Why become an entrepreneur?

According to the book “Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures”, there are three primary reasons that people become entrepreneurs and start their own firms are to:

  1. be their own boss,
  2. pursue their own ideas, and
  3. realize financial rewards.

The first of these reasons—being one’s own boss—is given most commonly. This doesn’t mean, however, that entrepreneurs are difficult to work with or that they have trouble accepting authority. Instead, many entrepreneurs want to be their own boss because either they have had a long-time ambition to own their own firm or they have become frustrated working in traditional jobs.

The standard entrepreneurial answer is frustration. You see a company running poorly; you see that it could be a lot better. Like the freshman Congressman who’s been around for six months, you realize that the other guys really aren’t that good. All of a sudden you understand that you could go build something bigger and more important than where you are. There are also people who long for independence, a desire that can be satisfied by owning their own business and being their own boss. Those who become entrepreneurs for only this reason typically do not grow their firms beyond their immediate control.

The second reason people start their own firms is to pursue their own ideas. Some people are naturally alert, and when they recognize ideas for new products or services, they have a desire to see those ideas realized. Corporate entrepreneurs who innovate within the context of an existing firm typically have a mechanism for their ideas to become known. Established firms, however, often resist innovation. When this happens, employees are left with good ideas that go unfulfilled.

Because of their passion and commitment, some employees choose to leave the firm employing them in order to start their own business as the means to develop their own ideas. This chain of events can take place in noncorporate settings, too. For example, some people, through a hobby, leisure activity, or just everyday life, recognize the need for a product or service that is not available in the marketplace. If the idea is viable enough to support a business, they commit tremendous time and energy to convert the idea into a part-time or full-time firm.

Finally, people start their own firms to pursue financial rewards. This motivation, however, is typically secondary to the first two and often fails to live up to its hype. The average entrepreneur does not make more money than someone with a similar amount of responsibility in a traditional job. The financial lure of entrepreneurship is its upside potential.

Source: Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures Book by Bruce Barringer and R. Duane Ireland


There are probably as many reasons why people become entrepreneurs as there are entrepreneurs.

Some motivators-such as a desire to help society or to provide the means for a wonderful life for your family-are arguably better than wanting to show that stupid cousin of yours that you can make more money than she can. Still, all provide impetus to get moving toward your goal of being an entrepreneur.

If something motivates you strongly, it can often kick-start your dream and cause you to turn that dream into a workable plan. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review says that psychologists believe that the strongest motivator for people who successfully run their own small businesses is “the need for achievement, the desire to do some­thing better or more efficiently than it has been done before.”

Some other common motivators include:

► a desire for power
► a desire for wealth
► a need to fulfill an inner drive
► a need to realize a dream
► a desire for notoriety
► a desire to make work fun
► a desire to prove they can be successful on their own

Some people are motivated to become entrepreneurs because of things they don’t want to do, such as work for someone as a subordinate or be required to show up for work at the same time every morning.

Whatever the particular motivator is that drives you to be an entrepreneur, it isn’t as important as the level or degree of motivation you possess. Your motivation has to work hand in hand with your energy, determination, persistence, and all the other factors that make you successful.

Motivation to become an entrepreneur is extremely important, but it’s not, by itself, enough to make you a successful entrepreneur.

Source: Being a successful entrepreneur

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