreciated Yaro’s honest response about how many hours he *really* works in a week. If you’re consistently spending 110 hours a week “working”, I think it’s time to read a quality time management book.

    That said, there’s no substitute for hard work.

  • Latief@AnotherBlogger

    My Opinion is to get your success we need work hard to get the success especially for beginner like me. I need work harder then all of them.
    Btw, what is your answer is I ask you the same question? I really want to know and may be your other readers too.
    Thanks Daniel to create this article.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Currently I am working around 60 hours per week, but I am trying to push that to 70-80.

  • Eunus Hosen

    Oh, Daniel I’ve missed your interview. You should have to show a comparison of your with them. BTW it’s not a problem, I will interview you. :)

  • David Walker

    I love this post Daniel! It’s inspiring to read just how much hard work all of these bloggers put in. I am curious though, why didn’t you answer these same questions Daniel? You are also successful and I think many of us are curious to see how you would answer these same questions. Please fill us in.
    Great idea for this post…it can teach a lot of us, that aren’t putting in nearly as much time, what we could be doing better. :)

    • Daniel Scocco

      I felt like I would be a mismatch with this heavy weights :) .

      But next week I’ll answer these same questions personally.

      • David Walker

        Good to hear. Look forward to reading it!

  • Lisa

    I love this article. Totally make me feel like I am not completely insane! Interesting that there are no females in the mix 😉

  • Marian Schembari

    This is a really fabulous post, but I’m a little miffed that there aren’t any women on this list! Are the top 12 online entrepreneurs really only men? I find that a little hard to believe…

    • Lisa

      wow marian, great minds think alike, i just posted the same comment at 11:27am. It is waiting moderation atm. Cheers :)

    • Daniel Scocco

      I am sure there are some successful woman out there, but none of them came to my head when writing this post. Feel free to suggest some.

      • Marian Schembari

        Wow. Okay: Naomi Dunford, Marie Forleo, Laura Roeder, Penelope Trunk…

      • Erica Douglass

        Daniel, I’m on your radar–you already have my guest post ready to submit here on Daily Blog Tips.

        -Erica

      • Daniel Scocco

        Yeah you could have been included. It didn’t come to my mind when I was sending out the questions though. Sorry about that.

    • Eugenia Wang

      Ditto to Marian and Lisa. Great post – enjoyed seeing a bit behind the scenes. But really? Are women online entrepreneurs that invisible? …Danielle Laporte, Kendall Summerhawk, Suzanne Falter-Barnes….

  • herman dailybits

    A really nice post to think about your own time management.

    And as an IT-consultant myself I also agree with Yaro’s working hours statement.

  • RJ Weiss

    Really enjoyed that post. I’m at about 20 hours per week right now. Looks like I have to find a way to step it up, which means working a little on weekends, if I want to hit my goals.

  • Dev | Technshare

    Awesome Post man. You have done great job.
    These all are great bloggers.
    Really blogging takes so much hard work and patience….!!

    “Everyday is vacation when you’re doing what you love” Grreat. 😉

    Thanks,
    Dev

  • mohsin

    This is a very inspirational and useful post, not only for bloggers but for anyone willing to make a living on Internet. New bloggers, often think that success in online business comes over night and they do not make effort to improve their work and create a systemic work schedule.
    This post is great source of inspiration to bloggers and internet professionals already working hard to make a quality business.

  • Wendy Maynard

    I agree – a great post, but not particularly diverse. Here are some more great female entrepreneurs to add to your list:

    Sonia Simone
    Valeri Maltoni
    Pamela Slim
    Carrie Wilkerson
    Lisa Stone
    Heather Armstrong
    Ariana Huffington

    Best, Wendy

    • Daniel Scocco

      I am not sure how many of them would answer to my email, but I’ll try.

      • LisaC

        I was thinking similarly. This blog post, while totally awesome, was also a big-ol’ sausage-fest. (Horrible joke, I know.)

