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04 Where Are You?


Could it be that the three successful types of business owners mentioned in The Business Journals study are really growth phases of an entrepreneur?

We don’t have studies to back it up, but we do have our own anecdotal experiences that support it.

It seems most entrepreneurs start out as Freedom Seekers. As they begin working in an industry or field, they become familiar with its strengths and weaknesses. In time, they see a weakness as an opportunity, and they move on to become Passionate Creators that fill that need. As their business continues to grow, and as they have family and age, their focus moves toward the future, their retirement, building a legacy, and passing something of value on to their children or others whom they love. That is the progression we have followed.

We’ve been the Freedom Seekers who needed flexible schedules as we raised our families or were managing challenges that required more time flexibility. We’ve lived business and numbers. We’ve learned from our own business ventures. We’ve seen so many entrepreneurs who have viewed bookkeeping as only a necessary evil to keep the IRS at bay. We have learned that a solid, accurate set of financial records can also be like a stethoscope, revealing the health of the business. Understanding the numbers is critical to success.

We’ve observed unmet needs in our industries and professions. When doors opened, we moved into Passionate Creators, intent on developing or improving products or services to meet those needs.

Now that we are getting older, we think more about what we will pass on, and what legacy we will leave. How will we change the world?

Could it be that this progression is uniquely American? Our motivation can be influenced by our situation and culture. Mark Henricks cited a global survey of 4000 owners indicating that 70% got into business to cover living expenses.   Another study indicated that only 8% of business owners got into business only to make money.   The top motivations of Brazilian owners for starting a business were to provide employment (71%) and to contribute to society or their community (64%). In the US, 67% desired to be their own boss.  59% of Chinese owners stated that their reason for building a business was to pass it on to other family members.

How about you? What has your journey as a business owner been? Did you start as a Freedom Seeker and grow into other phases? Have you observed this or similar progressions in the business owners around you? If you have, does it seem to be a uniquely American journey or do you see it in other cultures as well?

Wherever you are in your business, we would love to partner with you to create a strong business.  At Quader Books, we are all in to complete the trip with you.

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