The road to entrepreneurship is often a treacherous one filled with unexpected detours, roadblocks and dead ends. There are lots of sleepless nights, plans that don’t work out, funding that doesn’t come through and customers that never materialize. It can be so challenging to launch a business that it may make you wonder why anyone willingly sets out on such a path.
Yet despite all these hardships, every year, thousands of entrepreneurs embark on this journey determined to bring their vision to fruition and fill a need they see in society. They open brick-and-mortar businesses, launch tech startups, or bring a new product or service into the marketplace.
Nobody is born an entrepreneur. Different people take different paths to achieve success, and there is no set-in-stone instruction for becoming one. Entrepreneurs take on a number of different roles and these roles can vary depending on what field you choose to enter.
Beginning the entrepreneurial journey, starting a business then taking your business into the stratosphere and beyond is possible as long as you know how to grow your own entrepreneurial dream.If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you started a business because you wanted to do something you loved. You were tired of working for someone else and thought you could do it better. You wanted a business of your own. But now that you’re in the trenches, you’re realizing things aren’t quite working out like you planned.- You’re working harder than ever.- You have less free time and more headaches.- Your team isn’t a team at all.- Your business isn’t living up to your dream.
So what motivates entrepreneurs to venture forth when so many others would run in the other direction? Though each person’s motivation is unique, most entrepreneurs are driven on by one or more of the following motivators:
Entrepreneurs want to be their own bosses, set their own goals, control their own progress and run their businesses how they see fit. They recognize that their business’s success or failure rests with them, yet they don’t view this responsibility as a burden but, instead, as a marker of their freedom.
Many entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and feel compelled to work tirelessly to make that happen. They genuinely believe they have a product or service that fills a void and are compelled by a single-minded commitment to that goal to keep pushing ahead. They abhor stagnation and would rather fail while moving forward than languish in inactivity.
Not everyone fits into the rigidity of a traditional corporate culture. Entrepreneurs are often looking to free themselves from these constraints, find a better work-life balance, or work at times and in ways that may be unconventional. This doesn’t mean they are working fewer hours – oftentimes, especially in the early stages of growing a business, they are working longer and harder – but, rather, that they’re working in a way that is natural and instinctual to them.
Most entrepreneurs realize they aren’t going to be overnight billionaires, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t at least a little bit seduced by the potential of making a ton of money. Some may want to establish a financial safety net for themselves and their families, while others are looking to make a huge profit by creating the next big thing.
Entrepreneurs are often guided by a desire to create something that outlasts them. A segment of this group is led by ego and a craving for notoriety. Others want to create a brand that has longevity and becomes an institution. Another group wants to pass on a source of income and security to their heirs. There are also those entrepreneurs who hope to make a lasting impression on the world and leave behind an innovation that improves people’s lives in some tangible way.
If you’re contemplating an entrepreneurial venture, you should first identify which of the above motivators serve as your guiding force. Then consider if you have the specific character traits and attributes that will enable you to thrive as an entrepreneur.
Starting a company is hard, growing one is hard and running a one is hard. Doing this day in and day out can be tiresome. Sometimes you can feel like you are not winning or getting anywhere.
Many people celebrate the big wins, but what about the small wins?
In your short-term plan, identify small wins to celebrate. Avoid the notion that you have to land some fantastic, outstanding client or reach thousands of customers before celebrating. Rejoice over the first customer or transaction or over squashing a minor coding bug in a few days. Revel in the moment of pushing through three months.
Recognizing small victories can boost your morale and provide a surge of energy. They may alleviate the stress that can drag you down. Fun times help you recognize successes even if they aren’t earth-shattering. They provide you with the motivation to keep going.
“Focus” is the key to building a profitable business. Entrepreneurs tend to be creative visionaries, which often comes with certain personality traits. It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny objects as you get excited about ideas. You need to find someone to be your integrator, a right-hand person that lets you be creative but keeps the team from sailing off course. Stay focused and become the best at one thing so you can scale.