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Motivation of entrepreneurs; how to say no to ‘no-tivation’

From No-tivation to motivation

In this 4 minute blog, you learn about the importance of motivation for an entrepreneur or edupreneur and how to increase it as a business coach.

Table of contents

In this 4 minute blog, you learn why entrepreneur’s motivation is vital and how to increase it as a business coach.

One of the most, no, the most critical factor in entrepreneurship is motivation. We know owners have a passion for what they do, but in this blog, we’re talking about the desire for doing business. How eagerly do business owners want to run a business of their own? Why do owner-managers want that so badly? For whom do they do all that effort and hard work without any guarantee or guaranteed income? Or are owners doing it mainly for their salary and pension?

Even when entrepreneurial success is not forthcoming, and many setbacks keep coming, what motivates an entrepreneurto keep on going? Wherefrom does he get his unlimited motivation? No matter what circumstances? Here you can read how you can discuss and increase the motivation of business owners.


As a small business coach, you must have experienced this situation, too. Your client is getting tired of hearing all these questions when you try to pinpoint their motivation for getting into self-employment? As if you would not be satisfied with their answers that your coaching clients probably are trying effortlessly to grasp. As if there is an ever deeper layer where the answer should be. They can’t answer what their motive is, so do they have no motivation at all? No-tivation?

I agree, it can appear that way, especially when business owners have no clue yet to your pressing questions on their enterprising motivation. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have a motive at all. There is no such thing as no motivation. Many people don’t have this clearly stated for themselves or written down a deeply desired mission statement. They find it hard to put their motivation into words. Admittedly, it ain’t easy and takes time to formulate.

Not for a business coach, that’s his passion for running a coaching practice.

Why knowing the motivation of entrepreneurs is important

If people are running their own business or are setting up an entrepreneurial activity, they’d better have an answer to their why. Every successful entrepreneur has experienced difficult times on their road to economic growth. It’s part of doing business. Every small business owner will face setbacks, and that’s when their answer to why they run a company can make or break them. If they haven’t thought about it, finding that answer has to be their top priority!

So, what is the very reason business leaders are risking all of their efforts and time, if not money? How often have I asked myself: why am I actually doing this? Then it always takes a while, but I still feel this answer coming up quite strongly: to develop entrepreneurship worldwide. That remains the reason, and my mission statement or end goal, why I am in business for more than 25 years now.

Motivation definition

If all goes well, as a small business owner, you feel that your motivation comes from within. Something with which you feel emotionally connected. Of course, you love what you do. However, here I refer to your intrinsic motivation to work your ass off for your business. What’s your passion for putting your entrepreneurial mindset to work? What is your internal entrepreneurial motivation? However, if you don’t feel anything coming from within, then it had to be external.

An external motivation for running a business of your own, for example, is when you want to get rich, or you can’t get a job, or you think it is effortless to start a business. Those are external motivations. If you have no inner drive to run a business, the chances are enormous that you will stop close your company way sooner, because of a first setback After all, when things get tough, the external motivations that drove you to do something, quickly fade.

Besides the internal and external sides of motivation, motivation also consists of a hierarchy of 5 needs developed by Maslow. A good explanation and practical tips, you can find in Maslow and motivation.

What to do, when things go badly, and your motivation is slipping away

If something goes wrong, you are more inclined to quit than ever before. At least you could say you tried. However, you never know whether you stopped too early. If you know the reason why you went into business, it is much more likely you will continue. That burning fire inside you that helps you pick up the ax once more. You even may find your real answer to the ‘why’ of it all. Your inner and intrinsic motivation, which gives you more energy than you had before.

You see this happening to more people. When things are going very badly, it helps, strangely enough, to find your real power that allows you to continue.

Motivational factors

Can you learn motivation? No, you cannot learn it!

However, you can enlarge it. Let me give you an example of how a high school increased the positive attitude of entrepreneurship students. EuroCollege is a private school in the Netherlands and Curaçao, which has an accredited entrepreneurship education program.

They have clear rules, norms, and values from the first moment you step in there. A deal is a deal, and failure is not an option! They forcefully teach these rules, and I don’t mean that in a negative way but in a different way.

To ensure that students learn to adopt a positive attitude of tackling down problems and setbacks, and not giving up, they teach in a different way. They inspire by having a successful entrepreneur or successful person standing in front of the class. That keeps the students quite during course because they get lots of inspiration from people who have a positive mindset that lived the entrepreneur lifestyle, talking honestly about handling their own motivation.

Conscious and unconscious, these practical teachers appeal to their internal motivation. Because otherwise, as a student, you can’t keep up in class. Through this approach, they learn to fight for what they find essential; complete their education. Successfully, their success rate is 80%, and that is high.

One of my favorite motivational quotes is:

Entrepreneurship means getting up more often than you fall.

What can you learn from a business coach?

How can you find your entrepreneurial motivation? That’s tough. A business coach, however, can help you find an answer to your motivation and translate it into goal setting by asking questions you never think of. Furthermore, you have to get inspired by what other people say. In the E-Platform of the E-Scan, there are many examples of internal and external motivations of other business owners.

Also, the E-Scan reveals their internal motivation for entrepreneurship. Whatever the answer, if it feels right for the entrepreneurs – something that really touches them – they have found their internal urge.

Want to know where your inner motivation comes from, get your free E-Scan now. Are you an entrepreneur coach and want to find out how to pinpoint the motivation of your coaching clients, take a test drive of the E-Scan

Motivation is one of the four elements of the Entrepreneur Competence Model. So, even though motivation is crucial, you might want to read what the difference between skills, abilities, knowledge, and competencies is.

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