After Working With More Than 100 Aspiring Owners, She’s Learned You Don’t Try To Launch A Business Without Some Powerful Motivation

I have spent a good part of my life in the pursuit of ‘what matters.’ That pursuit has taken me everywhere from local yoga classes to drum circles to worldly travels and academia. Everywhere I have looked for the right path, ideology or circumstance to really build a life around what matters. And while I believe have the answer lies in the pursuit itself, ultimately, my quest has led me to an unlikely candidate: small business.

In my years of teaching people to start and run their businesses, we always start the conversation with their ‘why.’ It is so hugely important to know your motivations for going into small business, as I discuss in this post. It is usually a deeper purpose you’re trying to fill other than simply “make sales.”

Answers I have heard include everything from, “It will give me the flexibility I seek to be with my family,” to “It will allow me to turn my craft/skills into my way of life.” Of course, there are more pragmatic answers mixed in, but almost all aspiring business owners have some greater pursuit in mind than whatever product or service they plan to sell.

Now couple these desires of life with the fact that work is where most of us will spend most of our lives, and all of a sudden it becomes magically clear that where we work presents an incredible opportunity to affect how we spend our lives.

This is not to say meaning can’t be found as an employee or at a big firm, but it is to say that, as the owner of a small business or an employee of a small business, there is potentially a greater opportunity for the pursuit of what matters. If there wasn’t, I would imagine few would pursue the invigorating challenge that is small business at all.

Perhaps one of our Owning My Own interviewees summed it up better in one sentence than I can in an entire post. We asked, “What’s the difference between owning a business and working for someone else?” Brian Stevenson, owner of Rocky Mountain Music Repair responded, “I don’t have to ask permission to do the right thing.”

Pursuit of purpose in life matters. How you work and spend your life matters. Small business matters.