Pseudopreneurs: The Art of Selling Your Bullshit

Everyone who knows me, will know that I am a compulsive whinger. I’m considerably critical of issues that I see on a day-to-day basis, particularly in regards to society. One thing I’ve been observant and critical of recently is the Sydney entrepreneur community, or as I like to call them, “pseudopreneurs”. Granted that it’s not fair to generalise about an entire community, and I’m absolutely not suggesting that there aren’t any genuinely successful and worthy entrepreneurs, but the rise of unlikely “unicorn” startups over the past decade has resulted in the glorification of self-accredited entrepreneurs.

Pseudopreneurs are a special subgroup of this community. They are the people who have experienced a single successful event within their career which was then inflated tenfold and perpetuated by the media. They capitalise on their boosted popularity by amassing a huge following of aspiring entrepreneurs who are HIGHLY impressionable, and sell to them. Naturally, when you’re that easily influenced, you’ll soak it all up. Every. Damn. Bit of it.

This is what bothers me most.

I posed a question to a very prominent Sydney based entrepreneur recently who happens to be writing a book; the title of which is so strategically broad that it may as well be called “How to create a universe” (you want to buy it, don’t you?). I asked him if he truly deemed himself qualified to write a book on such a broad topic, much of which he didn’t have any experience with. Once he got past the horror of receiving his first ever Facebook comment that wasn’t mindless praise, and after he thanked his lynch mob of supporters who had jumped in to defend him, he proceeded to calmly describe how being qualified wasn’t a prerequisite for his endeavour. He also referenced (as he does regularly) Einstein, as though that’s an easily comparable option. I guess it’s not really surprising to know that there are people who successfully inspire others by leading them to believe anything and everything is possible. There isn’t a single limitation in the world.

In my humble opinion (and I’ll happily admit that I’m NOT qualified to make a diagnosis), I believe that this behaviour stems from a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The traits are all there, and they can be observed in their self-infatuated behaviour. Their relentless pursuit of demonstrating how incredibly amazing and important they think they are. I have created a simple guide to determine if someone you know is a narcissistic, self-accredited pseudopreneur. They only need to satisfy 2 or more of these characteristics:

  1. They’ve allocated themselves the job title of “CEO” in their two-man startup.
  2. Their social media activity is COMPLETELY self-promotional. They tend not to engage in casual discussion unless it’s to push an agenda, and thrive entirely on the likes and comments of their fans.
  3. Everything they share is heavily contrived, and usually involves selfies with high profile personalities, or other publicity items.
  4. They’ll spread themselves across as many media platforms as they can — web, video, social, blog, seminar, you name it!

Look out for one near you!


Originally published at mattmarchetta.com on September 21, 2015.