Each entrepreneur begins their journey for different reasons. Though the entrepreneur’s path is an individual one, the collective identity is similar, creating a bond among all those who have chosen it. Only you can decide if the path to success will involve entrepreneurship, if the inherent risks are worth it, or if the level of uncertainty pales in comparison to the freedom and benefits you receive.
What drives someone to leave the relative security of the traditional 9-to-5 job to forage out on their own? What motivation is enough to give someone the courage and inspiration to start something entirely of their own making? People who become entrepreneurs are part of a unique group that shares the following common characteristics.
The corporate environment isn’t a good fit for them.
Many entrepreneurs just don’t fit the corporate mold. Perhaps it’s their level of creativity or their unique perspective—whatever the reason, the corporate lifestyle doesn’t meet their professional needs.
They desire flexibility.
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for choosing the path of entrepreneurship is the flexibility it offers. In reality, an entrepreneur will find they work more hours and take less time off than their traditional office counterparts, but the long-term payoff is worth the extra hours. The benefit of flexibility allows you to live a life that you’ve crafted for yourself. The principle that entrepreneurs live like others won’t, so they can live like others can’t, is particularly compelling.
They are lifelong students.
The search for knowledge involves more than a few required classes or staff development sessions. For most entrepreneurs, there is an underlying desire to continue to learn and grow. This quest for knowledge lends itself to seeing opportunities everywhere, and then having the courage to act on them. Entrepreneurs are not simply lucky; they have honed their ability to recognize when to act.
They want to accomplish something.
Entrepreneurs are not content to simply let life pass them by. Rather than be an observer, they prefer to make things happen. Becoming an entrepreneur allows an individual to create something that has meaning and purpose, and allows them to leave their mark on the world.
They want to be their own boss.
Many people think about becoming an entrepreneur because they are unhappy with their boss or feel as though they could do a better job managing their company. While this may be true, for most entrepreneurs the incentive to be their own boss is based solely on the fact that they prefer to be in charge.
They desire autonomy.
Being in control of their own destiny is a huge motivator for entrepreneurs. Knowing that their success (or potential failure) is based on their own efforts is both exhilarating and inspiring. For most, the mere thought of having to “clock in” or report to someone else for work is enough to keep them going when their road gets tough.
They want to determine their income.
Corporate jobs are often capped by salary brackets or are dependent on the success of others. An entrepreneur, however, has no such boundaries. The only limit on an entrepreneur’s earning potential is their own work ethic and motivation, and they enjoy greater control over their own finances.
They have a great idea.
Some companies are born because their founder had an idea that solved a problem, answered a question, or improved the way something worked. For many, coming up with an idea and then seeing it come to fruition is a “high” that drives them every day.
They are risk takers.
Risk is unavoidable. Every job has risks; the entrepreneur just thrives on theirs. Understanding that the highest level of reward comes with the highest level of risk, the entrepreneur prefers to be in control of their potential risk level, and will act to take advantage of the risks they see as opportunities.
They value freedom.
Perhaps the most understated reason most entrepreneurs have for venturing out on their own is the freedom that choice affords them. Even more compelling than financial freedom, the sense of absolute freedom that comes from knowing that every decision and every move is based on their own choice can be an intoxicating rush.
They wish to leave a legacy.
Some people are motivated by the idea that they can create something that will last after they are gone. To build a legacy, they start their own company in the hopes that someday it can be passed down to their children or heirs. Not all entrepreneurs go into business with this idea, but many eventually realize that they can build something of permanence that will continue through the generations.
They want to help others.
Entrepreneurs are in the unique position of being able to offer real assistance to others. This may be through their product or service, or through their ability to provide jobs to people. This motivation may be a primary reason or simply an added benefit, but it is powerful.
The reasons behind each person’s quest for entrepreneurship can vary, but the result is the same: leaving the corporate world for what seems like unchartered territory. What motivated you to strike out on your own? Not an entrepreneur yet? What would compel you to make the jump? There are thousands of opportunities out there—find the one that most appeals to you.