In rounding up our entrepreneurship theme for the month of May, let’s talk about why it’s important to start a business for the right reasons.
We’ll begin with a quote: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
The gist of this quote is this: Don’t go into business to make money. Success comes when you enthusiastically follow your passion.
Could that be the secret to success?
How many times have you heard people say, “I’m going to start this side business so I can make enough money to quit my day job and do what I really want to do.” Or, “I’m starting this side business so that I can make some passive income while I focus on my real passion.”
And were they successful? Unlikely. Why? Because if your heart isn’t truly in your business, people will feel it. It will be nearly impossible to sustain your business because it doesn’t have heart, passion and purpose.
In today’s hyper-competitive markets, people not only want to feel seen and heard and understood, they want to know that the companies they are supporting care. They want to know that these companies are dedicated to something real and true. These are the companies that have a definitive and inspiring reason for being in the world that goes beyond just financial profit.
Remember this not-so-inspiring fact: nearly half of all businesses fail in the first five years.
Unless you have a strong enough purpose for your company to exist – which means an emotional link between what you’re working to create and why you want it out in the world – you will most likely not follow through on the work that it takes to launch a business and the stamina that it takes to keep it going.
To be an entrepreneur takes a fierce commitment to the hard work day after day after day. The most successful entrepreneurs are not motivated by financial gain. They’re motivated by three things: a drive to make a difference, a deep love of the game, and a desire to use their talents to impact the lives of others.
While building anything from the ground up is incredibly challenging, if you have the right reasons, you’ll have the resilience and perseverance you need to become a success.
Bottom line: don’t start a business to make money, start a business to make a difference.