Every entrepreneur has a reason for starting his or her business. Most of them say it was to follow their passion, or to solve a problem they encountered in their own life. But sometimes, a startup founder's heart just isn't in the right place.
"You can always tell what drives a business by the story it tells," said Mark Sephton, a public speaker and personal mentor to entrepreneurs. "Does the business look to give, add value, encourage, inspire, inform and educate? Or does it purely promote and sell its products and services like a bull in a china shop? A successful and sustainable business must be built through and for people."
Motivation matters a lot when it comes to starting a business, and if you're doing it for the wrong reasons, you won't succeed in the end. You may want to reconsider entrepreneurship if your primary incentive is any of the following.
You want to make a lot of money:
"Don't start a business solely to get rich. When you start a business, you'll find yourself working long hours with little pay before it starts to take off." – Sharon Bui and Kate Steadman, founders of Frill Clothing
"Do not start a business simply to follow a trend. You won't last long in it." – Sarah Divine-Garba, founder of Maison D'Afie
You want to be in charge:
"Don't start a business for the social status. Entrepreneurship can sometimes be seen as an elite members-only club for CEOs. But the whole point of starting a business is to solve a problem, not to put CEO on your business card." –Jessica Ekstrom, founder of Headbands of Hope
You're good at something:
"It helps to be good at what you do, but most importantly, you need to have a vision for your business and where it is going. The company threatens to become off-balance without good direction, even if you deliver a great product." – Gabrielle Cimon, founder of Plumeria Swimwear
You want to prove someone wrong:
"An insult is a wonderful motivator, but if we are to establish anything [sustainable], it must come from our passions and skills and [desire] to serve people, customers and clients. Establishing a business just to prove a point to someone else or to have revenge is not the right focus for a customer-facing business." – Mark Sephton, public speaker and personal mentor to entrepreneurs
You want to serve only a small market:
"The primary reason why you start a business is because you see an opportunity in the marketplace to fill a need. A business must also be scalable. You shouldn't start a business if it's not scalable."– Brian Street, CEO of Energems
You want to do one specific thing:
"It's a bad reason to start your own business if you foresee yourself with a narrow job duty. Even if your plan is to repair rare violins, you will still need to make sure accounting, marketing and taxes are handled." – Diane Carleton, founder of FIGI Jeans