Despite the challenges of actually pursuing an idea and developing it into a business venture, there are nuggets of joy and satisfaction to be achieved at the end of the tunnel. With enough commitment, comes substantial reward. The nuggets and rewards are unique to every innovator, but by analyzing it carefully, you’ll find there are five primary motivators that drive most entrepreneurs:
The yearning for control drives many startup entrepreneurs who want to achieve a leadership position. By becoming the boss of your own business, you call all the shots. You decide who to hire, what salaries to provide, new strategic directions to take—you make all the decisions you can’t make working for someone else.
The vast majority of entrepreneurs dive in, at least in part, because of the money-making potential. You’ve read stories about entrepreneurial wizards like Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg and see the potential possible for any enthusiastic innovator with a good idea to become independently wealthy. While the reality of entrepreneurship is usually not so simple, any dedicated enterpriser with a good idea and great timing can make much more money than they ever could in an employee position. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing wealth, but if the enticement of money is your only focus, you risk losing patience if your venture isn’t profitable in the first few years. Patience really is a virtue.
There are some entrepreneurs who don’t get in it for the money or the adventure as much as they’re in it for an enduring legacy. They may be driven by the idea of becoming the face of a brand and a taste of fame. They may be motivated by the idea leaving something behind that gives them recognition. They might even wish to pass their business on to the next generation. Essentially, they want to create something meaningful that will continue after they’re gone. This is one of the strongest motivators for entrepreneurs because it can’t be achieved in any other activity, and it lasts well beyond money or experience.
For some, the day-to-day demands of traditional work is motivation enough to venture out on their own. Some high-level positions demand extraordinary sacrifices like working long hours and accommodating the whims of bosses and clients all the while growing tired of being stuck in the same old rut of commitments and duties. Becoming your own boss in the realm of entrepreneurship frees you from such constraints. You can schedule your own hours and work wherever you please, and fix your own goals and commitments. However, entrepreneurship is extremely demanding, especially in the early stages of development, so working your own hours doesn’t always mean working fewer hours or functioning with less stress. Many entrepreneurs find that they actually work harder, longer, and under tighter constraints than they did as employees, but the idea of the rewards in succeeding drives them.
Working with a team.
Most innovators love working with others. They enjoy the atmosphere that comes with team creative problem solving, interacting with mutually intelligent, deferential people, and the excitement of succeeding collectively. Some traditional jobs offer clear supervisory or leadership roles, but nothing compares to building your own team from the ground up.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll select your strategic partners, your mentors, and your core team, You’ll also choose the first round of employee hires to follow. That means you decide which skill sets, talents, and personalities with whom you want to work and eliminate the worry of operating with a team that you dislike or that inhibits your ability to be productive. In some ways, your team will be like family. Just keep in mind that no family lives without occasional conflicts.
What drives your entrepreneurial motivation? It’s likely you’re motivated by more than one influence, and the more determined you are, the less daunted you’ll be when faced with the inevitable challenges that arise along the way. Think carefully about what, exactly, you want out of the experience before jumping in. Grasp your motivations before you engage; ultimately, you’will get more satisfaction out of the endeavor at the end of the day.
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