SAY WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS A “NICE FANTAS Y.”
MENTAL HEALTH AND YOU Being an
entrepreneur takes a toll, and Inc. and others
have written about mental wellness and
illness among founders. Several respondents
to our survey confided that they’d suffered
from bouts of depression. Of those who did
and sought treatment, talk therapy was the
most popular, followed by meditation, yoga/
physical activity, and recreational drugs.
Do you think America does enough to
address individuals’ mental health needs,
regardless of severity?
Does your company have a program or process in
place to help employees who may be struggling with
depression or other mental health issues?
EXERCISE ON A REGULAR BASIS.
Speaking of wellness
and employee perks.
One particularly notable
response came from
Taylor Holiday, of Common Thread Collective
(No. 345): “A therapist
on staff to manage a
program called Tell Me
Your Dreams”—and six
weeks’ paid vacation.
Most extravagant business
expense? Jeff Knauss of the
Digital Hyve (No. 52) bought
a self-driving Tesla to make
long commutes productive.
Brock Berry of AdCellerant
(No. 83) bought his 40-
person team expensive
headphones. But here’s
to Steve Sidel of Mindoula
(No. 36): “Can’t think of
one, except an expensive
printer we didn’t need and
But some future
workers may be
less than human.
of those surveyed
were using or will
soon use A.I. as a
substitute for workers, and 18% say the
same about robots.
No word yet on what
perks those workers
TIME OFF An increasingly popular perk that Inc. 500 founders offer employees is
unlimited vacation time; 31% of survey respondents do so. (It’s one way to attract
and retain talent, which once again was cited by the founders as the top obstacle
to growth.) As for founders’ own time off—well, the figures below show that many
of them are better at giving vacation time than at taking it.
How many vacation days did you take in the past year?
Less than 5 hours
SLEEP The stereotype is that entrepreneurs work all the time and never sleep—but
founders who responded to the survey defy it: Gallup found that the average Ameri-
can sleeps 6. 8 hours a night; the average survey respondent is in that ballpark too.
What’s the best trick you have to manage your time?
“Inbox zero” ... “Hiring people more organized than me” ... “Touch it once—email,
texts, paper—open it, deal with it, and don’t put it off” ... “Limiting meeting times” ...
“Meditating in infrared sauna and reviewing or visualizing all plans from night
before” ... “Sleeping about three hours a night, so I have more hours in the day”
How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
How do Inc. 500 founders handle
stress? Many replied with variations
on “poorly” or “I don’t.” Others had
more instructive responses. MEDITATION FISHING HYPNOSIS PRAYER FAMILY TIME CANNABIS EXERCISE MASSAGE ALCOHOL
SAY WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS SOME THING THE Y ACTIVELY WORK TO ACHIEVE.
How do you keep your staff pumped—and yourself sane and productive too? The stars of the Inc. 500 have their answers, and they’re as colorful and wide-ranging as the list itself. EXERCISE Clearly, Inc. 500 founders love their workouts, but few approach them with the intensity of Tom Stanford of Nuvolo (No. 413): “Run 20 plus miles per week, lift weights three days per week, play tennis once a week and 75 or 80 ice hockey games a year.” We were with him right up to the hockey part—dude, you can get killed playing that game.