I Stopped Calling Myself an Entrepreneur and Why You Should Do the Same

I never earned the title of entrepreneur

Jason Weiland
Mar 29, 2019 · 5 min read

Do you add “entrepreneur” to all your social media profiles? When people ask what you do, do you tell them you are an entrepreneur? Are you really, truly an entrepreneur?

I wasn’t, but I told everyone I was.

I have always wanted my own business. I’ve dabbled over the years and even started a few, but I’ve never stuck with it long enough to be a success.

I did love telling people I had my own business. I loved adding “entrepreneur” to the end of my Facebook profile. I loved posting about how everything I was doing was so important and business-ey.

But should I have even been calling myself an entrepreneur?

This is how Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur:

“One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”

It seems simple, right? When you define it like that, there were a few times I could have been an entrepreneur. I’ve created four entities over the years. I organized them, managed them, and assumed all the risk of the businesses.

But is that all an entrepreneur is?

What is an Entrepreneur?

Juan Jose de la Torre, in his article, “Who Is An Entrepreneur?” defined an entrepreneur in three parts:

  1. An entrepreneur is a starter. As the standard definition, this is the part that most people get right. Everyone gets excited about planning and setting up the venture. If this was the only responsibility of an entrepreneur, anyone could be one.

In the businesses I created, I was great as a starter. I was like a thoroughbred who was quick out of the gate but faltered after the first turn. I could get the business off the ground. But when it came to driving the business or being accountable for the success of the company, I failed every time.

The reason so many fail at entrepreneurship is because they like the glamour of telling people they started a business. But, they don’t want to get inside the machine and sweat. They like the idea of posting pictures of themselves on social media with the hashtag, #entrepreneurlife. But, they don’t want to get their hands dirty with the things it takes to be successful.

When most see that it takes a lot of hard work, they falter and let the business die.

I did. I did it every single time.

Photo by Angel Santos on Unsplash

Case Study: BigHeadBoy Design

In late 2000, my friend and I scored a huge web design contract. We worked very well together, so we made it official and decided we would hang out our shingle as a partnership.

We thought it would be easy. That was our first mistake.

We set up the LLC and deposited our money in the bank. Neither one of us knew what the hell we were doing. We knew we had to meet the terms of the contract, so we worked to do that.

But, didn’t all entrepreneurs have these cool new cellphones? And, don’t we have to start promoting our business so we can get more clients? We needed marketing materials. We needed the best marketing materials.

We found many things to spend our money on and soon, most of it was gone. We were talking to new clients who were impressed with our fancy marketing brochures and website. But no one was driving the car. No one was making themselves accountable for the business.

Why should I be accountable for everything? I am already building websites and making sales calls. I was struggling to find time to do the things needed to keep the business afloat. My excuses were I had a full-time job and a pesky mental illness. I reveled in the excuses.

Neither of us asked for help, and before long the pressure of trying to keep all the balls in the air took its toll.

I left the business. My friend took on another partner and tried to continue, but no one was willing to be the driver. No one wanted to be accountable.

We failed.

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Are you taking responsibility for driving your business to success? Or do you just want to post hustle-porn on Instagram? Are you willing to hustle and eat shit, or do you want to look like you are?

If you are adding “entrepreneur” to all your social profiles, are you doing what it takes to be a success? Are you willing to be the starter, driver, and the one accountable for everything?

I do things a little different now. I still own an LLC, but I don’t call myself an entrepreneur. I am still in the starting phase. I took on the risk, but I haven’t decided the path I need to take to be successful. Yes, I am hustling to make something out of my business. I am figuring it out as I go. I am not trying to assume I know anything. I’m learning with each step I take.

One day, when I have a thriving business, I may tell people I am an entrepreneur. Until then I am eating a lot of shit. I am paying my dues and finding my path to success.

Do you still think you are an entrepreneur? If you are, I applaud you! You have taken the reins and are doing what it takes to drive your venture to success. You could teach some of us a thing or two about what being an entrepreneur is.

If you are like me and are finding your way, I have a few words for you:

There are a lot of us who are in the same place. Keep hustling. Keep eating shit every day. Keep paying your dues. Do whatever it takes to get where you want. Be a starter. Be a driver. Be the one responsible for everything.

Earn the entrepreneur title.

I am.

Do you want to get exclusive (content)? Sign up for my newsletter, Beautifully Broken, and let’s talk about what makes life worth living, or if you prefer to read about travel, you can check out my blog, The Frightened Traveler.

Jason Weiland

Written by

Life has only now started getting remarkable and wonderous. Writer | Blogger | Advocate | Traveler — frightenedtraveler.com. Email— jasonjamesweiland@gmail.com

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