Careers Succeeding at Work Motives of Passion vs. Money for Starting A Business Share PINTEREST Email Print Hero Images / Getty Images Careers Management & Leadership Human Resources Employee Benefits By Lahle Wolfe Lahle Wolfe Northern Virginia Community College Lahle Wolfe has more than 25 years of experience in small business development and ran her own digital marketing firm. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 01/21/20 Are you thinking about starting a business? Good for you but daydreaming and planning are two very different things. If the focus of your entrepreneurial daydreams is centered around the millions you will make, you may need to take a step back and consider your motives when choosing a business to start. The reality is that most businesses do not make millions in their first year of operations nor even in their first five years of business. Of course, it is possible, and you should aim high, but not without sound planning, financial backing, and a genuine passion for your products and services. Following Your Passion or the Money? Think about what you like to do and what you are good at doing - not just the potential income. What do you hope to get out of the business besides income? If you answer, "nothing," you may not make it as an entrepreneur no matter how good your idea is. Starting, growing and running a business can be a thankless and exhausting process, but it can also be very rewarding in many ways even if you don't make it rich overnight. So when the money is not (yet) pouring in, will you get discouraged or keep pressing forward? If you are passionate about more than simply making money, you are more likely to be willing to continue making necessary sacrifices until the big bucks do start rolling in. Most people quit their jobs because they don't like what they are doing and go on to more rewarding jobs. If you start a business doing something you hate you are not going to be any happier answering customer emails at 2 a.m. in your pajamas than you are working for a nagging corporate boss during the day. The Right Motivation for Starting a Business Successful entrepreneurs are rarely motivated solely by money. Successful entrepreneurs achieve wealth because they believe in what they are doing and inject personal core values into how they build a business: Wealth is their reward; not their god. Having a true sense of pride and belief in your own company and products will convey in everything you do. Your passion and confidence will get other people - customers and investors - excited about the business and you will have an easier time establishing your business' credibility. If your only goal is to make as much money off other people as fast as you can, eventually you will make business decisions for the wrong reasons and ultimately hurt your reputation and growth potential. Do Something You Are Passionate About If your motivation is to start a business doing something you are passionate about with the goal of turning into a full-time living, you are likely to suffer from fewer emotional setbacks and entrepreneur burnout when you find out it takes time to build independent wealth. You will be more patient with yourself and your business as it grows, and, will make better business decisions. Business owners that are exclusively motivated by money often have unreasonable expectations of getting rich quick. When financial goals are your only important goals, you will miss out on the many other rewards of being self-employed including a sense of accomplishment, purpose, and the rewards of knowing you are doing something worthwhile with your life.