Why Entrepreneurs Start Business

Yet another survey by Kaufman Foundation on youth entrepreneurship confirms an earlier study that business ownership is attractive to American youth: 40% of youth ages 8 – 24 want to start a business in their lifetime. The interesting statistic in this survey of over 5,700 tweens, teens and young people is that the highest interest lies in those who know an entrepreneur.

When asked why they want to own their own business, the overwhelming response was to make a lot of money. I’m a bit disappointed in this desire, though I would be the first person to say I could be happy “rich”, but I am not the first to say making one rich is NOT a reason to start one’s own business. Why didn’t Zuckerberg take the offer to sell Facebook for billions if he started business “for the money”?

I wouldn’t be presumptive to answer why I think entrepreneurs start their businesses, but Richard Branson said it best:

“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”

Money is a by-product. It is not a goal in itself. Those who simply chase money end up with nothing of true value, because money in itself does not add anything to life. Money cannot buy the things that matter most in people – wisdom, serenity, leadership, happiness.

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