  • Joshua Black | The Underdog Millionaire

    Well it’s nice to see that the guys that made have really earned it. When the fake gurus of the internet are selling their books where you can make money blogging by only working 5 minutes a week, they will really need to read this post.

    If these guys are working 7 days a week, then the rest of us need to step it up as well. I know that I work at least 5, but now I plan on using my weekends a little more productively as well.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  • Sheila Atwood

    All of these guys not only show that it take hard work…they show that it takes honesty and doing what works.

  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Daniel,

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    It’s amazing that they put in 6-7 days a week. I know most internet marketers don’t put that much. It goes to show you that either we need to step up our game or for some of you already stepped up your game.

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  • MikeTek

    I’d question what most of these guys consider “work.”

    110 hours per week? Please. That’s what you get for asking a guy who’s all about “branding.” What a load.

  • David

    so it’s not different from any other work!

    and income in this case is a function of time spent on blogging…

    *good luck for these wonderful guys

    • Daniel Scocco

      It is a lot different in my opinion. These guys own their websites/companies/projects, so putting all those hours in doesn’t feel like a burden. At least that is how I see it.

  • Julius

    This really gives me a concrete idea of how hard work pays off big time. It’s good because from this information, we can create our own pattern and form our own blueprint for success.

  • Leon Noone

    G’Day Daniel,
    I really enjoyed this post. I’ll take even less notice of the “get rich quick” merchants as a result. I ran a successful offline business for 30 years before moving it online last year.

    Your informative post is most reassuring.

    Thanks
    Leon

  • Michelle Brown

    Fantastic post – It’s great to see the variation in approach each person takes.

    Looking forward to the “12 Top Online Female Entrepreneurs” interview.

    • Daniel Scocco

      Working on it :) .

  • Thu Nguyen

    Wow, talk about working for yourself but in the end, business is about handling it. You have to put in the hours eventually. This guys are truly inspirational. Great list.

    thanks so much!

  • Jamie Pixon

    Are these guys burning the midnight candle or what…..lord almighty.

    But hey, no pain, no gain.

  • George

    Interesting interviews Daniel. I was thinking that after a few years of doing this for a living the long hours would die down for me and my wife, but it seems like I might be mistaken.

    Just to spread some hope to your readers I do have a friend who makes over 50,000/month online and he’s working less than 40/hrs a week (usually between 20-30) and he takes long vacations in the summer.

  • Steve @ Mothers Day

    Great stuff Daniel. It was assumed that they would work hard and it appears that is the general ethic of the successful entrepreneur.

  • Dave Doolin

    Daniel, this is one of the best articles I’ve read on here, and I predict you will see a rash of interviews following your format, because it’s really good.

    It’s reassuring that the top dogs are working this hard… and kind of scary too!

    No respite!

  • YinTeing

    Wow, most of them worked even longer hours than some of the corporate leaders that I know. The difference is, it’s doing what they love to do and gives them personal value….instead of helping their employers increase the market share.
    The post is theraupetic to read we feel alone, burnt out and stuck- and we know that the successful people out there also put up their best and pay their dues. I don’t believe in the free lunches of this world, no matter how much people wanna talk about them.

    Daniel, we your loyal readers will definitely look forward to what you have to share with us… on your own working hours.

  • Chester

    Damn! Almost all of the work for 7 days a week! I wonder how they get to spend time with their family or friends. How is it like having much money but don’t have balance in terms of socializing. Oh well, just to remind them life’s short, enjoy it. :)

  • Tiffany

    It’s very refreshing to actually see the truth come out on how much time is put in by these guys. There are tons of other so-called gurus that come out with products that say they only work 10 hours a week and make a 6 figure income. After reading this post I doubt the people who work less than 40 hours a week and claim to make 6 figures even more.

    I definitely don’t have the time to put in as many hours as these guys but I still take the lesson to heart. Internet marketing and blogging is still a job. You need to put in the time and effort if you want to see the return.

