The Wrong Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

If you have a strong desire to become an entrepreneur, ask yourself why entrepreneurship seems so attractive and more important, what motivates you to become an entrepreneur. Having control over your own destiny and establishing a legacy are worthy goals. However, becoming an entrepreneur for the wrong reason could set you on a course for failure.

Negative-Minded Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship can be attractive for many reasons, such as making a unique contribution to society with your distinctive products or services. However, ask yourself whether your desire to become an entrepreneur primarily results from negative motivators, especially those related to job dissatisfaction. Those negative influences can include resentment of your boss or co-workers, but there are several other negative reasons for wanting to become an entrepreneur. Ask yourself whether your desire to start your own business results from such factors. If that is the case, consider a career path other than entrepreneurship.

Teaching Someone a Lesson

Some people turn to entrepreneurship as a way to fight back against criticism or in an attempt to prove that their detractors are wrong. Consider whether your desire to become an entrepreneur results from the need to prove a point to one of your critics. For example, if someone pushes back against your idea for a new business, avoid the temptation to respond by devoting all of your efforts toward making that business work, simply to prove the critic wrong. Another similar example might involve attempting to start a business simply to rebuke criticism that you could never succeed as an entrepreneur.

No Shortcut to Easy Street

Another narrow-minded reason for becoming an entrepreneur is the belief that starting your own business could bring a passive income, demanding little ongoing effort on your part once your company progresses past the startup phase. Some people mistakenly believe that entrepreneurship demands less effort than working for another company. For many people, merely being their own boss appears to be a legitimate reason to start their own business. They often learn that the responsibilities of being their own boss outweigh the advantages. Another ill-founded belief about entrepreneurship is that it can bring greater rewards for your unique talents.

Your Passion Might Be Misplaced

Think carefully before acting on the advice of Joseph Campbell to follow your bliss. As motivational speaker Denis Waitley says, “Chase your passion, not your pension.” Many people feel passionate about areas in which they have little or no talent. Feeling passionate about jazz is not enough to make you a good jazz musician. Beyond that, small business entrepreneurs often find it necessary to do improve their skills of leadership, communication and networking in addition to whatever skills the actual business demands. Be realistic about whether your passion can be profitable. Don’t assume that prospective customers could share enough of your enjoyment about a particular project to make it a lucrative business.

References & Resources

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