The Entrepreneur’s WHY…

by Jon Robert Quinn

Every single day, I speak with countless business owners and entrepreneurs. Some are from our geographical location and others from other parts of the globe. Nonetheless, they all share something in common… Passion. When I see a small business owner struggling day in and day out but continue to fight the good fight, as they say, it really makes to me think about their why. What drives them? Why do they choose to struggle with this idea of creating the dream by working for themselves instead of getting up every morning and going to a job?

I remember years ago, before I was a talk show host, before I was producing music professionally, before I was opening online stores, I was trying to build a name for myself. Somebody once told me that I could work to make somebody else rich or I could work to make myself rich. The decades that followed, I thought the word RICH was a term used for money. Then one day I was driven to read the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Robert spoke about the word RICH as a definition of lifestyle and the word WEALTH as the definition of the accumulation of money. I think what drives people, young entrepreneurs, small business owners and the like is the want or need to be rich. Some chase the money or shiny object as a local business coach told me, before she proceeded to call me arrogant and judgmental. It was the realization for me that the shiny object was not what would make us rich but the quality of life that Rich Dad speaks about that makes us get up each morning to struggle and challenge ourselves to be better.

I remember when I was in summer school between 8th and 9th grade and I was thinking about life after high school. I saw all my friends’ parent struggling to make ends meet. I saw my own parents barely making enough to pay the bills. They would leave for work early every morning, giving me enough time to bring my friends over to play video games before school, if we even went at all. They were too busy to know either way. And then would come home every night after dark, too late to find out if we ever did our homework or not. That summer sitting there in class, I started doing the math, comparing either to get a job with the little education I’m receiving, or start a business and make as much money as I want. I remember thinking of ways I could start a skateboard retail business selling the kids at school skateboard parts at a profit. Those days of thinking are the same things entrepreneurs in their 30s, 40s, 50s or older think about every single day. They are looking for a better way.

This is the passion I am talking about. These people absolutely love what they do. Both for their community as well as for their family. They slave over their business each and every day, making a name for themselves and hoping they make enough money to bring home to their families giving their children the life they never had. It’s the American way. It’s the principles our nation was founded on and it’s why it is most important to support our local small business community and give back as much as we can.

If you’re thinking about starting a small business or are one of millions of entrepreneurs in our country trying to make ends meet, I want you to ask yourself a question. Are you doing what you love to do? Are you passionate about your business? Or, are you in business because the money is good? I can honestly say that in my business, I would build talk shows, produce music and write books regardless of whether it made money or not, because for the first 20 years, it barely made any. By following my dream and striving to be better every single day and by providing value to my clients, it has given me the life I have always dreamt of. Follow your heart in all of your endeavors and it will never let you down.