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.
So what motivates entrepreneurs to venture forth when so many others would run in the other direction? Though each person’s motivation is nuanced and unique, most entrepreneurs are spurred on by one or more of the following motivators:
Autonomy – 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.
Purpose – 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.
Flexibility – 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.
Financial success – 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.
Legacy – 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.
To help you determine if you’ve got what it takes, here’s what 25 company founders and business leaders told Business News Daily about what they think makes a truly successful entrepreneur.
- “Entrepreneurship is at the core of the American dream. It’s about blazing new trails, about believing in yourself, your mission, and inspiring others to join you in the journey. What sets [entrepreneurs] apart is the will, courage and sometimes recklessness to actually do it.” – Derek Hutson, president and CEO of Datical
- “Entrepreneurship is a pursuit of a solution, a single relentless focus on solving a problem or doing something drastically different from the way it is done today. [It’s] aiming to do something better than it’s ever been done before and constantly chasing improvement.” – Blake Hutchinson, CEO and small business expert at Flippa
- “Entrepreneurship is … the constant hunger for making things better and the idea that you are never satisfied with how things are.” – Debbie Roxarzade, founder and CEO of Rachel’s Kitchen
- “At its core, [entrepreneurship] is a mindset – a way of thinking and acting. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value. Fundamentally, entrepreneurship is about … the ability to recognize [and] methodically analyze [an] opportunity and, ultimately, to capture [its] value.” – Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and executive director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University
- “The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who possess grit. Grit is made up of persistence, passion and resilience. It’s the passion to achieve long-term goals, the courage to try again in the face of rejection, and the will to do something better than it has been done before. The most successful entrepreneurs tend to be gritty ones … they do not give up until they exceed their goals. When the going gets tough and they get knocked down, gritty entrepreneurs bounce right back up and try again.” – Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation
- “The ability to listen, whether it be to the opinions of customers or employees, is also integral to success. While … you must have the confidence to make your own choices, it is still incredibly important not to become detached from the people whose needs you are trying to meet.” – Tirath Kamdar, founder and CEO of TrueFacet
- “Being an entrepreneur is like heading into uncharted territory. It’s rarely obvious what to do next, and you have to rely on yourself a lot when you run into problems. There are many days when you feel like things will never work out and you’re operating at a loss for endless months. You have to be able to stomach the roller coaster of emotions that comes with striking out on your own.” – Amanda Austin, founder and president of Little Shop of Miniatures
- “To be a successful entrepreneur, you must have a passion for learning – from customers, employees and even competitors.” – James Bedal, president and CEO of Bare Metal Standard
- “Entrepreneurship is, fundamentally, the art and science of building profitable systems to help people in ways that other systems do not. The core competency of the entrepreneur is not business acumen or marketing ability but rather empathy – the ability to understand the feelings and needs of others.” – Logan Allec, CPA and owner of Money Done Right
- “Being a successful entrepreneur also means being a good leader. Leadership is the ability to bring people to a place where they want to follow you, not feel like they are forced to follow you. This takes investing in your team personally. They must know you’re not only going to hold them accountable and drive them to be better, but [you will] also look out for them when they are struggling. It’s not transactional, it’s a relationship.” – Steve Schwab, founder and CEO of Casago
- “Entrepreneurship is the ability to recognize the bigger picture, find where there’s an opportunity to make someone’s life better, design hypotheses around these opportunities and continually test your assumptions. It’s experimentation: Some experiments will work; many others will fail. It is not big exits, huge net worth or living a life of glamour. It’s hard work and persistence to leave the world a better place once your time here is done.” –Konrad Billetz, co-founder and co-CEO of Offset Solar
- “A key skill an entrepreneur must possess is self-awareness. An entrepreneur must know who they are and what they need. Self-awareness is the first step for an entrepreneur to build their team.” – Krystal Nelson, founder of I Impakt Consulting
Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7275-entrepreneurship-defined.html