Everyone who creates a startup company does so for a reason – often multiple reasons when we look at the business aspects.
Perhaps there’s a niche in the market they’ve discovered and have decided to create a product that will perfectly suit it (social media was originally this, in terms of online communications). Maybe there’s a whole new service offering that will revolutionise how millions do something already (think Uber). Or there may simply be an opportunity to enter into a marketplace that although busy, has plenty of room for competition.
And these are all fantastic. There’s no right or wrong reason to startup a company, especially as a lot of the time it’s your gut feeling that will lead the way.
But what about personal reasons? What makes entrepreneurs want to create startups? Whether they create one company or one thousand, is there a single reason behind them all?
From my own experience, there isn’t just one – but there are three that generally summarise why the vast majority of people create a startup company.
Who doesn’t want to be famous? Some of us may argue otherwise and the reality is, there genuinely are some people who don’t want to go anywhere near the spotlight, but the majority of people adore a little attention – it makes us feel valued and wanted.
And from a business owner’s point of view, gaining fame and stardom through your startup is fantastic. Not only do you get to create the company you want to get involved in, but then your peers and competitors – and perhaps even people outside of the industry – are recognising you for your skills; your business acumen.
Now of course, fame in business comes on considerably varying scales, but whether you’re looking for an outstanding local reputation or you want to be on the front cover of Time magazine, creating a startup can genuinely provide you with exactly that.
Talking about money in terms of inspiration with business owners, the majority of the time, is always a difficult subject. Most people say they’re in business to bring something new to the table; to provide a product or service that is going to change people’s lives in some way, shape or form.
Truth is you don’t get many startup owners saying they’re in it purely for the money. It just doesn’t happen.
But how many people would set up a business if they didn’t think it was going to provide them with some form of financial benefit?
I’m not saying startup owners are greedy or are only focused on money, but the reality is to create a successful startup, you need to invest your all into it – and you generally can’t do that if it’s not providing you with some financial support, otherwise you’d have to be gaining money from other ventures, which subsequently results in not being able to give your full commitment to the startup.
The freedom and flexibility that being a startup owner presents is not an incentive that first springs to mind for many, but particularly for those stepping away from more traditional working lives, a startup can deliver an unrivalled amount of flexibility, which in turn can have a dramatically positive impact on your life.
Something that can be seen fantastically within today’s digital industries, where you’re very rarely working traditional hours, how pleasing would it be to know you could visit public places – museums, for example – at the quietest of times, rather than the businest? Or what about being able to simply spend time with your young children when they’re wide awake, rather than only grabbing 30 minutes before they head to bed?
Flexibility is a commodity that more and more of us are striving for in our working lives today, and the simple fact is, being a startup owner can provide you with as much flexibility as you desire – as long as you value your working time the same as you do your ‘free’ time.
There really isn’t one key reason, on a personal level, why people create startups and therefore there isn’t an umbrella option that is the most valuable. As with everything, it’s very much down to personal preference, requirements and expectations – and for many, it can often be a perfect combination of fame, fortune and flexibility.
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