There are literally dozens of reasons to be an entrepreneur and start a business.
As someone who works with ambitious and creative startups every day, I don't think we--the entrepreneurship community--spend enough time talking about the reasons not to start a business. In many cases, these reasons may be more important than the reasons to jump into your venture.
If you're thinking of starting a business for any of these four reasons, you may be better off to think again:
1. Being cool
It is true that successful entrepreneurs are the new rock stars--especially tech entrepreneurs. But the key word there isn't "stars," it's "successful."
Most--and I mean way more than most--new businesses don't succeed. If you're starting one to be the next scruffy or sassy young, wunderkind on a magazine cover, bad idea. Entrepreneurs who want to be famous make decisions and plans to be famous instead of start and run good businesses. They are very different.
2. Saving the world
It's also true that nearly every single new company--again, mostly technology companies--makes a big show of their desire and ability to transform and improve the human condition.
That's great. But that's not a business plan. That's what charities do. And most of them do it quite well. They are also, of course, non-profit ventures which means they are just about the opposite of a sound business venture. If you want to change the world, give your time, talents and money liberally but you're likely better off to re-think your passion as a business strategy.
3. Getting rich
Repeat after me: "Making money is a legitimate business purpose." Some could--and do--argue it's the primary business purpose. But wealth is a by-product of a good business, not the goal.
If you're entrepreneurship dreams are of you boarding your private jet for Monaco, call a time out. Not every entrepreneur strikes gold. Again, most don't. And chasing cash rainbows can quickly distract you from making good business decisions that will solidify and grow your business.
4. Creating jobs
Being able to hire and pay employees is amazing--it can change the lives of families and communities. But it's not a reason to start a business.
Running a business is hard and chances are high that, when you do it, you'll get to experience the highs of hiring and the lows of firing. More importantly, if you're starting a business to put people to work, that goal is likely to stand in way of good business judgments about efficiencies and costs.
In a perfect world, your business may change the world, employ thousands and make you both rich and famous. But you shouldn't make them business goals. There are other, better and longer-range objectives that will keep you in business.
"When someone pays us because we provided a product that solved a problem, it's that satisfaction, not the money, which really hits home and keeps our team going. The money is just the measure of the value we've created," said Michael Noble, CEO, Apruve.