Why Did You Start a Business, and What Keeps You Going?

In today’s post, I’d like to give the floor over to you. (The last time I did this, there were well over 100 responses. Visit this post and say hello if you haven’t already.)

Take a few moments to answer this question in the comments:

Why did you start a business, and what motivates you to keep going?

You can write a one-sentence answer if you’d like, or elaborate further if you have time.

To start things off, here’s what motivates me:

I believe that even if your business is small, your brand can be BIG.

The Big Brand System shows you how to harness the power of well-designed, strategic marketing materials for your business, with a strong emphasis on empowering you so you can create them yourself.

That’s what keeps me coming back to my keyboard week after week. And it’s the motivating force behind all the products I’ve created, too.

Now it’s your turn. Let’s hear it in the comments:

Why did you start a business, and what motivates you to keep going?

Comments

  1. says

    I started Courses that Matter because I believe teaching and education matters. I also believe that the most effective teachers are those with the real life experience and expertise.

    Every night I am motivated to get online and get to work because I get to see the amazing difference entrepreneurs are making by teaching their readers new skills and new ideas.

    Online training and education is an exciting place at the moment and I love being involved in this EDUCATION REVOLUTION.

    Thanks for the opportunity Pamela

    Ainslie

  2. says

    I started Prima Translation out of a series of unfortunate events that include illness, but that is certainly not why I keep going. I have been bilingual all my life and without realizing it, I often took on the role of being the mediator, the interpreter, the bridge between two or more cultures.

    This became my passion, my focus, my area of study. When I translate a Web site, an e-book, or any type of document, I contribute to the sharing of knowledge and ideas between cultures. And in the information age, I think this is very important.

    Beyond the translation itself, I love being of service to others and the creative aspect of running a business. My mission is to find language solutions.

  3. says

    I never knew owning an art gallery would be my dream job until I actually co-founded Fountain Street Fine Art with my buisness partner Cheryl Clinton. We started a little over a year ago in an old print shop, and are surrounded and energized by a community of talented artists and enthusiastic supporters. The thrill of watching ‘our baby’ grow and thrive beyond our wildest dreams is what keeps me motivated and excited every day! (you can see how far we’ve come at http://birthingagallery.blogspot.com/2011/09/babys-first-steps.html)

  4. says

    I had worked in manufacturing and distribution for twenty years and I didn’t like being held captive by bosses who were not interested in my ideas. I created my company to share my creative business sense with people who want to change their world. I love it and I love my boss.

    • says

      That’s one aspect of running your own business that I really appreciate, too, Chet: being able to act on your ideas whenever you think the time is right, rather than waiting for them to become a priority (or not) to someone else.

  5. says

    My business is writing–romance. I was inspired to write by a professor in a professional writing course, I just couldn’t stop after the course ended. My inspiration to write romance also come from school–my pychology degree. I love looking at relationship dynamics and how we can overcome misguided beliefs and self-defeating behaviours that cause conflict between two characters. I love the change and growth that helps them overcome obstacles to find a happily ever after. I’m now writing a booklet on how to show characters change and grow in a story based on this premise. I do it because I love it!

  6. says

    I started my business for the “freedom” part of it. I was teaching (and still am) at public institutions with curriculum to follow and politics to handle. I started teaching online photography courses so I would have the freedom to teach students practical and actionable skills that they can use to take better pictures. I keep going because I just can’t stop teaching and sharing. It just flows out of me.

    • says

      It’s nice to be able to set your own agenda, isn’t it? Your courses are great, and I’ll bet you’re able to respond to the needs of your students a lot faster when you’re creating your own curriculum!

  7. says

    After being a tech writer and editor for many years, I started The Write Word so that I could work out of my home, delegate my time as I desired (walk on the beach at lunch? Yes!), and continue to work with words for a living, because that is my love. I was able to house-sit in the Bahamas for two months last fall because I could still maintain my workload and client relationships over the Internet. Zowie! And I get to work on a novel as well.

    A lot of the time it ain’t perfect, but what is? Thanks for the chance to spout, Pamela.

