STUDY: Majority of Americans want to quit their job to follow this dream

Commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition and conducted by OnePoll, a recent study explored what drives aspiring entrepreneurs. (Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)

Two in five Americans dream about the day they can tell their boss they quit, according to new research.

But it’s not necessarily because they hate their job — instead, it’s because 67 percent have dreams of being an entrepreneur.

And people really do feel their ideas can change the world — results show that, of those who aspire to open a business, 68 percent believe their idea would be revolutionary for the industry.

The international survey of 23,500 respondents — spanning 24 countries and including 2,000 Americans — looked at the entrepreneurship dreams of people around the globe, as well as their motivations and the challenges they face.

Across the globe, the top reason to start a business was found to be following a passion (64 percent).

For Americans, this was followed by becoming their own boss (59 percent), supporting their family (51 percent) and wanting to solve a problem/improve the world (36 percent).

Commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition and conducted by OnePoll, the survey found that 52 percent of aspiring American entrepreneurs have already taken steps to open their business.

But that doesn’t mean there’s an easy road in front of them: With all the barriers business owners face, 81 percent of Americans interested in starting a business feel overwhelmed by the prospect.

And three-quarters (76 percent) feel they may never have the opportunity to follow their dream, compared to 69 percent globally.

Interestingly enough, two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans believe women face different challenges than men when it comes to opening a business, including “defying social expectations, dealing with limited access to funding and struggling to be taken seriously.”

The biggest barrier to entrepreneurship across the globe was found to be the initial cost of opening a business (65 percent).

To finance the initial costs, Americans say they would use their own money (67 percent), followed by investors (36 percent) and money from family (34 percent).

Other barriers to opening a business include fears of profitability (38 percent) and a lack of financing/marketing knowledge support (38 percent).

And three in 10 aspiring American entrepreneurs were unsure of which steps to take in order to start.

“Starting a business from the ground up can be daunting, but the opportunity to pursue your own passion can be a liberating and exciting experience,” said John DeSimone, co-president and Chief Strategic Officer, Herbalife Nutrition.

Even with those difficulties, six in 10 Americans believe it’s easier to start a business in the U.S. than in other countries.

Fifty-two percent of entrepreneur-hopefuls to have taken steps to open their business — and men were 19 percent more likely to answer yes than women.

Of those who currently have a business, 41 percent took the leap and started it after having a dream, while others listened to their gut (37 percent) or encouragement from family (37 percent).

From the initial idea to actually starting the business, it took respondents an average of three years.

The top benefits for Americans were found to be the ability to be their own boss (66 percent), flexibility in their work/life schedule (58 percent) and ability to pursue their passion (54 percent).

This was followed by the potential to grow their income (51 percent) and increased job satisfaction (45 percent).

  • Ability to be my own boss 66 percent
  • Flexibility in my work/life schedule 58 percent
  • Ability to pursue my passion 54 percent
  • Potential to grow my income 51 percent
  • Increased job satisfaction 45 percent
  • The initial cost to open a business 64 percent
  • Worried it wouldn’t be profitable 38 percent
  • Lack of financing/market knowledge support 38 percent
  • Worried it wouldn’t be successful 36 percent
  • Unsure what steps to take in order to start 29 percent
  • A dream 41 percent
  • Listened to my gut/intuition 37 percent
  • Encouraging family 37 percent
  • Encouraging friends 31 percent
  • Income changes (loss or gain) 29 percent

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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