Although entrepreneurship cannot be measured in terms of age, going by the characteristics for each age group, we think entrepreneurship has different kinds of motivation at each age group.
Student entrepreneurship. Motivation: Thrill
A student entrepreneur rarely is inspired to build or create something. The sheer thrill of getting money in the pockets and of adventure plus the added fun of friends coming together to do something motivates a student to become an entrepreneur. Only the serious ones pursue entrepreneurship beyond college. The rest find their peace in pay checks. Of course, there are exceptions. But at this age, you cannot expect the student to be taking huge risks.
Youth entrepreneurship. Motivation: Achievement
At the age of twenty-three or twenty-two, after say a couple of years in a work place, the young guy or even a girl is motivated to achieve something of their own. This achievement orientation pulls them to entrepreneurship. Once they find an opportunity, they jump in. To show the world that they can achieve so much in terms of revenue, building a company, or a product, the young people take to entrepreneurship. If the wind blows their way, they even make it big.
Middle-age entrepreneurship. Motivation: Fulfilment
Mid-career crisis hits almost every executive who has not found a place in the senior management or the senior management position itself is not giving so much as one would expect. After serving the corporate world for fifteen to seventeen years, the middle-aged executive wants to create something, make money, or is in fact hungry for success. Oftentimes, the negative pressures of the corporate acts as a final pushover of the middle-aged executive to entrepreneurship. They are serious-minded and tend to their business with care and research has shown that these entrepreneurs survive the rough and tumble of entrepreneurship better.
Old-age entrepreneurship. Motivation: Leisure
After hitting fifty, and having achieved stability in life and profession, some people profess love for doing something that would engage them in their leisure. Although very few take risky steps, some dare to start on their own at this age. Some women find their time after fulfilling all their duties in the family. Men do it for social good or something that gives them intense satisfaction. Spending leisure usefully could motivate a sixty-year-old to start a business.
Solo freelance entrepreneurship. Motivation: Freedom
The solo guys with a bit of rebel inside them, unable to work with fulfilment anywhere, choose their own path with its attendant risk and instability. With this decision comes copious amount of freedom to indulge in what one wants. But being solo is not easy and with it comes isolation from ‘water cooler’ chats, social network at workplace and also those off-sites fun. But still these are the adamant lot, a bit crazy and cranky and do enormously well otherwise.
Nowhere do you see that motivation to become an entrepreneur is money. It is of course a hygiene factor that keeps you motivated but never the prime reason, but a driving force to stay on.
So tell us what was your motivation -- thrill, adventure, fulfilment, achievement, freedom, creating something -- to become an entrepreneur? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
—Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist