Every year, hundreds of thousands of people take the plunge and become entrepreneurs. There are countless reasons people decide to start their own businesses, but whatever they are, they all have one thing in common—ambition. The word ambition refers to a strong desire to do or to achieve something that generally requires hard work, determination, or a combination of both.
Starting a business and going on off on your own is scary and, almost always, far more complicated than expected. One look at the statistics showing that about half of all new businesses will fail within the first five years will confirm that. But ambition pushes people to look beyond the statistics and forge ahead anyway, chasing their dreams of entrepreneurship.
Here are four key ambitions that drive entrepreneurs to be their own bosses:
- Freedom: Some people don’t do well in structured environments—I am one of them. I’ve been that way since I was a kid, always wanting to go my own direction. And even though I sometimes work 15-hour days, I love having the freedom of being able to do my work from anywhere in the world. I also love the freedom of knowing that I can stop at any time if I choose. Of all the people I’ve spoken to, freedom is the number one ambition driving their decision to become entrepreneurs.
- Financial security: For me, this was another key ambition that drove me to become an entrepreneur. I don’t like having a pre-defined ceiling on my earnings potential. After a few years in a position I loved, I remember seeing where I was on the salary scale and becoming depressed. When I realized that I was already at 90% of what I could possibly make in that position, I couldn’t take it any longer and had to strike out on my own. In my experience, this is the second-most common ambition driving entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
- Pursue a passion: A strong desire to pursue a passion is another motivator driving entrepreneurs. Whatever the passion—surfing, skiing, dogs, or anything else you can imagine—millions of people start their businesses just because they want to pursue their passions and make them profitable businesses.
- Desire to solve a problem: Some people start businesses because they are motivated by the ambition to solve a problem. Entrepreneurs are born innovators, making them naturally inclined to problem-solving. Throughout history, entrepreneurs have solved some of society’s most pressing problems. Thomas Edison is just one example of a problem-solving entrepreneur.
- Greatness: Other entrepreneurs are driven by the ambition to achieve greatness. They want to make their mark on the world with a big splash. Some notable entrepreneurs in with these larger-than-life ambitions include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, just to name a few.
If you are considering taking the entrepreneurial leap, start by taking a close look at your ambitions so you can understand what drives you. Knowing your ambitions can strengthen your resolve and increase your likelihood of success!
Ronald Flavin’s occupation as an organizational strategist encompasses his expertise in business growth, business grants, grant writing, ghost writing, product/revenue development, and also as an author and a professional speaker.