Happy Valentines DayIn honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to dedicate today’s blog post to the concept of love – not the usual “romantic love” that is celebrated on Valentine’s Day, but to the different kind of love that entrepreneurs feel for their businesses, their customers and their lives.

Starting a business is ultimately about love. If there’s something you love to do, some product you’re passionate about, some market or customer base that you know how to solve a problem for (and you love doing it), then this powerful feeling of love can be the foundation for a new business.

Here are five things that entrepreneurs LOVE MOST about starting (and running) a business:

  • Personal fulfillment: Running a business is absolutely the most fulfilling pursuit that most entrepreneurs have ever discovered. It’s so much different from having a job, where you go in every day and do your work, but you don’t necessarily have the same sense of ownership. When you run your own business, you’re in charge of creating every day for yourself. You chart your own course. You make the decisions that affect your future, every single day. You get the feeling of satisfaction that comes from building something from the ground up, and taking it to new heights of success.
  • Freedom: As an entrepreneur, you have a new level of freedom. No more cubicles, no more watching the clock, no more asking permission from your boss to take a vacation or go out to lunch. Every day is truly your own. Your life belongs to you like never before. You can spend your time in whatever way works best for you, every single day.
  • Constant learning: Too often with jobs, people tend to get pigeon-holed and fall into a rut, and before they know it, they’ve spent years learning skills that are only applicable to that one specific role within the company. As an entrepreneur, you get to be a jack-of-all-trades. You get to learn a little about a lot. You get to feel the rush of constantly learning new things, gaining new skills and gaining an appreciation for different facets of the business world and everyday life.
  • Making money: Money is important, but most entrepreneurs aren’t “in it for the money.” Of course, you want to make a good living, and some entrepreneurs want to start companies that will grow fast, increase in value, and then be able to cash out their ownership for a big payday. But for the most part, most small business owners are interested more in the lifestyle benefits and the personal fulfillment that goes with being a business owner. Even if they won the lottery tomorrow, most business owners would keep doing what they do, in some capacity. That’s because running a business is an act of love, powered by passion. Money is important, but it’s not the #1 reason why most business owners do what they do.
  • Security and independence: Many people are reluctant to start a business because they’re afraid it’s too risky. But the truth is that starting a business can often be less risky than a traditional career path at a big company. Instead of worrying about getting laid off, or worrying about your company going bankrupt, or worrying about losing your job at age 50 and not being able to find a new one, running a business gives you the ability to develop valuable skills and build equity in your own company over time. You can create a legacy for the future just by running your own business and helping it grow, perhaps eventually passing it down to your children or cashing out by selling your business and retiring when the time is right. Even as an entrepreneur you can still create your own sense of security.

So this Valentine’s Day, remember that love is not just for romance – it’s also a matter of loving what you do. If you’re thinking of starting a business, follow your passion, follow your heart, and make room for some special new love in your life!