Entrepreneurs in Canada enjoy setting their own hours and priorities, finds a new survey by American Express Canada.

Making a profit is still a key motivator, it adds, but most owners desire work-life balance flexibility, with 50% of those polled saying they appreciate the decision-making power afforded to them as entrepreneurs.

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Still, the study finds the boundaries are disappearing between business owners’ work and personal lives. The majority of respondents (96%) say work-life balance is important, but more than half (55%) say the two often blend together because their businesses are their passion.

That trend is especially common among younger owners, with 56% under the age of 45 saying they eat, sleep and breathe their business.

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Many Canadian entrepreneurs see their businesses as an extension of themselves, says Tim Elgar, director Small Business Services for American Express Canada. But, on the upside, “they’re building businesses that fit within their lifestyle[s].”

The survey adds nearly two-thirds (64%) say technology makes it nearly impossible to disconnect from work, and that almost half (41%) check their email or phone more than 20 times a day.

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Yet, more business owners (75%) aren’t worried about their work-life balances. In fact, business growth remains a key focus, with more than a third of respondents (38%) saying it’s their company’s single most important priority over the next six months—that’s up 4% since Q1, and up 5% since March 2014.

And, the majority of entrepreneurs (85%) are confident about business prospects over the next six months, with about the same number (86%) saying they’re willing to take risks over the next six months to achieve their goals.


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