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What is an Entrepreneur to You?1686

jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
Working on an article inspired from a talk with a friend -

On Thursday a group of vets and I are going to discuss how to teach students to be entrepreneurs.

George brought up an interesting point. There's a lot of folks who do things like network marketing and call themselves entrepreneurs.

Here on the forum there are bloggers who consider themselves an entrepreneur as well.

While being self-employed is "entrepreneurial," I'd argue that you're only really an entrepreneur, if you're building a business you can sell.

I teach a course about this, because I saw too often hard-working, good people pouring their hearts and souls into something that ultimately wasn't going to benefit them as much as what they put into it.

Sure, they made money along the way. But that's not a business - if you stop working, and what you call a business stops making money, that's a job.

This might be controversial for some folks. But I thought I'd share this, and look forward to your thoughts & ideas.

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Post 1 • IP   flag post
Belew private msg quote post Address this user
An entrepreneur is somebody who can turn an idea into something that makes money.
Post 2 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew - here's the problem with that..

While a friend of mine is making money through this idea of teaching others to make money, ultimately he is building someone else's business (network marketing model.)

In the end he is building an asset that is worthless to him. He will not be able to sell it, pass it on to his kids or "partners"
Post 3 • IP   flag post
Belew private msg quote post Address this user
But he is an entrepreneur. Maybe not a good one. But he is trying to turn smth into a money making proposition.
Post 4 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
He is being entrepreneurial - but an entrepreneur builds businesses.

At the end of the day, he is building Nerium's business.

Again, he will not be able to sell the business or do anything except to leave.
Post 5 • IP   flag post
Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

By definition an entrepreneur is someone who starts and builds a business of their own. While making money is generally a desired outcome, you don't actually have to make money to qualify as an entrepreneur. Many (perhaps most) entrepreneurs actually lose money for their efforts.

A person who works for someone else's business, but in an "entrepreneurial" capacity, is often referred to as an "intrapreneur".

These days, entrepreneurs who continue to work on their own, not hiring staff, are often called "solopreneurs".

Many solopreneurs are somewhat less than formal in building their businesses. The most often work from home and are more about their idea or passion than the formal or legal structure of their business.

Some solopreneurs, ie: writers, artists, instructors, coaches, crafters, etc., don't think of themselves as running a business at all when, in fact, they are.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Parents who want their kids to make a lot of money so they (the parents) don't have to work ... yet watch every movement their kids make are called helopreneurs.
Post 7 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev - writer, artists and other.. many fall into this category of "accidental entrepreneurs" like my friend & mentor, Dave -

The danger is what Dave ended up facing himself - when he decided that he wanted to sell his business to help out his family, who was starting a new venture, Dave had a hard time because it was a mix of job (parts he couldn't sell) / business (parts desirable to buyer).
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Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

A little like building your business on facebook instead of your own website. Tough when it comes time to sell.
Post 9 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
There's nothing wrong with using assets like Facebook or other social media.

The danger comes from, as you point out, what we've talked about here - you don't really own it, and the other Golden Rule - "the one who has the gold rules.."

In the case of Facebook or before that Google, we've already seen what happens when they 1) change the rules - going to "pay to play" 2) change the price - and all your margins were based on their pricing
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Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

Exactly. And, as long as your foundation is built upon your own domain name and self-hosted website, you can play freely where ever the current crowd hangs out and, when (not if!) the deal changes you can drop back ten yards and punt. You website is your defense. It's all about having the right online presence structure that adjusts readily to the inevitable change.
Post 11 • IP   flag post
Jonnner private msg quote post Address this user
Hi @jycmba

Whenever people start making money at something; some marketers always start using the term loosely.

I think it is great that you are teaching your course.

There are some who launch startups to create a business that they do not plan to sell. Their financial exit will be a dividend stream. I perceive them as entrepreneurs.

As someone who has spent a lot of years around startups and then 12 years full time in Silicon Valley and some around London and more part time around Silicon Valley ... I agree with @Rev and what he said in Post 6 above. What @Rev calls solopreneurs build what some call Lifestyle businesses.

But is the exact definition of entrepreneur really that important? There are a lot of things with blurry edges.
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jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Jonnner - absolutely!

Can these folks sell? Sure.

Will they? Not necessarily, of course, as you point out.

But that's not the same thing as those want to sell their businesses but can't.

In the end it's about recognizing that there's a difference between building a business that you can sell vs. building a job that no one's going to want.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

Are coaches entrepreneurs?
Post 14 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew - again, to me the basic question remains "are they building businesses?"

Many are just freelancers - people say that just because you don't work for a company, that you're an entrepreneur.

If that were true, then anyone who's unemployed can call themselves an "entrepreneur" - which some do, and this is part of why the word has become code, or a joke for people out of work!
Post 15 • IP   flag post
Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

In our area I have never noticed ppl using the word entrepreneur as code in that way.

Interesting.
Post 16 • IP   flag post
jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew - lol, Silicon Valley is the exception, not the rule.. they often confuse themselves as part of the 99%.
Post 17 • IP   flag post
Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

Up here being an employee is the exception.
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