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24 Entrepreneurs Explain Their Motivation for Running a Business

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Being an entrepreneur or business owner has its share of ups and downs. While the downs can be pretty low the ups always seem to triumph for a true entrepreneur at heart. Milestones are what entrepreneurs and business owners work towards. Once you finally reach a certain point then reflection can truly begin. Finding the motivation in running your business keeps it from becoming stale in the long run. No matter which part you loves most, loving them all is equally as important.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what motivates them about running a business and below are their replies.

#1- Seeing the impact of my work

Photo Credit: Lisa Hennessy

My motivation to keep going is seeing how our food helps our clients’ dogs. When delivering, I can see how their skin is softer and less red, they have slimmed down, their aching joints are little more nimble – these physical changes are so impactful to me that they can get me over the hump. And dog kisses and hugs always put a smile on my face!

Thanks to Lisa Hennessy, Your Pet Chef, LLC.!

#2- Always having to try to figure things out

Photo Credit: Zach Hendrix

For instance, one big mistake we made when starting our new business is their failure to understand our value proposition. What is it about our product , service and offer that compels people to say yes? Until we knew this, any marketing efforts or spend in any channels will be like pouring gasoline on wet leaves. For instance, when we first launched, we thought people would like our service because its a cheaper way to get their grass cut. What we found through copy testing in different channels such as ad-words and FB is that the customers’ ability to get same day service is a much more effective and compelling subset of our value prop that drives more visitors and more conversions on our landing pages. Nailing your value prop first is crucial.

Thanks to Zach Hendrix, GreenPal!

#3- Networking and connecting

Photo Credit: Lori Cheek

I’ve always been extremely social and a huge networker– It’s been my most fruitful tool in building Cheekd. I’m constantly making connections for those around me and in return, I feel like if I don’t know the person I’m looking for someone I know will. And now I’m even giving people all over the world a tool to help them find the most incredible connection that exists- love. My idea has become more than just a business over the years… It’s become my mission.

Thanks to Lori Cheek, Cheekd!

#4- Seeing positive and appreciative reactions

Photo Credit: Natalie Athanasiadis

Running your own business means that you can give customers what you believe to be the best products and services. Seeing positive and appreciative reactions from your customers based on what you provide them can be incredibly motivating especially if you are tired or not having the best day.

Thanks to Natalie Athanasiadis, DVG Melbourne!

#5- Helping other people

Photo Credit: Christopher K. Lee

My motivation is to help others develop a healthy self-image and impactful career. The mission of PurposeRedeemed is to: Inspire a countercultural view of work that affirms the dignity of every individual and drives sustainable community impact. We believe that work should neither be just a paycheck nor what determines our self-worth. In a culture that measures people by their status and finances, we’re here to show a better way—equipping individuals to identify and pursue their passions; developing leaders with a healthy perspective on identity; and building communities that elevate the conversation on work.

Thanks to Christopher K. Lee, PurposeRedeemed!

#6- My Daughters

Photo Credit: Hilary Young

The biggest reason is my daughters. I grew up during a time when it wasn’t very typical for women to run their own businesses (my own mother was a stay-at-home-mom) and I think it’s important to normalize that experience for my girls. Women can be great wives and mothers and also incredibly talented, savvy business owners! I also am constantly motivated by ambition and a sheer refusal to quit. When I face challenges in my business, like losing a client or working with contract employees who are unreliable, I simply see it as a way for me to get more creative to figure out how to move beyond the obstacle. I never shy away from a challenge–it keeps me on my toes and ends up strengthening my business in the long run.

Thanks to Hilary Young, Hilary Young Creative!

#7- Making forex trading simple to women

Photo Credit: Robyn Mancell

My motivation in running my business is hearing the joy in a woman’s voice who realizes trading Forex was not as difficult as she thought. Empowering women with a skill most never dreamed they could master is a great feeling. Watching women have options to supplement their income without having to leave the comfort of their own home gives us a reason to go through the struggles of running a new business.

Thanks to Robyn Mancell, Girls Gone Forex!

#8- Money

Photo Credit: Camille D. Jamerson

Most people are afraid to say that as to not sound materialistic. But when you realize that the money you make is already labeled and it has a purpose, you can say it with all confidence. I look at it as M.O.E Money. It’s no longer about private jets, yachts or the latest designer handbag. My money is designated to make *M*oments, *O*pportunities and *E*xperiences for those I love and those who are less fortunate. Giving money a purpose, in turn, gives meaning to my business and the work I do. My biggest thrill isn’t more stuff. It’s seeking ways to use resources to create life-changing possibilities for others. When times get hard, I think about my children and grandchildren and the exposure and experiences I want them to have. It is all the motivation I need to put my nose down and keep hustling.

