I often have thought of myself as an entrepreneur with what I do with my web design business, Liquid Mechanix Studio. But after a conversation with Linda on a project we are working on for Changing Lanes, I realized I’m not an entrepreneur. We were trying to break down and analyze different types of entrepreneurs which caused a flood of thoughts.
First, entrepreneur by definition is this: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. But that really isn’t what being an entrepreneur means any more. I think of an entrepreneur as someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise that will change how we do business. Some one who creates a fresh idea or puts a twist on a current idea. Someone who is a game changer: A Bill Gates, a Larry Page, a Sergey Brin, a Robin Chase. But an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to create a multi million or billion dollar company. It just means you are building a business that will or can create an deep impact that causes change. It certainly doesn’t mean you will succeed either.
With that thought, I am not an entrepreneur. Maybe around 2005 when I wanted to change the world with my content management system but I ended up just being a business owner. I’m providing a product/service. I do some fantastic stuff but by no means is my business a game changer. I’m not redefining the internet or websites. That is what separates me and people like me from true entrepreneurs. Often my type of business is called a lifestyle business.
We do share a lot of similarities. Our lives are our business/idea. We want as many people to use and love our business/idea. We want it to grow and prosper. My business is also unique but so is every other web design business out there. But what does that make me? It makes me a life style business owner. It isn’t a bad thing either. In fact it is people like me that help the business world run. Does it mean a lifestyle business owner can never be an entrepreneur? No. The awesome thing is any of us can transition into being an entrepreneur by creating a game changer.
The last entrepreneurial type is the unhappy employee. These people usually want to quit their job and start their own business because “they can do it better”. In reality they are just unhappy with their job or management. I’m not saying these people aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs or lifestyle business owners. They are just unhappy in their current situation and would more than likely become happy by moving to a different position, company or job. I wouldn’t say they aren’t cut out for the business world but rather the fact that they might not understand what it really takes to run a business. Work just isn’t handed to them any more they have to wear all the hats in a business, sales, accounting, marketing, production, etc.
This conversation with Linda was an interesting exercise and eye opener. In the end an entrepreneur and lifestyle business owner are like a seesaw, one moment you could be changing the world as an entrepreneur but then the next moment you are back to being a business owner. Just some food for through. I would love to hear what you think about all of this. Leave a comment below.