Poll: US Entrepreneurs More ‘Stressed’ Than Other Workers, But Also More Optimistic

By Patrick Burke | December 7, 2012 | 11:57 AM EST

Office workers heading to work. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – American entrepreneurs are more likely to experience stress than other workers -- but they're also more likely to say they learned or did something interesting in the course of their work, according to a new Gallup poll.

“In the U.S., entrepreneurs are slightly more likely than other workers to report experiencing stress a lot of the day ‘yesterday’-- 45% vs. 42%, Gallup said. “They are also slightly more likely than other U.S. workers to say they worried a lot of the day ‘yesterday’-- 34% vs. 30%.”

One possible explanation for higher stress among entrepreneurs may be the personal and financial risks involved in starting and running a business, which lead to additional worry and stress, the report said. “For example, entrepreneurs are significantly more likely than other workers to be uninsured and to struggle to afford necessary healthcare and medicine, which may cause them to have higher levels of stress and worry.”

The report added that the difference in stress and worry levels between entrepreneurs and other workers stayed the same, even after accounting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, income, education, marital status, and weekly hours worked.

On the positive side, the poll found that entrepreneurs are more likely than other workers to report learning or doing something interesting ‘yesterday’-- 71% vs. 66%.

Entrepreneurs also are slightly more likely to report experiencing enjoyment a lot of the day ‘yesterday’ (89% vs. 86%) – “which may be, in part, due to their greater propensity to learn and do interesting activities on a daily basis.”

When asked to imagine their lives five years from now, entrepreneurs were more likely (30 percent vs. 25 percent) to think their lives will improve.

Gallup asked poll respondents to imagine their lives 5 years from now as an imaginary ladder, with the top rung as the best possible life. Thirty percent of entrepreneurs said in five years, they’d be on the “top rung.”

Gallup conducted the poll between January 2, 2011 and September 30, 2012 with a sample of approximately 273,175 adults aged 18 or older. 6,896 were identified as entrepreneurs.