Those who are fired with an enthusiastic idea and who allow it to take hold and dominate their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm holds out, so will new opportunities.

— Norman Vincent Peale.

Why do you want to go into business for yourself?  It is important to truly understand the answer to this question before you get started.

  • Are you running away from a bad situation with your current employer?
  • Have you been unemployed for a while and you hope by starting a business you can create an income stream?
  • Are you burned out in your current career and desiring to do something different with your life?
  • Do you have a burning desire to start and build a successful business enterprise?
  • Are you committed to do whatever it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

There are many reasons people give for wanting to start their own business. However, not all of them are good reasons. Your motivation for starting a business plays an important role in your ability to succeed.

For example, if your sole motivation for starting your business is to get away from a job you hate, then you really need to think about your choice. Remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. There is a significant difference in attitude when you are running away from a situation as opposed to running toward an opportunity. The same is true if you are simply hoping self-employment will create an income stream for you because you’ve been unemployed for a while and you don’t see any opportunities on the horizon. You aren’t truly driven toward business ownership, but rather you are pushing yourself into it.

Starting a business requires a huge commitment and it shouldn’t be something you do half-heartedly. I’ve counseled many people who have lost their jobs and have come to me for advice about starting a business. It doesn’t take long for me to identify the ones who are only going through the motions. They don’t have the sparkle in their eye when they talk about their business idea. It’s as if they are describing someone else’s situation rather than their own. I can sense that if another job opportunity popped up, they’d jump at it in a heartbeat. In fact, sometimes they’ll even ask me to let them know if I hear of any job opportunities that might be a good fit for them.  Someone who is genuinely interested in building a small business would never say that. No way.

People who start businesses as a Plan B are the ones who are quick to throw in the towel and close up shop. They don’t have the stamina to stick with their business venture, nurturing it so it grows. Customers and clients can sense the lackluster commitment which doesn’t foster confidence and trust. No one wants to do business with someone who is going to bail once they see a better deal for themselves. Customers and clients want to know you are committed and you have their best interests in mind.

Successful entrepreneurs are driven individuals who are passionate about their business idea. They derive energy from the excitement of building something from scratch. They see opportunities all around them and have a strong desire to control their own destiny. They have an inherent go-for-it attitude, and they are confident they have what it takes to turn their dream into reality.

So, before you make a decision to strike out on your own, question your motivation. Do you truly want to be self-employed?  Are you sincerely motivated to build a business from the ground up?  If you hesitate when you answer, then you should give yourself time for careful consideration.

AvatarSusan Solovic

Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning entrepreneur and journalist, author of three best-selling books, multi-media personality and contributor to ABC News and other outlets, public speaker and attorney.