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Entrepreneur Diaries: employee and entrepreneur motivation

Founder of Lime & Tonic

The motivation behind creating something that you believe in is much more powerful than money, writes Tariq Sanad, founder of social concierge service Lime & Tonic

August 19, 2013 3:21 by

There are many who aspire to become entrepreneurs and start their own business while being an employee. I started that way and I ended up on the other side as a success. Going from managing a multi-million-dollar business at a fortune 500 company to running your own startup is quite an experience to say the least. It’s also nothing like you would imagine, the expectation that being an entrepreneur was going to be different was probably the only thing that materialised into reality.

That might be an exaggeration, but I find the differences between an employee and being an entrepreneur very interesting, particularly when it comes to motivation.

As an entrepreneur, in the early stages, keeping yourself motivated is extremely easy; you are excited about launching your idea and making what you had envisaged in your mind a reality. Nothing is as encouraging as this phase, it’s why you decided to take this path in the first place. The closest you will get to that feeling as an employee is when you are given the responsibility of doing your own project and successfully delivering a target or achievement for your company.

Many believe that people are motivated by money – and they are, but more as a need for survival. However, the motivation behind creating something that you believe in is much more powerful than money, as it comes with the belief that you are worth something and can do something others have not. This is something for employers to keep in mind if they want to get the best out of their staff.

The main difference is that within a corporate environment success is measured with a very internal perspective by the company, peers and managers. I find a lot of the real measures that show in business results can be easily put aside and then it becomes a political minefield that you have to navigate to prove your success. While climbing the corporate ladder, you quickly realise that success is measured by how you play the internal game versus what you really are delivering. This is very de-motivating and usually that’s when you start thinking: “I should be my own boss”.

Out there in the real world, however, success is measured by two very important factors, initially your customers or clients and then after your invested cash runs out, your bottom line. As an entrepreneur, you realise that you have to take the risk that your amazing idea may not be perfect and may not be delivering because either your customers or clients aren’t satisfied, or it’s not meeting the big forecast you put down initially, (which is usually the case).

This can be extremely de-motivating – it is your dream being crushed to a certain extent. Instead of being upset that the dream is not exactly what it turned out to be, success is in the agility of how you adapt and get over yourself to be able to change and keep your dream alive.

Ultimately, either as an employee or entrepreneur, you have to motivate yourself. It’s always challenging, but as an entrepreneur there is no manager to turn to for help or motivation, you just have to think about what inspired you in the first place and battle through it to gain your reward.

If you can’t do that as an employee with the security of a job, you have no idea what is in-store as an entrepreneur where motivation is a survival skill.

This post was written by Tariq Sanad, founder of social concierge service Lime & Tonic, as part of Kippreport’s ‘Entrepreneur Diaries’ series. If you are an entrepreneur with a startup and would like to share your success, or experiences gained from failures, we’d like to hear from you.

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1 Comment

  1. Gladwyn Lewis on August 25, 2013 12:50 pm

    Brilliant article. More so, love the footer on your website. “You copy this & we’re coming after you. Seriously.” Just made me laugh!! :) Nice touch!


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