it's not all aboutHere’s a news flash for you. For the vast majority of business owners they aren’t running their company to get rich or make a lot of money. The people I know who have gone into business don’t do it for the money.

My own story.

I got into my own business because it was the easiest road for me to take.

My father was in the food service business and we had one account that was two hours away from the rest of our business. He sent me to Plattsburgh, NY to close down the operation. Instead of closing down the operation I picked up four new accounts.

My father had no interest in having responsibility for this new business and sold me the branch. It was just easier for me to go into my own business than try to get a job working for someone else.

As it works out, the path of least resistance for me was the right one. Over the years I’ve learned that I just can’t work for someone else. I like to march to my own tune and have never been a very good employee.

How did you end up getting into your business? I bet it wasn’t about making as much money as you could.

A huge misconnect

It seems that all advisors to private business owners think the number one goal private business owners have is to make as much money as they can.

I can tell you that this assumption is mostly wrong. There are lots of reasons you might open a business. I’ll bet making tons of money wasn’t one of them.

At the same time if you happen to run a great business that makes lots of money, you’ll be fine with that. It’s not just the number one reason you go to work in the morning.

Think about surveys for reasons we work

If you’ve ever looked at job satisfaction surveys you’ll see that making a lot of money is way down the list. That is unless you’re not making enough money.

It’s the same with a private business owner. As long as they’re making enough money then you’ll usually find that private business owners have other reasons for running their company.

I’m always more than a little confused as to why advisors think that owners of businesses are different than the rest of the population when it comes to why they go to work in the morning. If you happen to own a business don’t you think it would be a great idea to let those you work with know why you go to work every day?

Don’t make assumptions

If you happen to be reading this and work with private business owners please do me a favor. Don’t make an assumption about the motivations of your business owner client.

Instead why don’t you ask what their motivations are? You might learn something that would surprise you. If you decide to ask those questions you might learn something that will make you much more effective with your clients. I bet asking would make your relationship with your business owner clients that much better.

I’ll even bet that your reasons for running your business have changed.

While I’ve been writing this post I realized that my own reasons for being in business have changed several times over the past forty years.

I started in business because it was the easiest path for me to take. Then I started getting excited about making a multi-branch business work at a really high level.

Today I work because I think it’s important to be a thought leader about how businesses can be sustainable and last for more than one or two generations.

What about you, what are the reasons you go to work? I bet that if you’ve been doing this for twenty years or more your reasons have changed. I also think that answering the question of why you continue to work and own your company will help you find some answers that will definitely make your life better.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.


Topics: private business owner motivation, for business advisors, reasons for work

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