What was your inspiration to start your business?

1024 576 David DeWolf

I recently received the following request:

I’m looking to share entrepreneurs’ and small business owners’
stories of how they were inspired to start their own
companies with my readers. Were you sick of your job? A hobby
that turned into a career? All stories welcomed! I will not use
every source, but would like to thank everyone in advance for
your submissions!! Sources I decide to use will be notified via
email within a day.

Here was my response:

Unfortunately, too many investors forget why their acquisition target was a valuable asset and quickly begin focusing exclusively on financial metrics in order to realize their ROI. Investors should expect ROI from their investments, but too often they destroy value while they try to capture it. In my situation, a focus on client satisfaction and employee culture quickly changed to an exclusive focus on financial metrics. After my employer was acquired and the culture quickly eroded due to this common mistake, I began to explore different options.

Having fostered the entrepreneurial bug for many years, I discussed the option with my brother-in-law over summer vacation. He shared a story about missing an opportunity to get into business for himself – a decision he still regrets. I started Three Pillar Global as an independent consultancy and have been fortunate to be able to build a team that is on track to achieve $25M in revenue and 500 team members in 5 cities spread over 4 continents by the end of 2011.

I started Three Pillar out of a desire to control my own destiny, deliver real value to the clients I served, and work with teammates that share the same values and passions that I do. As Three Pillar expanded we adopted three core values that crystalize this motivation – Integrity Above All Else, Long Term, Mutually Beneficial Relationships, and a Passionate Commitment to Results.

I never imagined it would become more than a consultancy, or a small business. Three Pillar has grown through both strong organic and inorganic growth. We work hard to remember the lessons that first spurred us to start the company.

In light of Three Pillar’s recent acquisition of PointAbout, this was a timely email. It’s always good to remember your roots.

How about you? When did you get the entrepreneurial bug? Why did you start your own company?