A true entrepreneur does what he or she loves, therefore, to them, it is not even like work. Days blend into evenings, weekdays blend into weekends; there is little to no distinction between work and play. No such thing as time off! So, as time passes by and health permitting, why would that person ever want to stop doing what they love?
The answer is - they don't! Rather than feeling forced to stay in role, they actually want to stay. They may also enjoy the excitement, the financial return and other aspects of running their business as well. It's this 'buzz' that keeps them getting up day after day.
Another factor that keeps us going is that most of us want to make our mark on the world, something that will go on even after our career has ended, and maybe, even after we are no longer around. We have an innate need to leave a legacy for the next generation. Nobody likes to think that they didn't produce anything important during their lifetime, that their life didn't matter!
We see many people starting their businesses in their 40's, 50's and even 60's, and these folks may feel like they have not had enough time to do and achieve what they want and prove what they can do.
My own father spent many years wishing that he had followed his dream of writing screenplays. When he retired at the age of 65, he immediately got back in touch with his dream and spent the next twenty years writing. During that time, he produced five full-length, well-researched screenplays, as well as some musical presentations which he produced and directed in his town. However, the one elusive goal he pursued relentlessly was that of a major studio producing his screenplays, or even seeing them on television.
My dad had some great stories and messages to share with the world and he wanted them to be shared as widely as possible. What he may not have realised in his lifetime was that he was already widely successful simply having written those plays. His legacy lives on whether the screenplays are made into films or not.
We also need to consider another very important factor. It doesn't matter how much you want to do what you do, without customers wanting to work with you, there wouldn't be a business at all! The difficult economic climate has meant companies have become more risk-averse and cautious about decision-making and expenses. This leads to more people choosing to work with the 'safe bet', the top leader - the proven solution. That top leader is usually a thought leader as well, showing agility and innovation and keeping ahead of the pack, especially in stressful times.
My businesses are my babies and I could no more leave them than I could abandon a real baby on the church steps! However, I have had to accept that I do need to hand over some responsibility to others in order to allow me to do what I do best. It can be one of the most painful decisions an entrepreneur has to make, but in my opinion, an essential one to driving your business forward and enabling you to remain focussed, healthy and actively involved in your business for as long as you want to be!