We really enjoy working with business founders, and one of our favourite things to do is to ask them why they founded their business in the first place. There are a few responses that are quite common, such as:
The responses we are given, are totally consistent with research of business owners conducted over many years. From that research, the 3 most common reasons why people decide to start a business are excellence (that's the first answer above), entrepreneurship (the second answer above), and autonomy ("I really wanted to be my own boss"). Interestingly, "to make money" is not in the top 3 reasons - in fact, it is not even in the top 5!
Actually, "I really wanted to be my own boss", is the number 1 reason people give for deciding to start their own business. If this is you, then we have a follow-up question for you to contemplate:
So, how is that working out for your people?
Usually, this question is met with a long pause, and then a long face.
The reason we ask it is that many people have that desire for autonomy, and they start their business all inspired and excited about being in control of their own destiny. They then slowly go about re-creating the working environment they have been used to, and for their own people, they end up creating that environment where they want to be their own boss. We know why this happens, and we can help you avoid it.
THE 4 HUMAN DRIVERS
As humans, these are the 4 drivers to achieving fulfilment from the work that we do:
Fulfilment is important, because it is the most powerful motivator. Conversely the thought of having to do regular, sustained work for a period of time, knowing that there will be no way of attaining any fulfilment from it, causes us to seek other work. It is just a question of time.
It doesn't mean that everyone has to have a high powered job. Sometimes just mowing the lawn provides these 4 elements of fulfilment, as does painting a wall, or even doing data entry.
It's not hard to see how these 4 drivers are a fundamental part of being a business founder, but the red circle above is the key here. Even if you're giving people the opportunity to feel fulfilment from the other 3 areas, without autonomy, some people will crave the desire to be their own boss. They too will eventually want the autonomy of being a business owner, just like you did.
Corporate environments are really bad at giving people autonomy. They create really detailed and prescriptive job descriptions, have rating based performance assessment, and rigid processes for everyone to follow religiously. There's little opportunity for people in these situations but to just do the tasks that are given to them, as they are prescribed for them, when they are required to do them, and without knowing the meaningful reason why they do them.
Your small business can be different. As a business founder, you can:
This is why we created The H Factor system. Business owners can build their pathway to being their own boss - in a way that others will want to stay and play, because you and your business are providing them - and yourself - the opportunity to experience the 4 human drivers.
H Agents write about the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship and managing people.