    • says

      House sitting in the Bahamas! I’m wildly waving my hand in the air in case you’re asked again and need a substitute ;-)

      It sounds wonderful. And you’re right … nothing’s perfect! But running your own show comes pretty close, even though you have to navigate some ups and downs.

  8. says

    We started our first business as offering graphic design 23 years ago. Over time it has evolved, and changed. From offering just design, to adding marketing and copywriting, then adding web design, and over the last few years niching down to what I do today, WordPress training and coaching.

    My wife and I started our business because, basically, we wanted to work for ourselves, and since then, have never looked back. What has kept us going is our flexibility and willingness to take risks and make changes. If we find ourselves in a rut, we find new ways to jump out of it.

    • says

      That sounds wonderful, Bob, and it’s great you found something you could work on together!

      And flexibility is key, isn’t it? Nothing stays the same, and if we can adapt and adjust we can make the most of whatever the economy or the market is doing.

  9. says

    I started my business because I kept seeing people doing business poorly. While they had passion, they lacked purpose so I help people put passion and purpose into their business and life to meet their needs while meeting their buyer’s needs and the community needs

  10. says

    Like you, I believe that even if your business is small, your brand can be BIG.

    After working in advertising agencies for 20 years on brands that were already big, I started my business to help SMBs create their own powerful brands. My work is focused on discovering a client’s ‘ideal customers': what motivates them, what makes them loyal, and what will attract more like them. I help them bake this essence into every aspect of their marketing, and even their business processes.

    What keeps me engaged is the joy of working directly with clients and having strong, lasting relationships with many of them as I help grow their businesses.

    • says

      Sounds awesome, Jon! I’m glad to hear you start with a search for “ideal customers.” There’s where all branding work should begin, IMO.

      Thanks for your comment. :-)

  11. says

    Why? Because I couldn’t not! Entrepreneurship runs in my family, so perhaps it’s genetic. And it was the best way for me to craft an offer where I could leverage distinct – but related – areas of expertise that range from copywriting to intercultural management consulting.

    What keeps me going? “Occu-passion” !

  12. says

    After raising my family I finally had the time to devote to my passion, painting! After several years of getting back into the swing of things I decided to start up a business with my artwork and have loved every minute of it. It is not only a thrill to be creative but to then share that with others. Nothing brings me more joy than the look on a clients face when they see their finished piece.
    ps: love your blog and all of your tips!

  13. says

    I started Blue Ribbon Consulting to help horse business owners get a handle on the business side of what they do. The horse industry has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old, and it has provided me with many opportunities. I wouldn’t be the same person today if not for horses and horse business, so my consulting was founded as a way to help horse businesses be strong so others can benefit from the amazing power that horses can have in our lives. What keeps me going? Well, horses of course! And the ability for ongoing evolution as the industry evolves.

  14. says

    My business is writing. I started writing when I was around 12 years old. It gave me an emotional outlet and a voice for my runaway imagination. As a child I was labeled as a daydreamer and a shy girl with colorful dreams, but now I wear the badges with honor and write about Productive Daydreaming, Dream-Guidance and Creating Vision Stories that Work. I support reform in public schools to motivate creatives in our society, to take away negative labels and to teach children from where they are. The writing on my blog is experimental, I write about what is on my mind with no agenda. On Fridays I write and offer my poetry free for anyone to read.

    • says

      Nicole, sorry for the delay to publish your comment. It was stuck in my spam folder for some reason. :-(

      It’s great that you’ve found a grown-up outlet for your imagination. We’re living in a time when a productive imagination is rewarded, and there are many, many outlets of expression. We’re lucky, don’t you think?

  15. says

    I worked for corporate america for 34 yrs. Although I was blessed with a good paying job and the ability to work from home, the job was not my passion. I’ve retired & just started Living A Passionate Life so that I can help individuals, kids/teens discover what they are passionate about. Working together, laughing, educating and sharing information is what makes me happy.

  16. says

    After getting my PhD and working as an academic for nearly a decade I realised I preferred “doing” it to just teaching others to do it. Oh, and I wanted to spend more time with my basset hounds.

    I still keep my hand in, teaching the occasional coures or speaking at conferences, but I prefer the excitement of being at the work face everyday.

    What keeps me motivated ? Learning new things, like podcasting, and extending my portfolio of skills.