What Motivates You in Your Small Business?

The Importance of Knowing What Motivates You Before Starting a Business

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As entrepreneurs, starting a business brings out many different emotions, including passion, excitement and, often, impatience. We have what we think is a great business idea, so we want to get started, hit the ground running, and see progress immediately. It's often difficult to stop speeding ahead and take the process step-by-step, especially when some of the steps are tedious. But it's very important to take time to identify your motivation before starting a business.

The Risk of Not Understanding Your Motivation

It's difficult to stay focused when challenges arise and your determination is tested if you don't know why you're doing something. And these tests and challenges come up often when starting a business, usually when you least expect it.

You need to know what you're fighting for so you are focused and driven to keep pushing ahead when these challenges arise. Knowing and understanding your motivation can help you avoid getting sucked into the minutiae of the business startup process, prevent becoming overwhelmed and generating the feeling that you are prepared for anything.

Identifying Your Motivation

To figure out what motivates you when starting a business, you need to get clarity on why you're doing what you're doing, what you hope to accomplish, what the risks are, and what you expect the payoffs to be. This is what will keep you centered and focused when you face challenges during the process.

It can be difficult to figure out your motivation, though, especially if you haven't taken time to boil down to the basics before. There are a lot of things that may motivate you, and you may be motivated by several different factors. The key is knowing what your most powerful motivators are, and using them to overcome challenges as you embark on your small business journey.

Use the list below to explore possible motivations and determine what has the biggest impact on you and your desire to succeed.

  • Money: Is wealth, paying off debts, or living luxuriously a motivator for you?
  • Society: Are you driven by the desire to solve a common problem or improve the lives of others?
  • Family: Are you building a legacy you can pass down to your children? Are you starting a business to support or honor your family in some way?
  • Expectations: Do you worry about fulfilling the needs of others or what others will think about you if you fail? What are your expectations for yourself?
  • Consequences: Are you afraid of what may happen if you don’t start a business and become successful?
  • Pride: Pride in yourself and your work can be a powerful motivator for many. Is it for you?
  • Passion: Does love for what you do give you the fight to be able to work through the challenges?
  • Credibility: Do you look at this business as a way to solidify your credibility or establish yourself as an expert?
  • Challenge: Do you thrive on the challenge? Do you purposefully take on initiatives that will stretch you and provide learning opportunities?

Using Your Motivation

Once you know what motivates you to take this bold step of starting a business, you're ready to make difficult decisions and push through challenges. You are anchored. You have a foundation. Knowing your motivation gives you clarity, and you will be less likely to lose your focus, get pulled off-track, and forget why you embarked on this journey in the first place.

When you understand your motivation and use it, you will have the confidence it takes to make the decisions you need to make when starting your business, and see the process through to success.