Thanks to Camille D. Jamerson, CDJ & Associates!

#9-Positive impact and empowerment

Photo Credit: In Her Image Photography

I help clients invest their money in alignment with their values, finding innovative, solution-focused companies that matter. Being a woman in finance is never easy, though helping people connect the dots between their assets and their visions for the world in which they want to live is what keeps me energized and excited to grow the field of impact investing.

Thanks to Kristin Hull, Nia Global Solutions!

#10- Missionary zeal and joy of learning

Photo Credit: Caroline Keppel-Palmer

My startup specializes in selling exhibition catalogs – books which I believe are truly inspirational but are not reaching the audience they deserve. That missionary zeal together with the joy of learning as I navigate new challenges and opportunities keeps me going through the long hours. Coffee is a help too!

Thanks to Caroline Keppel-Palmer, Museum Bookstore!

#11- Sticking to our mission despite the challenges

Photo Credit: Steve Silberberg

One of my company’s missions is to introduce people to the wilderness and inspire them to protect it. The current political climate prioritizes the decommissioning public lands with the goal of selling them to the highest bidder, so our mission is of ever-increasing vital importance. This is what keeps me motivated when other pressing challenges arise.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking Weight Loss Backpacking Adventures!

#12- Flexibility

Photo Credit: Paige NeJame

As the owner of a company, I get to choose the roles within it that are not only the most interesting to me, but also the most flexible. As a mom of three boys, it’s always been incredibly important to me that I “be there” for them. This meant, when they were younger, I ran and built the business at times when they did not need me (mostly in the evenings after they went to bed). And now that they’re in school and I work mostly during the day, I have the flexibility to volunteer in their classrooms and be home with them when they’re sick. Juggling this schedule for the past 19 years of also raising my boys has taught me that there is plenty of time in the 168 hours each week, to do both.

Thanks to PaigeNeJame, CertaPro Painters of the South Shore and Boston!

#13- Investing in others

Photo Credit: Nick Glassett

Most of the things that are read online about blogging are about ditching the 9-5 and making a ton of money as your own boss on your own time. This is not my motivation however! I have a traditional career as a district manager for a major retailer, overseeing 22 stores across three states…and I happen to love it! The reason that I am turning this blog of mine into a business is because it gives me the opportunity to teach a wider audience a wider set of skills. Investing in others is what I have a passion for, and it’s what gets me to my computer at 5:00am everyday to work on growing Origin Leadership before I get to work driving sales as a District Manager.

Thanks to Nick Glassett, Originleadership.com!

#14- My team and the work itself

Photo Credit: Megan Cunningham

My motivation has always stemmed from my team. When I started, that was the most rewarding aspect of my business: having the privilege of working with first-rate individuals who are passionate, intellectual, creative and devoted to our mission. As I get older and establish a better work/life balance, my team is still the reason I am drawn to my work. As their CEO, it’s a big job to fulfill my obligations to them (of aggressively growing and leading the company,)…and I don’t always succeed at meeting every challenge along the way. But when I do, there is almost no better feeling than feeling the gratitude and respect coming from my ambitious team. And, throughout our journey, the shared responsibility everyone on my team expresses –genuinely treating our company as if it is their own– is an indescribable thing to witness, and incredibly gratifying.

Thanks to Megan Cunningham, Magnet Media, Inc!

#15- My clients

Photo Credit: Patricia Hajifotiou

I can easily state that my motivation for my business is *my clients*. I lead small group tours all over the world, mostly in Europe. Although my job cannot be classified as easy, the one thing that keeps me going is the thought of the look on my clients’ faces when they travel with me. Many times the impetus for a trip with us is that they have experienced a significant life milestone, They have retired or they are empty nesters and in some cases it is more that a milestone, they have lost a spouse. They see traveling as a way to re-affirm their lives. They are out in the world. They are seeing things that are on their ‘bucket lists’. And the smiles, and sometimes tears, of appreciation for my work makes all the hard parts of my job, worth getting through.

Thanks to Patricia Hajifotiou, The Olive Odysseys!

#16- Lifestyle

Photo Credit: John Jonas

What keeps me motivated to run my business is the lifestyle I enjoy because of it. I don’t have to wait for a long weekend to go biking, hiking, or play golf. I don’t have to schedule my family time around my business. Sure, there are days when I get frustrated but most days, I actually enjoy running my business. And when I look at everything that I have gained because of it, it just makes me value my business even more.

Thanks to John Jonas, Onlinejobs.ph!

