Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do It For The Money (At Least Not Right Away)

When people hear the word entrepreneur, money is one of the first things that comes to mind. However, for most successful businesspeople, wealth is not a major motivator. Most entrepreneurs are driven by passion, creativity and by the daily grind; and more often than not, those who are profit-driven fail (usually because they weren’t willing to take enough risks when they got started). You’ve got to understand that entrepreneurship is a process, and by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. Have some patience — it’ll serve you well!

Take a look at Stephanie, for example. When Stephanie launched her startup a year out of school, she was well aware of the risk she was taking. After all, it’s tough making a name for yourself out of thin air, when you’ve just begun building your brand. Stephanie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, after which she secured a junior copywriting position at a local advertising agency. One evening a family friend reached out to her, asking Stephanie if she could look over his college admissions essays for grammar and style. I really enjoyed that, thought Stephanie, after she emailed the teenager her edits. Maybe I could do this for a living.

The next thing she knew, Stephanie began offering her services on a number of freelancing websites, where she helped other students prepare their applications for college and grad school. She was shocked to find out that dozens were ready and willing to pay for her services. After another two months of contracting her services, Stephanie quit her day job and began preparing a business plan.

Now, every entrepreneur questions him or herself at the beginning of their journey. Stephanie was wary of spending long hours working as a one-woman show, not to mention a bit unsettled by the uncertainty of her paycheck as she prepared to launch her startup. However, she knew that she wanted to work for herself, and she was well aware that she had to make an investment — to take a risk — in order to see returns later on. Stephanie kept freelancing, developed her own website, and began reaching out to local schools to offer her services at a discounted rate. Little by little, her prices went up, and now Stephanie has found success.

One might take a look at Stephanie and say that she quit her day job to make more money. However, like most entrepreneurs, Stephanie’s startup took time to make real money. In fact, there wasn’t much immediate payoff at all, which is precisely why Stephanie waited eighteen months before she hired her first employee. But when entrepreneurs focus on happiness and personal growth, they’re more likely to see results. After all, consumers would rather work with those who love what they do.

Ever Gonzalez

Outlier | CEO