Yes, you are at disadvantage if you can't afford to dedicate at least 65 hours a week to your new company, says Kevin Ryan, founder of the online shopping website Gilt.

"In the beginning you have to throw hard labor at it," he says.

But that doesn't mean you have to kiss everything you hold near and dear goodbye. If you want your employees to respect your commitment to your personal life, you have to embed that into the company culture, he says.

"At Gilt, where the employee base is 60 to 65 percent women and the senior team is probably close to 70 percent women, almost everyone has kids. We have an environment that has to be incredibly kid-friendly," Ryan explains. 

"Kid-friendly" means everyone understands that their colleagues' families are a big priority, and they should respect their right to a flexible schedule -- and time off.

"I always take at least four weeks vacation. And the truth is for the last eight years it's been at least five weeks. And I encourage people to do that," Ryan says.

Ryan had seen his former colleague, Kevin O'Connor, retire just five years after starting a company. He was burned out. Ryan, on the other hand, had managed to pace himself well, O'Connor observed.

"I had young kids at the time, and I wasn't going to look back and think that I'd missed that experience," Ryan says. 

For more suggestions on how to avoid burn out, watch the video below.

Published on: Dec 24, 2014