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Why I Started My Own Business

Keiss Castles

Keiss Castles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was keynote speaker at “Invention to Venture,” a technology entrepreneurship event sponsored by the University of Portland. I enjoyed the group thoroughly, and it forced me to articulate some of what I gather are less obvious viewpoints on starting a business.

Somebody asked me to comment on what makes an entrepreneur, and with the question, presented the common picture of the entrepreneur driven by the vision. This reminded me that my case was different. I left a good job at Creative Strategies and started on my own not because of something I wanted to build, not because of creative vision, but rather because I thought I could make enough money to keep my family whole and do what I wanted.  I wanted interesting work, and I wanted to choose my work.  I wanted to actually do the writing and research, not supervise others. It was important to me that what I spend hours doing was something fun — I always found writing and planning and working numbers fun — even though I didn’t have the idea that would create the empire.  I was avoiding boredom, not building castles.

(Question: this was my first post on this blog, posted originally in 2006. I changed a couple of words and posted it again today because somebody asked me about it. I’m thinking about doing that with some others of my oldest posts. In the beginning nobody read this blog, and I like some of what I posted back then. Like this one. Is that a good idea? What do you think about it?) 


  • Mike Titgemeyer says:

    Definitely, I’ve followed your blog, since I stumbled onto your biz planning software about two years ago…a lot of us are newer to your posts, so gives us a chance to catch up with your good stuff (without sifting) AND hopefully help you to not recreate the wheel daily…Mike

    BTW – Went to a sailing industry seminar and caught John Spence the other day…he is more leadership / people management guy, but what energy and his research was amazing…he reads 100+ biz books a year (I still don’t how he does it, except I guess that is his job) – He is a smart guy and is often picking good nuggets from others, which you do very effectively as well. Thought you might enjoy checking out his stuff if you haven’t already! My favorite line – “I am not a motivational speaker, if you get motivated, that is your fault!” BTW – I have NO association with him, just enjoyed it a lot!

  • Christina McCalla says:

    I think you should re-post older blogs. Pieces like this are timeless!

  • Sajid Husain says:

    Very recently, I dumped my old blog(s) and started a new one afresh. I’m planning to write about entrepreneurship, technology and design; topics that I’m passionate about. I’m sure I’ll be referring (linking) to your blog for topics on entrepreneurship and business planning! 🙂


    (I had posted this comment but not sure it got submitted. Hence posting again.)

  • John Wren says:

    I like this old post a lot, thanks! What you express is very much in keeping with what the authors of the new book “Just Found” discovered in their research. Enough desire to go ahead and give it a try is absolutely necessary, wild passion is optional.

    As far as re-posting other old ones, why not?

  • Sajid Husain says:

    You should absolutely post some of your older posts. As you mentioned, back then the readership was less. Moreover, now the interest in entrepreneurship is also much more than what it was.


  • Jeroen says:

    Thanks for the honesty Tim! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one pursuing Entrepreneurship because I don’t want to do boring work 🙂


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