Autonomy means being in control of one’s own destiny and defines a person’s or a group’s ability to decide over her/his/their own decisions and actions. It is about to what extent one is able to think, feel and act independently. It can be seen as a healthy amount of self-respect and self-confidence in combination with other resources and financial independence. Autonomy is a crucial motivating factor for those families founding and maintaining ownership of their own business. It conceptualizes a main drive behind how founders seek to start ventures and how families maintain and grow their own business (e.g. Sharma, Chrisman and Chua, 1997). It is important to bear in mind that there are degrees of autonomy, not any ideal states, as our discussion will show later. Autonomy is often defined as the capacity to act with some degree of freedom from others and not be forced into a choice. When autonomously motivated individuals perform the actions they find genuinely interesting and/or important (Schröder and Schmitt-Rodermund, 2013). The source of the action is then intrinsic to the individual as a person and is a drive linked to cause and issue in the context. This is different from acts motivated or controlled by someone else in order to avoid feelings of guilt or shame. Then an external expectation is made into an introjected internal demand.