Many people define themselves as entrepreneurs and take a lot of pride in that definition. Really though, that definition on its own is a little vague as there are actually a number of different ‘types’ of entrepreneur. The type of entrepreneur that you are is likely to be dictated mostly by what motivates you. Of course the industry you’re in will define the type of entrepreneur you are to a degree, and so will the way you design your business. Ultimately though, the majority of decisions you make for your business and for your work/life balance should stem from whatever drives you to work as an entrepreneur in the first place.
To better understand what makes you the entrepreneur you are today, read on and we shall look at the common driving forces that push most entrepreneurs on to work as passionately as they do.
The Things That Drive Entrepreneurs
Lifestyle: Many people who become entrepreneurs do so because they want to be able to design their own lifestyle more precisely. A lifestyle entrepreneur is someone who works as an entrepreneur so that they can spend more time with their families, so that they can travel more, or so that they can enjoy the freedom to wake up at 10am and work at the weekends.
For such an entrepreneur, the main drive of being self-employed is the promise of flexibility in working hours, location and method. ‘Digital Nomads’ are people who take this concept to the extreme and choose to live ‘on the road’ and travel between countries while holding down an online job in order to afford shelter and living expenses. Other people might maintain more traditional lifestyles, but still enjoy the freedom that comes from being able to work anywhere and at any time.
Ultimately for a lifestyle entrepreneur the amount of money made and the nature of the job will come secondary to the freedom it grants. You should be aiming to keep your business small and manageable and to outsource as much as possible. Keep your debts low, and try to build passive business models that are self-automated. Look for ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris for some advice that should help you accomplish that ideal work/life balance.
Money: Another drive for many entrepreneurs is the promise of riches. While not every entrepreneur will make it big (in fact statistics suggest that most don’t), it’s nevertheless much more possible when you work for yourself to luck upon a great idea that will make you rich overnight, or to grow a hugely successful business and keep enough of the profit to make you supremely wealthy.
If you’re someone who wants to run a business in order to earn lots of money, then you really need to pay attention to the business side of things and you may want to consider your ‘exit strategy’ – which means selling off your business to an interested third party and then retiring to live with the profit.
Creation: For some entrepreneurs the money and lifestyle come secondary to the burning passion they have to contribute something worthwhile. Perhaps you’re an artist and you love painting – so much that all you want is to turn that hobby into your career; or maybe you’ve got the idea for the perfect invention that you believe could change the world.
Often such people will be happy to work insane hours for relatively little pay just to turn their passion into a reality – as long as they can get the credit at the end of it for contributing their life’s masterwork. For these kinds of entrepreneurs the business model often comes secondary to the grander vision, with the need to turn a profit being an unfortunate inconvenience. Thus it’s important to make sure you think properly about how you can make your idea into an actual job that will pay. Try reading ‘Jump Ship’ by Josh Shipp for a little guidance on making your passion a profession.
So which one are you? Work it out and you might find a lot of questions become much easier to answer!