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You’re Probably Not What I Consider a Genuine Entrepreneur

There are 3 Types of Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur – The dictionary would describe it as: “someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it “

The word entrepreneur used to be sacred to me. It was something I longed to be. A word with positive connotations, a synonym for great. An entrepreneur was a person I respected and admired. If you were to ask me five years ago what my definition for entrepreneur was, I would have told you:

“Someone who changes the world for the better with a business. “

After experience and growing up, I  was saddened to learn that my definition was no longer true. My days of adolescence and positive experiences led me to believe that anyone starting a business was trying to do something to better mankind. Over the past few years, I have heard the term “entrepreneur” thrown around to describe anyone with “business” – whether it was being used to describe someone who had built a scam or a respected brand.

I am sad to say that entrepreneur is no longer a term I will always attach positive thoughts with. In my opinion, there are three types of entrepreneur.

The three types are as follows:

The “I Love Money & Myself Entrepreneur” :

Up until a few years ago, my naivety never allowed me to realize that these types existed. After learning that there were people out there, starting businesses to deceive, I was appalled.  To me, the “I Love Money & Myself Entrepreneur” is someone who deceives their customers, stretches moral boundaries, and will stop at nothing to earn a quick dollar. This type doesn’t care about their customers or bettering the world in any way, shape, or form. When you talk to this type of “entrepreneur” about their business you don’t see a sparkle in their eye, or hear a tinge of excitement in their voice. After reading the “4 Hour Work Week” (a book many of my friends raved about) I would classify the author as one of these types. – He was not out to build a sustainable business. He was out to make a quick dollar to benefit himself. Tips like “cutting down chitchat on the phone” and “wearing headphones so no one will talk to you” lead me to believe he was not passionate about building a business or brand. Not listening to others and taking an dictatorship like approach to business might still be entrepreneurship, but in my mind is not respected. Truly caring about your business, employees, and customers means investing time and energy into your business. This entrepreneur doesn’t do this – he doesn’t love his business; if he did he wouldn’t want to shorten his workweek into four hours. Yes, the book had many good tips for productivity – but the author never once mentioned the sense of pride he had in his business. In fact, he rarely mentioned the name.

The “I love the idea of Entrepreneurship Entrepreneur” :

In my mind, I don’t classify these people as an entrepreneur, but by book definition they are. Someone who owns a franchise would fall into this category – a person who wants to own a business, but lacks an idea of their own.  A person who attends lots of entrepreneurship events (with an idea they will never start) also falls into this category. Whether they think entrepreneurship is trendy or cool, this person does not have a passion for business but just likes to talk about it. To answer the question “Are entrepreneurs born or made?” – I believe without a doubt they are born. I have never met anyone with an true love for business that didn’t have stories revealing their entrepreneurial mindset from a young age. In this category I would also include those who’s short term goal is to get acquired by another company. Building a world renowned business and brand known by all doesn’t motivate them – the money at the end of the ride does. In my opinion, I don’t believe an internet business with no business model to be considered entrepreneurship – the hopes of grasping millions of users only to sell your company is not entrepreneurship. I learned this lesson the hard way by being a part of a business whose main goal was to get acquired. If you have no business model you are not a business. Entrepreneurship to me, is the desire to build a sustainable business and brand that you are proud of – not to build something you want to be done with in a year.

The “Genuine Entrepreneur” :

A genuine entrepreneur wants to change the world for the better – whether it is with a product, by providing jobs, providing the world with a better service, or by solving a problem. This Genuine Entrepreneur loves money, but not solely for it’s monetary value. The thrill of the game of commerce motivates them. They love seeing the exchange of a good or service for money. More money for them isn’t an opportunity to go buy a new car, but a chance for them to grow their business. With a grown business, comes the ability to change things on a larger scale – this is their motivation. This type simply loves business, every aspect of it. Those I classify as genuine, can talk business for hours – with eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas. Entrepreneurship is their passion and this radiates through any conversation you have with them. They built a business to see it prosper and change the world.

With any endeavor I may choose to undertake in the future I will always strive to be a Genuine Entrepreneur.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the breakdown on your thoughts of what kinds of entrepreneurs there are and what holds the most value to you. Maybe in my elementary-level business education, I only think of entrepreneurs as people who want to do good for a a specific group of people, however large or small the group may be. Money is sucha love/hate relationship that I hope many people don’t use that as a driving force for being an entrepreneur. But whatever, maybe I’m blind. :PAlso, I was hoping to see some people called out, but maybe that’s just the curious side of me. 😉

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