The motivations for starting a business are varied and diverse. But for many business owners, family has a huge impact on their decisions to become an entrepreneur.
A number of studies shows that having self-employed parents increase the likelihood of their kids pursuing entrepreneurship as well. Self-employed parents are more likely to encourage their kids and provide them with the training and resources to become business owners. In return, individuals who are children to parents perceived as being successful as entrepreneurs are more likely to choose entrepreneurship as a career.
Renee Bishop’s grandmother served as her inspiration to start her own cake decorating business. Even when she was small, she was in awe of the cakes her grandmother created.
“It began my journey to learn all I can about cake decorating. I began casually doing cakes for friends and family over 15 years ago.”
There are also those who choose the path of entrepreneurship when they start a family. Especially for women (and men as well), starting a business and working from home is an option that allows them to take care of their kids while contributing to the family income.
Adanma Milton decided to stay at home after she gave birth to her first daughter. She turned her hobby of creating candles and soap into a business in order to take care of her baby. As she said,
“The birth of my first daughter inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I just didn’t want to miss any part of her growing up, so I decided that I would either have to have a job that she could come with me to work, or I would have to work from home. I turned my hobbies into a business and decided to sell the candles and soaps that I make. Phoenix is my daughter’s middle name. That’s how Flames of the Phoenix was born.”
There are also those who are motivated by their desire to live much better lives than their parents. They look at their parents’ lives and decide that they want something better for themselves. Others start a business to fulfill their parents’ (failed) dreams of running their own businesses.
Kristy Milland, a contractor in Ontario, Canada, explained her motivation for starting a business:
“My father, who slaved in the oil industry for 30 years only to be laid off unceremoniously, inspired me. After seeing him languish in obscurity in a large corporation, I knew from an early age that I would never be a party to that. Instead I’ve worked for myself and never had to sacrifice my integrity for my paycheque!”
Parents also have an active hand on this: propelled by their desire for their children to have better lives, some parents push their children to try harder and consider entrepreneurship as the path that will give them better lives. As a result, some become entrepreneurs to fulfill their parents’ wishes.
Gail Deshields, who runs Gail’s Medical Transcription Service, when asked what inspired her to start a business said:
“My mom inspired me. She wanted better for me than to be a janitor cleaning offices and apartments. She first became a Transcriptionist and she became very good at it and could command whatever pay she wanted. She was always in demand for her services working for several different hospitals and seeing this it inspired me to want to follow in her footsteps by providing excellent Transcription service and that in turn provides you with excellent clients that are willing to pay you whatever you want.”
The family, and how much support they give to the entrepreneur, can also help push for the success of the business. Rachel Bishop, owner of cake decorating business Fancy Cakes, explained:
“In 2008, I met a wonderful man who stood behind me 150% and wanted to help me have the full time cake business I have always wanted. He expanded a spare room of our home and created for me the absolute perfect space to create one of a kind professional cakes and loving every minute.”
How has your family motivated you to start a business?