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What Makes Someone an Entrepreneur?

by My Journey to Millions

I have this buddy who is deep into the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) World who posts all the time about being an entrepreneur, and it has me wondering what actually makes someone an entrepreneur? The dictionary definition of entrepreneur is absolutely zero help in actually answering the question:

one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise

The pure dictionary definition really just raises more more questions than answers.

  • Is anyone who is commission based an entrepreneur?
  • Is it anyone that that is self employed?
  • What if the business is just a side hustle?
  • Are professionals (CPAs, Attorneys, Doctors, etc.) who go out on their own entrepreneurs?
  • What about someone running his or her money?

I don’t have a particular answer to the broader questions, but it feels like just because someone decided to sign up for a $100 a month juice subscription which now allows them the opportunity to recruit others to do the same shouldn’t have the moniker of “entrepreneur.”  I think this article from Entrepreneur Magazine says it best,

The problem is all the media hype. First, there’s the persistent entrepreneurial drumbeat, not to mention the common memes that corporations are evil and you won’t get ahead working for someone else. And the growing trend toward government safety nets among western countries certainly doesn’t hurt.

So instead of getting a job and building a career, large numbers of people are finding ever-more creative ways of hiding the fact that they’re unemployed, all the while telling themselves it’s OK since they’re entrepreneurs building their brand, platform, presence, following, or some other such nonsense.

Look, you probably don’t want to hear this but if I don’t tell you, who will? Entrepreneur is not a job. Leader is not a job. Social media guru is not a job. If there’s no real expertise, no real product, no real business, no real risk, and no real prospect for return on investment, you’re not working. And you’re not an entrepreneur, either.

I think the article expressed why I am being such a curmudgeon about the topic – ENTREPRENEUR IS NOT A JOB.  One can be an attorney, investor, financial planner, mom, photographer, computer fixer-know it all, porn star, etc., but to describe yourself as an entrepreneur seem disingenuous in most cases.

…or I am just being way too sensitive and I shouldn’t care at all!

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Tara 12/16/2016 - 11:33 pm

Ahhh, but aren’t affiliate links from bloggers a less obvious form of MLM, especially those like web hosting? Bloggers gotta make money, so no disrespect, but not everyone can make $5k a month in their side hustles, but those big-shot high SEO bloggers who post those affiliate links still make bank.

Evan 12/19/2016 - 1:42 pm

First and foremost, I support anyone trying to make money legally and ethically. I am not attacking MLMers per se, but rather, the idea that one may or may not be an “entrepreneur.”

With regard to blogging, I think there is a distinction. It has to do with the downstream activity. If (and I don’t) had an affiliate link in this post for a product (server space is a product) I don’t particularly care if you then sell to others.


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