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'Entrepreneur?' Ha!

(3 minute read.)

'It ain't me, babe.'

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I've tried (and continue to try) to become more comfortable with 'entrepreneur' to describe what I do. Because 'an entrepreneur is simply someone who starts a business' is fine - clear and unambiguous and with no negative connotation. There's nothing wrong with it.

But I do wish there were an alternative with which I'm more comfortable.

For me, ‘business person’ or ‘company director’ are simultaneously pretentious and dull and so they're not suitable either.

So, when asked 'what do you do?' I just reply with 'I do business stuff - strategy, marketing, etcetera.' (Then, if asked 'tell me more', I'll follow-on with something about how I build businesses for myself and also provide advice and support to others.)

And, if I wanted to push my point, I'd likely say something about how 'entrepreneur' has become in some way romanticised; hijacked by those who don't have the ideas, courage, or perseverance to do it. It involves risk.

Freelancer, consultant or somebody with a side hustle is not necessarily 'entrepreneur' - it's a mindset not for the faint-hearted, and few are really cut out for the responsibility and insecurity. The chance of failure.

Shaping and growing something from vision to fruition, then long-term viability, requires fortitude, discipline and skill. Lots of. And luck, too.

Contrary to what's often said, not anyone can do it.

And 'entrepreneur' is a work in process: a journey, not an endpoint.

Back to the use of the word… I can't remember ever meeting anyone who introduced themselves with 'Hi, I’m an entrepreneur.' I hope I never will. (There's so many better ways to sound human and credible.)

I only use it in that 'troubleshooter/entr*pr*n**r' written line - and always with the asterisks self-deprecatingly present and linking to this note.

Additionally, as I've aged I've become more aware and accepting of how I've often preferred (and still do) to 'play a supporting role' and assist (guide rather than lead) - whether through providing advice and support to others with their own endeavours, or as soon as is practicable bringing-in someone to anchor and helm projects of mine.

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