2 min read

You’re Going to Need a “Reasons” List

You’re Going to Need a “Reasons” List
Photo by Christa Dodoo / Unsplash

“You’re going to need to make a long list of reasons that you’re doing this”, said an entrepreneur pal of mine when he heard about my intentions to go solo. He continued, saying: “And, not just one or two reasons. You will need a LOT of reasons to get you through the low points”. 

This notion is somewhat a combination of the old “what do you really want in life” and “motivational buoyancy”, but it’s neither specifically.

As time goes on, we typically forget the bad “feelings” associated with certain memories and retain the good feelings. This is called a “fading affect bias” and it’s particularly true with jobs or identities that we’ve left behind. We might fondly think back on that last job we had, thinking it was so easy, so safe, so secure compared to what we are doing now.

Starting any business is incredibly difficult and I’ve had frequent bouts of “what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-itis” during this journey. It’s so hard to do this at times that I’m honestly blown away by anyone who has built a business with any degree of success. 

During these low points I’ve often had to reset my intentions and motivation by going through “the Reasons List”.

I’m not going to share my list, but here are some “general and totally random, unrelated” suggestions to at least prime the pump for your list:

  • Unlimited earning potential aka no glass ceiling
  • Employing or providing for various family members
  • Providing a better life or experiences for your family (than your current path could potentially)
  • No corporate politics
  • No asshole policy
  • No board meetings (at least initially)
  • No problem employees/supervisory issues (at least initially)
  • No sacred cows to tip-toe around
  • Potentially more favorable tax rates
  • Being able to choose your work
  • Setting an example for your kids by doing something so difficult
  • More flexible schedule (potentially)
  • Getting paid for results vs. time-in-seat or “green dot on”
  • Unlimited personal learning/growth/development

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, make your list and revise/revisit it frequently. You’re going to need it!