Entrepreneur? Why Did You Do It?
Those who choose to become an entrepreneur do so for a wide variety of reasons. When challenges arise in your entrepreneurial path, as they inevitably do, it’s useful to remember why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. It can help you “maintain a level head,” tap your willpower and continue to fight to achieve your entrepreneurial goals and dreams.
So, what are some of the reasons we become entrepreneurs? Here are some thoughts:
We want to change the world.
We’d like to become financially independent.
We get pushed into it.
We’re not good employees.
We want to work for our own bottom line.
We have a vision.
We like to start things.
We like to build things.
We think we can “do it better”.
We admire an entrepreneur (or several) and want to follow in their footsteps.
We believe entrepreneurship is the root cause of economic progress.
We’re looking for freedom.
We want to carry on a family business tradition.
We realize that being an entrepreneur is no less secure than “corporate America”.
We believe it allows us to express our individuality and creativity.
We want to leave our mark on the world.
These reasons for becoming an entrepreneur are not mutually exclusive, of course. Most entrepreneurs I know, including myself, would count many, if not all, of these reasons among their motivators for taking the entrepreneurial path.
If we take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we can get some interesting insights into some of the reasons we become entrepreneurs and how, depending on where we are in our lives, that may change over time.
Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs
As you can see looking at the reasons above in light of Maslow’s Hierarchy, many of the reasons we choose to become entrepreneurs, particularly in the “developed world,” have to do with “self actualization”. Granted, regardless of where in the world we may be talking about, there’s always a financial undercurrent to entrepreneurship. It’s a basic reality, as illustrated by the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy, that we all need to meet our basic needs for food, water, clothing, shelter, and physical safety. To do so, in most settings, we need money, and becoming an entrepreneur is a way to earn money.
However, once we have those basic physical survival needs met, the reasons for becoming an entrepreneurial quickly move into the realm of the emotional, as do the layers of Maslow’s Hierarchy. From there, again tracking the Hierarchy, the reasons move into the realm of self-actualization and our existential search for meaning and contribution as human beings.
As such, entrepreneurship can become a vehicle for us to leave our mark and make a significant contribution to the world. Our vision as entrepreneurs is limited only by our imaginations.
Why did you become an entrepreneur? What is your entrepreneurial vision? Is it big enough and worthy of all you have to offer and contribute, given your considerable talents and perseverance? Reignite your passion for entrepreneurship and make something special happen! As Richard Branson said about becoming an entrepreneur (paraphrasing), “I wasn’t looking for the money and the fame. I just wanted to change the world”.
I look forward to your thoughts and questions. Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.
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