What is the difference between these things:
An entrepreneurial person, a wantrepreneur, and an employee? Is being an entrepreneur a black and white, either you are or you aren’t thing? Is success the only measure? Is a million dollars in the bank the deciding factor? Is hustle without achievement just futility? Can you not be an entrepreneur if you get a paycheck?
I describe myself as an entrepreneur but a lot of times I feel like an impostor, a nontrepreneur. I’m certainly no Elon Musk but is that level of success realistic? Is that even my goal?
When I was 18 I started a video production company producing videos for local environmental groups and government advisory boards. I even made a video featuring Martin Sheen. Later I started my own catalog selling documentary videos. Do these things make me an entrepreneur?
At the age of 30 I bought a triplex and rented apartments at the Jersey Shore. Is that what entrepreneurs do? I later added to my real estate holdings with a rental property in California. Did that make me legit?
Many years later I opened a massage and facial spa, had 30 employees and nearly a million dollars in revenue. I was even featured on the front page of our local newspaper. But it was a franchise. Does that count as being an entrepreneur?
We all doubt ourselves and sometimes feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to the rock stars of the business world but the truth is there is very little difference between a wantrapreneur, an entrepreneurial person, and an employee. They are all entrepreneurs who just haven’t found the spark to light the fire. The potential for success is there as long as they keep looking (if they’re looking).
If persistence isn’t your strong point then success will be difficult if not impossible to find but if you keep going no matter what, then you’re an entrepreneur regardless of your level of success.
It’s like a professional athlete. We all have the potential to be a great tennis player or baseball player or football player, it’s the effort and dedication that makes the real difference. Luck helps too. The kid who wants to be a tennis player might have excelled at baseball but didn’t choose the right sport.
Did any of my businesses make me rich? No. Taken together did my various entrepreneurial pursuits allow me to live more comfortably than most? Yes.
So call me whatever you want and I’ll just keep climbing up that ladder of success.