Study: Independence Is the Primary Driver for Would-Be Entrepreneurs

August 11, 2017

9:20 am

Entrepreneurship can seem pretty glamorous from the outside. Between geniuses like Elon Musk changing the world and the prospect of becoming a unicorn company, starting a small business can seem like a no-brainer if you don’t think about it too hard. However, there is one thing driving would-be entrepreneurs to consider the startup life more than anything else: independence.

According to a study from Paychex, which surveyed more than 1,000 would-be entrepreneurs about their hopes and fears about starting a business, found that 68.3 percent of respondents listed the desire to work for themselves as the primary reason for pursuing the notably risky career path. But, for these hungry business enthusiasts, the risk appears to be worth the reward.

“The opportunity to present your personal vision day in and day out can be one of the biggest advantages of owning a small business,” wrote the authors of the study.

While there were other reasons that these would-be entrepreneurs wanted to start a business, like having a great idea (9.5 percent), wanting to leave a mark on the world (10 percent), and hoping to make a lot of money (11.3 percent), independence was the clear winner when it came to making this decision.

Admittedly, there is more than enough evidence to support this kind of mentality. In addition to this study, other data has shown that flexible schedules and adequate work-life balance have become more important to potential employees than a higher salary. This shift to a more reasonable working environment could be in part to increased stress in the workplace, or just the simple fact that people hate missing out on a beautiful day because they have to hang out at the office.

Either way, this study reflects part of a larger trend in the business world: work-life balance and independence are valuable assets across the board. So whether you’re an entry-level content developer or a would-be entrepreneur drawing up a business plan, remember that a little independence can go a long way.

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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