  • Chris Bennett

    What! You mean to tell me I have to actually work at becoming a successful blogger and all those get rich schemers about blogging were lying? I’m crushed :)

  • Chris Martinez

    Hello, I think this is an excellent post and shows that it does pay off but the amount of hours is almost similar if not worse than a normal job. I for one have started my own blog and I’ve been working on it for 3 weeks and it’s paid off but the amount of hours has been 40 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

    Suggestion – 10 interviews from the non-famous that do have their own blog. This would help others and the interviewee determine what we’re doing wrong and how we can improve.

    Great Job on this post!

    Chris Martinez
    Web Graphic Designer Enthusiast

  • Agent Deepak | Blogging. Marketing & Success

    Wow! They work a lot. I think I need to get down and start working. I have been so lazy lately.

  • inspiration source

    Inspiring interview Daniel..For beginner like me, this article is very good to keep motivation. Thanks for your share

  • icantinternet

    Very nice to get an insight in how the big guys work!
    Besides that, it is a good thing to burst the bubble that everybody thinks that bloggers earn alot of money by doing nearly nothing.
    No work, no earnings.

  • Roshan Ahmed

    This is cool! Lots of top bloggers at one spot. Also presented in a very informative way. I’m didn’t finished the entire article anyway, but I will! Hope someday my smiling face would be there in the list 😉

  • Tom

    I’ll show this post to my wife, she doesn’t understand why I want (and need) to work more than just 40 hours per week.

  • Lee Ka Hoong

    That’s pretty cool to see what expert bloggers are doing everyday. Seems that they’re working almost 7 days a week and they work more than 8 hours a day, it shows that they work very hard to reach the current stage too.

    Daniel, that would be great if we could see your answers in the interview questions too. 😉

    Regards,
    Lee

  • Bryan Tanner

    Obviously everyone agrees that this was a great post answering a lot of questions for us out there that aspire to do such great things on the web as all your featured professionals. Thanks for sharing all this information, because it really puts a perspective on how much time and dedication is required to build a successful online empire.

    Working on my website and blog for 2-3 hours every night doesn’t allow me to accomplish as much as I’d like, but that is all the time I can afford while working 40-55 hours a week at my full time job. Add in family time and some much-needed extra-curricular activities and the time just isn’t there. I’m looking forward to having enough money saved up over the next year or two so that I can commit at least a few months of time solely on my website and seeing where that gets me. If it fails…time to go back to work. If it succeeds after building a solid base over a couple years prior…I’ll run with it and never look back!

  • Young

    It seems all the bloggers are very busy and hard-working, no success is lazy.

  • Mike

    So its clear now that top bloggers are also spending almost full week working and thats why they are top in the industry, hard working with full succes

  • Kiley Lenstrom

    Wow. Six, seven days a week? Forty to 90 hours a week? Sure, you’re building a business, but life is passing you by. What’s the point of working for yourself?

    • Daniel Scocco

      Life is passing by? I think you are living fully if you are working to build something that will be useful, have a positive impact on society, and for which you’ll be remember respectfully afterward.

      Personally that is what drives me too.

      • Kiley Lenstrom

        Yes! Life is passing you by. You guys live for your work. You’re not working to live.

        “Here lies Daniel Scocco.” Dead @ 30. “At least he had an awesome blog.”

        Seriously, Daniel, people aren’t going to remember you, and if they do, it won’t be for long. Then on to the next one. You’re just a blogger. Outside the blogosphere that doesn’t hold much weight.

        You’re not Elvis, you will be forgotten. Much like the majority of this list.

    • Jonathan Bennett

      I don’t see why it matters, as long as they enjoy what they’re doing.

      Working 50 hours a week on a blog is no different than many other careers which require 50+ hours a week of work.

      Then there are others who move across the whole world and donate their whole life to charitable work. They do it because it’s their passion. 168 hours a week.

      I agree, particularly for myself, that work-play balance is important. But that balance is something an individual picks for themselves, wouldn’t you agree?

