January 15, 2015
Chart: How CEOs Spend Their First Year On The Job

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Launching your own business is no cakewalk.

“In a company’s first year, your goal should be simply to survive, and this will likely take everything you’ve got,” says Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson. “No matter how tired or afraid you are, you have to figure out how to keep going.”

A recent Inc survey of 500 CEOs examined that all-critical first year of a business through the eyes of the chief executive. The results are visualized in a quick infographic you can find here.

The survey yields some surprising insights. For instance, 37 percent of CEOs didn’t start paying themselves a salary for at least the first year.

Most revealingly, the majority of CEOs surveyed adopted an “all in” approach to their first year in the corner office. Forty-two percent of CEOs worked over 80 hours a week during that first year. In fact, 16 percent of CEOs worked more than 100 hours per week.

For new CEOs, that first year might appear bleak. New entrepreneurs can be consumed by what they’re doing and spend most of their energy tackling business problems. As CEO, you’ve got to determine how to best spend your time in order to keep your young business afloat.

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