Don’t Build Your Business For You (#6)

What is that smile for?

You have a great job and it pays you well. It is safe, stable, and provides for your family. However, it does not have the freedom that you dream of. You work for some one else. You want to do a job that makes you happy and satisfied. You have an idea of a business that you could start that would be something you love to do! It is you taking the risk, but is the idea of you getting those things enough reason for you to take on that risk?

To some people, it may be so, however I would argue that it is not enough. A job can offer a lot of those things if you are working for a good company. I want to toss out an idea for why we are willing to take the risk to build our businesses. We build them for other people.

In the book Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, Scott Belsky hits on the fact that we need to build businesses because others need us to. This got me really thinking about why I want to start a business. The idea of freedom and being able to earn money for myself is great, but I really want to provide something great for people to use. Otherwise, I would just work for someone else if I wanted a good pay check. That risk that entrepreneurs are taking on isn’t just for more money, it is for the sake of adding value to the lives of those around them.

This does not mean that you do get monetary benefits because that is necessary for a business to work well. Making profit is a result of the need people have for your product and how much you are adding to their lives.

In 2008 there was a study about the happiness of people based off of giving. Participants made a prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier however the consistent outcome was that those who spent money on others or gave money away were happier! There were several other facts like this on, but this one caught my eye.

Spending money on others or giving money to others, does not always mean literally giving them money. Spending money on your business so others can benefit is also a way of giving money to others because you are giving them something that they would not have otherwise.

We even need to start business because people need jobs and we can serve some people like that. There are only 28 million small businesses in the United States. Out of that 28 only 7 million actually have employees. 21 million provide a service to people and that is great. Those 7 million entrepreneurs employee 120 million. That is a little over one third of our population which is 324 million.

This is why we need to be building business because there are people out there who are afraid to and need us! When you hit a road block and are scared of the next step, or you are worried that it might fail. Remember that others need you to succeed. They want you to succeed for their help. Sure they may say you will fail, but look past their negativity and know that they need you to succeed. Just remember that your business is not for you, others need you to do this!


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Build Your Business For You (#6)

  1. Hi Turner,
    Wow, this viewpoint completely flips everything I ever thought about the “whys” of running your own business. Anytime the venture has crossed my mind, I think about all of the reasons why I would want to manage that venture every day and ultimately what I would gain from it. However, it makes total sense that you have to realize the necessity of need from your market and those around you. All of the “gains” you have from a business, whether they are emotional, physical, or mental, would not be possible without your business satisfying a customer need. Definitely food for thought!


  2. Turner,
    Awesome post! It is true that entrepreneurship cannot be viewed as selfish because working for someone else’s company is a lot easier; however, the chance to help others is much greater. I loved the way you defined profit, it takes the focus off of the money but actually making an impact. Thank you for sharing your perspective and giving me a new one!


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