  • steve

    Man, Working Machine! Sometimes, busy does not mean you are moving forward.

    • Jonathan Volk

      Great point Steve! Working does not mean you are being productive always! In fact, sometimes you can put in more hours but be doing less. The key is to find the perfect balance. Easier said than done obviously.

  • Matthew Loop

    Great post! These guys are hustlers… Shows the gritty side of the online entrepreneurial world. But, it’s also important to be resourceful and to delegate-out as much as you can. Having an online business that’s systematic where you can step away at anytime is an incredible feeling.

  • Kiley Lenstrom

    You can crush it without killing yourself. If these guys are really working that much, they are not as smart as they think they are.

    At some point in you’re business, you have to think automation and delegation. Taking yourself farther and farther out of the equation as your business progresses.

    Granted there are certain aspects you can’t outsource or automate, but for the most part, these guys have been around long enough that they should be “working” half of what they say they are.

  • Sagar Pandya

    I completely understand why all of you guys do what you do. Having a passion for something will make you want to work on things no matter what time of day it is and where you are at the moment. I regularly check emails every hour of the day and respond whenever I can. Also, spending many late nights working on things, I don’t have a fixed schedule, but I definitely put in my hours.

    Also, like Steve said, you can be busy but not productive. So in essence, it’s not really how hard you work or how many hours you put in, but actually how much you get done each hour. Time = money right?

    Great to hear from such successful people as all of you! Thanks!

  • Melvin

    wow wow wow.. at least i know im not crazy for spending too much time.. heheh.. Im quite curious I mean is it really the usual “in” thing for Americans to spend their time working on local cafes or coffee shops rather than home? I’ve been trying to have that as well here in my country but not a lot of people do that here.. How bout you Daniel, where do you do your core work stuffs?

    • Daniel Scocco

      I always work in my home-office.

      I get easily distracted by people and sounds, so I like it here because it is very quiet.

      • Melvin

        quite contrasting here Daniel. I mean i dont have my own house yet so im living in my parents with a bunch of kids and cousins.. oftentimes its very distracting for me because of the noise..

        But yep Im getting used to it..

  • Danny

    Great to hear from these guys.. It was interesting that a lot of them don’t take holidays. I wonder how long they can keep that up before going crazy!

  • jai prakash

    Amazing I think these guys are successful they acheive with the help of hard work.So there is no subsitute of hard work.If you want to become a successful man follow all the path which goes the way of success.Great list of question…..I have solved my more questions….thanks for great afford….

  • Charles

    On one hand some of these entrepreneurs who are working extreme hours (90-110) hours are inspiring, but on the other hand they seem a little crazy.

    Rework and 4 Hour Work Week are books that make compelling arguments for working smarter not harder. But then there’s Crush It which advocates working until your eyes bleed.

    I don’t know what the best approach is -there seems to be a good mix in this sample of entrepreneurs working sane hours and those working insane hours.

  • Allen

    Wow … some myth breakers there! A good read and will be sharing this with EVERYONE!

  • Jonathan Bennett

    It’s nice to see some good honest answers for a change. It’s no surprise to see the top bloggers work hard. That’s the truth – none of this “work for 2 hours a week and make millions” nonsense.

    Great interview, Daniel. I enjoyed it.

  • Web Marketing Tips

    Hey that was great collection. Neil was always replied short and to the point.

    I like the view of Dan Schawbel –

    “Everyday is vacation when you’re doing what you love 😉 “

  • Stacie Walker

    It is good to know that the top successful entrepreneurs still work hard on a regular basis. A lot of people, especially individuals new to the industry, are under the false illusion that they will not have to work hard to earn six or seven figures.

    To Your Success,

    Stacie Walker
    WomanInLeadership.com
    StacieWalker.com

  • Lorna

    I can’t believe how many hours per week they spent working! And I thought Internet marketers and probloggers have it easy! 😛

  • Basant | Techno-Pulse

    In contrary to the popular perception that ‘making money online is easier’ the interview here prove otherwise. They are really putting a lot of efforts to generate money. Inspiring!