#17- Customers Feedback

Photo Credit: Julixa Newman

As an entrepreneur and creator of several twin products, I find that I am motivated by pictures and responses from customers stating that the products have made an actual difference in their lives. Recently I was contacted by a mom of twins who was having the hardest the time leaving the home alone with her baby twins. Her therapist has suggested that she find a way to leave the home with them and get some fresh air. She wrote to us telling us how one of our products (the Twingaroo twin carrier) allowed her to do so. Not only that, when she was out and about she found that people would approach her to ask her about it and compliment her for being able to juggle the twins on her own. We get countless pictures of parents of multiples using our products and that just solidifies why I do what I do- to help other parents of multiples tackle their daily challenges!

Thanks to Julixa Newman, Stuff 4 Multiples!

#18- The Journey

Photo Credit: Katrina McGhee

As an entrepreneur I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to turn my passions into profits, while still helping people. It’s not always been easy, but I’ve learned to look at my setbacks as setups for greater success. It’s the journey, not each step, that has truly been most fulfilling. The freedom to pursue my dreams and make a difference has made the juice well worth the squeeze.

Thanks to Katrina McGhee, LovingonMe!

#19- Work/Life Balance

Photo Credit: Grainne Kelly

When the work gets tough, I have a motto that I believe in and live by, as it motivates me when the work gets difficult. The one question I always ask myself is: What is the worst that can happen? Every day, I also always tell myself: If you do things for the right reasons, only the right thing can happen. Do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. I also try my best to maintain a positive attitude, because that is essential for success. Energy is the fuel that feeds our attitude and it needs to be replenished on a daily basis. Having a positive attitude is a conscious choice, so when negative thoughts creep in, I stop them in their tracks and replace them with positive self-talk. I repeat words or phrases that focus on affirming truths about me. I also surround myself with like-minded women who are an inspiration and who will provide encouragement. Positivity allows you to see the potential that lies within you and gives you the faith to step outside of the box to achieve your dreams.

Thanks to Grainne Kelly, BubbleBum!

#20- Helping people gain confidence

Photo Credit: Diana Goodwin

The main motivation for running my business is knowing that I’m helping people gain confidence through sport. Swimming helped me gain confidence in life and I want everyone to feel this confidence in their lives too. Not only does swimming lessons teach confidence, it is also a life skill that prevents accidents. I’m passionate about this and also enjoy swimming as a part of my daily life, which makes running my business a breeze.

Thanks to Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Inc.!

#21- Responsibility

Being responsible for the income of my employees and their families is my biggest motivator for ensuring the business is thriving. It’s stressful at times but drives me to seek as many opportunities to grow and ensure the company is thriving. It’s also quite rewarding knowing I’m able to help support these families and it makes me want to grow my business that much more to hire more employees and help provide for as many people as I can.

Thanks to Brian Gow, Scheel Window & Door!

#22- Survival mode

Photo Credit: Olivier Plante

Despite huge ups and huge downs, I always continue as it would end very shortly. It’s my survival mode instinct that keeps me going. It’s the accountability toward our mission of defending people’s privacy as well as the passionate team working every day for the good.

Thanks to Olivier Plante, Fleksy!

#23- A number of things

Photo Credit: Helena Escalante

There are always ups and downs, and what keeps me going strong is the certainty that I’m doing meaningful work that helps people expand their mind and reach their goals. Another thing that pushes me forward is the promise that I will do my best to create a great today and an even better tomorrow for all the people that surround me. And I also find motivation in what I refer to as the five freedoms: Financial Freedom (for now and for the future). Location Freedom (live and work from wherever I want and is best for me). Time Freedom (flexibility with my schedule). Freedom of Association (focus on the clients I want to work with). Freedom of Purpose (do the work I love and that I’m good at).

Thanks to Helena Escalante, Entregurus.com!

#24- Helping difficulties

Photo Credit: Steve Pritchard

There’s a lot more that motivates me to run my business than just the money. Obviously, making more money means I’m able to provide even more for my loved ones, which is very important to me, but there are also other responsibilities that drive me when running a business. Getting the right insurance policy can be a stressful process for a lot of people, and Cuuver eases that process by allowing people to compare the wide range of policies that are available to them in a simple and easy way. Knowing that my business helps people deal with something they are finding difficult motivates me to make the business as effective and successful as possible. There is also the matter of ensuring that all of my employees are happy and that my business is helping them to look after their own loved ones. I want to make sure that everyone involved with Cuuver benefits from my business in some way, whether it be a customer or an employee.

Thanks to Steve Pritchard, Cuuver!

What is your motivation for running a business? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

About CEO Blog Nation

This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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