I met this interesting woman today. We got into the topic of what we did for a living I asked what her job was. She uttered with pride “I am an Entrepreneur.”
To me this answer was unfinished, as it did not answer my question of what she did for work. She however seemed to be so strongly identified with being an entrepreneur that she did not feel a need to explain herself further. She was “an entrepreneur”, to her that was self-explanatory, but to me it was not obvious what she meant by that. It got me thinking of some kind of definition, what is an entrepreneur?
The definition of an entrepreneur varies from person to person. Paula Fernandes expresses in her article in Business News Daily that “most people would agree that an entrepreneur is a person who has started his or her own business. But that basic definition barely scratches the surface.” (Source 1).
In her quest for a definition Fernandes has asked what an entrepreneur is to 15 company founders and business leaders. One answer by the CEO of Thrive15 was that “An entrepreneur is someone who seeks to profitably solve a problem that the world has, in exchange for enough monetary compensation to achieve their dreams.” (Source 1).
Another response from the co-founder and CEO of Seventeen is that an entrepreneur is someone with “the mind-set that allows you to see opportunity everywhere.” (Source 1).
A more extreme definition is that “entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, in that being an entrepreneur is ingrained in one’s identity. [It] is the culmination of a certain set of characteristics: determination, creativity, the capacity to risk, leadership and enthusiasm.” (Source 1).
Ken Krogue also tries to answer what an entrepreneur is in his article at Forbes Magazine (Source 2). Krogue writes that an entrepreneur is a both a leader and a manager, a statesman and a politician, and is someone who constantly strives for not only understanding things but also actually going to the source in order to learn them.
In an article in The Economist the definition of an entrepreneur is said to be split into two different distinctive views “The first is the popular view: that entrepreneurs are people who run their own companies, the self-employed or small-business people. The second is Joseph Schumpeter’s view that entrepreneurs are innovators: people who come up with ideas and embody those ideas in high-growth companies.” (Source 3)
Furthermore, in an article in Inc., the founder of The Marketing Donut has the following definition “An entrepreneur is someone who, rather than working 8 hours a day for someone else, would prefer to work 18 hours a day for [him or herself].” (Source 4).
Is an entrepreneur; someone who works more than most people, is it a business version of a Renaissance man, or someone who simply runs a business? Well, that all depends on your definition of an entrepreneur.
What is an entrepreneur to you?