  • NICK

    Its really inspiring..
    One more question..
    How many hours you have already worked on it(approx..)??

    They seem dedicate their life to make something different and valuable. What they do, not wholly people could follow it. Meaningful post.

    Thanks for sharing…..

  • sam

    Amazing I think these guys are successful they achieve with the help of hard work.So there is no substitute of hard work.If you want to become a successful man follow all the path which goes the way of success.It was interesting that a lot of them don’t take holidays. I wonder how long they can keep that up before going crazy!.It’s no surprise to see the top bloggers work hard. thanks for sharing there views with us.

  • Christian Guico

    Its so much hard work to be on the top of what you’re and these guys are inspiration to everyone. I quite new some of them and I admire how they work and come up with great products. They are really the man behind the developments in the blogging world.

  • Brandon Swenson

    These guys are my online idols! I’ve met with Rand Fishkin with SEOmoz and I’ve got to say, he is an awesome guy and has made some great success for himself and his company. These were some great interviews, and I hope the next generation comes and some of us get a shot :)

  • Dieter

    Very insightful, especially question 3 about the routine. These interviews reraise the question of which work is effective work. Reducing the inbox to zero may give a good feeling, but is it really productive work? I’m spending 40 hours per week in an office as an employee, but how much of that is actually productive work, how much of that is procrastination and how much unproductive work like deleting old emails for the sake of an empty mailbox? That goes for online entrepreneurs too.

    I think I would (and will) compare to Darren. My mornings and evenings are most energetic, so I’d try to force myself into a physical and mental state where I create or accomplish some difficult learning. Routine tasks and errands would be shifted to afternoons, because offices and shops are open then and I’m slumbering anyhow.

    If you love what you do, sure every day’s a holiday, but I believe disconnecting regularly is important to charge batteries and switch off the mind. Especially forcing oneself to be offline in a major way once in a while looks like a healthy thing to do for an online entrepreneur.

  • Stephanie Treasure

    Awesome interviews! I am surprised to see how much I have in common with the Top Online Entrepreneurs as far as spending too much time on email. Difference is, they are actually still getting work done, lol! As far as work schedule, I see a few mentioned that they do best work in cafes. So do I. But I shy away from it because I feel guilty sitting there using up the Wi-Fi, electricity in some cases and only buying a cup of coffee or tea. I am definitely going to revisit it though.

    Thanks again for compiling and sharing such a helpful post.

  • Panos Christo

    Excellent interviews!
    As presumed all successful people share some basic common traits, mainly hard work and more hard work!

    However they seem to be a lot more efficient at concentrating on their business income making strategies….probably what sets them apart from the rest….

    Thanks for compiling and sharing this post.

  • Daniel

    Great post, Daniel.

    That’s some serious hours being logged there!

    I can kind of relate to it, as it seems that it would become Compulsive behavior which drives them

    That nagging feeling that more could be done, to improve the quality of work they are producing.

    Also, due to their level of success, their levels of responsibility would in turn be much higher, so would need constant attention.

  • Atish

    its a amazing collection of interviews.. How did you do that?

  • Amol Wagh

    Wow, its like their years of experience logged at one place.

    Thanks for the great efforts Daniel !

  • Daniel Wong

    This is really interesting post. I can say that I am way too far from what they are right now. But I can see one thing in what I am doing right now. I really need to work more and give all my best in what I am doing in every time. Thanks Daniel for this wonderful post. It really inspire me a lot. Target Aimed. :)

  • Jeanie

    Very inspiring post. Actually, posts likes this makes a reader never gets bored of reading from top to bottom, specially that it is based on actual interview with top 12 people who are very successful in their field. I am not surprised that these people work almost 7 days a week, only proves that hard work is really the main key to success in any field. I’ve learned that if you love your work, then, there should be no room for complaining, just do your best & work hard. it will pay off. Thank you Daniel for this great blog!

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