People start businesses in search of autonomy.

Autonomy – Freedom, Self-Rule, Self-Determination, Uncontrolled, Independence.

Autonomy has been used as a grouping for generally similar motivations.
The definition used: Freedom from external control or influence; independence.

This reason why people start businesses should come as no surprise to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. What we found interesting was that some entrepreneurs were driven by an aversion to control while others were driven by a desire to be in control of their own destiny.

Autonomy is also very much present in lifestyle entrepreneurs seeking to live life on their own terms.

We found 15 reasons why people start businesses.

For a look at the 15 reasons as well as the personality traits that are most commonly found in entrepreneurs please visit the full study here: Why people start businesses.

What can we learn from autonomy driven entrepreneurs?

  1. Once you take the leap the accountability clock is on.
  2. Most said they wish they took the leap sooner.
  3. Learning to ask for help and collaborate can be harder for the autonomy driven entrepreneur but it is a must-have skill.
  4. Put systems in place to keep you accountable, the freedom can be intoxicating, in a bad way.
  5. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses, hire quickly to fill the gaps.
  6. Manage your finances or get someone that will, freedom needs finance.
  7. Be aware of the trade-off between guidance and freedom; a mentor that understands how you’re wired can help you reach great heights without exerting control. Find one.
  8. Pure autonomy is an illusion, you always work for someone within a framework of rules and regulations.

What did people that started businesses in search of autonomy say?

For me, it was more a personal thing of I want to do what’s meaningful to me. I have actually outlived my father at this point, he died he had just turned 54 and maybe he didn’t get to do everything he wanted to do. I might as well do something that’s personally meaningful to me and bring others along for the ride. There’s a philosophical thing that I think most people have, some people work because it’s subsistence. You have to go to a job every day to pay your bills. When you get past that a little bit you can start making a lot of money and subsidize a lifestyle that you think that you’d like, and so, every day you go to work but you don’t enjoy it that much. You build up a retirement, you can go on vacations and you have money. The other way of doing it is instead of 50 weeks a year you’re selling your time to someone else, you can start something yourself. Not that it isn’t work but when you’re doing it for yourself it’s a lot more rewarding. I am notoriously bad at capitalism.

Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking Fat Loss Backpacking Adventures

I started my business to enable a location and schedule freedom myself. It
has always been a dream for me to have the freedom to work and travel when I want, where I want. I’ve also been able to offer this autonomous
lifestyle to every member of our team.

Kean Graham, MonetizeMore

Freedom. This is why I started my business. I wanted to be free from office
politics and unleash my own ideas. My business gives me the freedom to test new opportunities. Now, I have the independence to create my own future and flexibility to work when and where I want.

Cassandra Leite
New England Foundation Crack Repair

I started my business because I didn’t get along with my former business partner and CEO. It was the one thing I knew how to do really well and also really liked being in the healthcare space and actually providing a service that helped doctors do their work better.

Benjamin K Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

“I needed a career which would give me the flexibility to navigate my own
schedule and be home in time to get my kids off the bus. At age 39, I had
the courage to start a second career working as a business owner and
professional residential organizer.

The inspiration behind starting my own business was that I married a
descendant of the revolutionary women’s rights activist, Amelia Bloomer.
She created and produced the first women’s newspaper The Lily, in 1849
promoting events and discussing issues important to women of the time.

Amelia was even more well known for popularizing a radically new, and
comfy, style of dress; and that is where the term “bloomers” comes from.
Amelia was a revolutionary for women’s fashion and social reform; I aspire
to be a revolutionary for women’s space.”

Amy Bloomer, MA Organizational Psychology, Let Your Space Bloom, LLC – It is also clear that Amy was driven to be an entrepreneur due to Nurture

I’ve been working for big companies for years and I always felt like I didn’t have enough freedom to make decisions and organize my job the way I wanted to. When it became clear that things wouldn’t change, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and start my own business.

Luka Arežina, Dataprot

Corporate politics & bureaucracy were hindering my ability to help clients. I value the freedom to succeed over ‘just not being fired’. Now everything matters, and I help clients succeed.

Chris Love, Love2Dev

In 2013 I somewhat tragically lost my father. When I lost him it really changed the fabric of who I am as a person. It caused me to start thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life. Whether I was content being a cog in somebody else’s wheel, or whether I wanted to really try to spread my wings and see if I could take that passion and deliver it to people in a way that I had more control over as far as the messaging and mission.

Josh Fogelman, FVF Law

 I wanted the freedom to be involved in my trade association, to teach the occasional industry class, and to start a family.  To fill a need: Small and mid-sized nonprofits can’t afford to keep a full-time event planner on staff; my company fills that role.

Sarah Cissna, CSEP The Side Lobby

I started my business to get value from my free time. I also wanted to
create autonomy where all decisions were mine and mine alone; this is
important because I’ve always worked under someone else. It’s a great
learning opportunity and a way to strengthen my own talents.

Hannah Fisher, HVAC Supreme

I started my company back in 2006 when I had a full-time job so that I could work from home and start a family. I originally started selling items on eBay, and my goal was to get enough part-time income coming in to quit my day job so that I could stay home with my children. I started from scratch and invested very little money under a hundred dollars in fact) to get started, and then I would just reinvest the profit off of what I sold. Very quickly the business grew into more than a full-time job. Within two years, my husband was able to quit his day job to help with the business. The business has grown through the years. Today, we have seven employees and we are still growing.

Kim Hawkins, Events Wholesale

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