This year, I’ve spoken with business owners and millionaires with a combined value of $30,000,000 to write down a bunch of interviews for my own personal notes.
29 September 2018 by
Based on $30,000,000 worth of knowledge
I’ve spoken to 52 entrepreneurs and founders and freelancers this year to write down a bunch of interviews for my own personal notes. I spoke with small business owners and millionaires, with a combined value of $30,000,000.
The actual interviews will probably never be published because they’re a part of my own learning journey. But I asked everyone I could one question…What is the most powerful reason to quit your job and start your own business?
1. Because you’re honestly so bored you could die
This one came up a lot more than I thought it would.
It turns out, boredom is quite frequently what drives people to make a massive change. Boredom = dissatisfaction, and it means that where your life is going isn’t someplace you want to be.
Boredom means you’re going to have a sudden burst of energy. Powerful energy.
How often have you been listlessly roaming around your house on a weekend until you suddenly think of something good to do and just burst out the front door ready to rock?
2. Because you walked in on your boss planning to fire you
You don’t have to actually have walked in on your boss, on the phone to her boss, planning to fire you.
But that did happen for one of the folks I interviewed.
What this really comes down to is jumping before you’re pushed. If you sense that the wind is changing, that you’re on your way out, taking the initiative and taking the leap on your own terms is an awesome idea.
I know they say you shouldn’t make a big decision of a loss. But sometimes, it’s actually not a bad idea. Sometimes, you have just enough “F…k-You” attitude to make it work and make it stick.
3. Because you’re so excited that you can’t sleep anymore
This is what I identified with the most.
That’s the feeling I’ve had before I’ve started every single project that I have ever worked on, from my first business to my record deal to Creatomic.
Just lying in bed with one leg kicking and fidgeting and ideas racing around my cranium like it’s the Formula One.
4. Because enough people told you that you couldn’t
As it turns out, saying “F…k-You” to folks is a pretty big reason behind a lot of success stories.
When people get told they can’t, they shouldn’t, it’s too dangerous, it’s too risky, they don’t have the X-factor, entrepreneurs have a voice inside their heads that says to do it anyway and prove the bastards wrong.
Admittedly, it’s the same voice that tells us to touch wet paint when the sign says not to or to touch a hot plate when Mom says we can’t.
So, it’s not the smartest characteristic. But when we make it work…
5. Because of the money $$$
I know we’re meant to believe bullshit like Elon Musk only founded his companies to change the world out of the goodness of his heart.
But I hate the message it sends.
That entrepreneurs are really just benevolent philanthropical overlords. Here’s a newsflash.
Almost all of the folks I spoke to said money was a big factor in starting their businesses.
They wanted to chase wealth and maximise their earning potential in a way that a full-time job could not and would not allow.
Changing the world was a part of it for a lot of people, but acting like the money isn’t the driver is just being obtuse. We can’t pretend that changing the world is the sole reason people become billionaires.
6. Because you want to be the boss …
This is actually a reason that I disagree with. Completely. I think it’s the wrong reason, and here’s why.
Because as soon as you start working for yourself you actually wind up with just another boss who is worse than any other you’ve ever had because they won’t let up and they won’t give you space and you can’t leave the office to get away from them.
If you were every treated – by anyone else – the way you will treat yourself as your own boss, you would have quit.
But. I can’t deny that a lot of people did bring up this reason as a pretty big driver for them.
And I won’t pretend that there aren’t positive parts of being your own boss. It’s just a lot harder than it sounds.
7. Because you want to leave your mark
We all want to go down in history, right? For many of the people I’ve spoken to, entrepreneurship is the way to do that. They want to change the world in the same way that Huffington, Bezos, Jobs or any other titan has. That’s so powerful.
I stand by my position that money is always, always a factor. But I think it works best when it’s a factor that has a relationship with an urge to change the world. I think you need that mission sometimes because there are always easier ways to make less money than being an entrepreneur that will look a lot more appealing from time to time.
8. Personal pride and accomplishment
There’s nothing like building something to feel proud of who you are and what you can achieve. I’ve done a lot of corporate work, a lot of agency work, a lot of crap for big companies, and I can tell you that I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything, because I couldn’t point to anything that I’d built. That’s why I never want to work for another big company like Apple or Google — I need to personally feel like I built something.
Starting your own business is a way to reach that level of personal pride and accomplishment, and it’s a factor that pushed many entrepreneurs I know to become higher achievers.
9. Frustration with traditional career paths
When I got my first full-time job — after my first company had already closed down — I put on a beautiful suit and I walked into an office and I realised I hated everything about everything I was doing. I swore that I wouldn’t follow a traditional career path right in that moment. The traditional path isn’t designed for who we are today. The traditional path wants you to be loyal to companies who no longer feel any loyalty to their employees, then climb a ladder where the final goal is retirement. Nope.
I — and many of the people I spoke with — want to exist outside of that career path because we recognise that it would not fulfil us and it would not make us happy in the long term.
10. The urge to find and set new challenges
Stagnation is the enemy of happiness.
Avoiding stagnation can be as easy as constantly searching for and setting new challenges that are going to push you to expand your mind, expand your skills and drive a little too close to the edge. Quitting a normal job and starting a business is a sure-fire way to do all of that.