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Money is not one of the top three reasons entrepreneurs start their business

Second Annual State of the Business Owner Report reveals that the top 3 factors that motivate entrepreneurs to start their business are:

  • freedom
  • passion
  • independence

For today’s entrepreneurs, starting a business is not all about the money. According to the 2013 State Of The Business Owner (SOBO) Report, announced today by business coaching leader EMyth, the top three reasons today’s entrepreneurs start their business are: freedom to pursue new opportunities; following their personal passion; and, to gain independence from other’s control. Money, in fact, ranks fourth. EMyth commissioned the State Of The Business Owner project, now in its second year, and surveyed more than 1,700 business owners to gain insights into the real challenges that small and midsize businesses face on a daily basis.

“My business was broken and I didn’t even notice until it was almost too late,” shared Shawn Busse, CEO of marketing firm Kinesis based in Portland, Oregon and 2013 SOBO survey participant. Busse personifies one of the top SOBO survey findings highlighting that it’s dangerous to make revenue the primary focus when trying to grow a business. In early 2010, Kinesis, like most small businesses, was hit hard by the recession and hurting financially after taking on too many project-based clients with the hope of boosting revenue. “I realized I would never get control by just focusing on revenue. I needed a more sustainable business model to weather the economic ups and downs.” By early 2011, Busse had turned his company around by transitioning to a new retainer-based revenue model and solidifying his company’s core values.

Helping businesses find and make these types of strategic business changes is at the heart of EMyth’s coaching program. A leader in transformational business coaching for more than 35 years, EMyth’s ‘people first, systems second’ approach helps owners create a strong company culture to support their strategic objectives. The EMyth program takes a balanced approach to employee and systems development to stabilize operations and allow businesses to scale while ensuring a great customer experience.

“We know that running a small business is tough and time is ticking,” said Jonathan Raymond, CEO of EMyth. “Owners need answers they can trust, with clear guidance on what to do next based on their unique situation. That’s what we do best.”

The 2013 SOBO Report certainly points to entrepreneurs needing more guidance and insight. Another burgeoning entrepreneurial trend identified, entitled the “overconfident entrepreneur,” finds that 85 percent of business owners believe they have a competitive advantage, and 50 percent believe that their employee’s productivity is better than their competitors. While passion and commitment are essential traits for a successful entrepreneur, EMyth counsels its clients to keep overconfidence in check.

“You simply can’t argue with statistics,” continued Raymond. “Only 50% of new businesses survive the first five years and only a third will last ten years according to the Small Business Administration [1]. But these same small businesses are essential to our economy, as they create more than 60 percent of new jobs on average in the U.S.[2] EMyth focuses on coaching entrepreneurs to create balance between their professional passions and their bottom line goals.”

The 2013 SOBO Report also reveals insights into the importance of values to business owners’ hiring decisions. The Report found that 85 percent of business owners have written company values and 70 percent of them say alignment with those values is a major factor in their hiring decisions. However, owners are struggling to have their employees use those core values in daily decision making - only 44 percent of respondents felt their employees did this to their satisfaction. EMyth recognizes that this is the value of great business coaching - to get everyone from the owner to the employee to the customer personally invested in the company’s success.

More information and insights from the 2013 State Of The Business Owner Report are available at, on EMyth’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and on Twitter at #sobo2013 and #emyth.

Survey Methodology

Designed by PixelSpoke, more than 1,700 business owners worldwide responded to a 60 question online survey in early 2013. The 2012 SOBO research won a Best Paper award at the prestigious USASBE (United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship) conference in San Francisco in January 2013 and was published in Entrepreneurial Practice Review in the Winter 2013 issue.

Twitter Chat On May 16, 1 p.m. PST

EMyth CEO Jonathan Raymond and PixelSpoke CEO Cameron Madill will host a chat on Twitter at #sobo2013 and #emyth on Thursday, May 16 at 1 a.m. PST. Raymond and Madill will further discuss the survey findings and answer questions.

Upcoming Free Webinars

EMyth will host a series of free webinars for small and midsize business owners interested in learning more about the 2013 State Of The Business Owner Report and how those insights can help direct and improve their business. The first webinar, scheduled for Thursday, May 30 at 10 a.m. PST, will focus on key findings from the 2013 study. A webinar schedule is available at

Full Text of this Release


  1. “Frequently Asked Questions,” Small Business Administration Office Of Advocacy, September 2012,
  2. Small Jobs Act, Office of the Comptroller of the US Treasury, June 2011,
EMyth Team

Written by EMyth Team

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