Enough with “entrepreneurs”

It took me some time to pronounce it correctly when I learned this impressive sounding word, entrepreneur, few years ago. (I still need spell checker’s help to type it correctly)

The only thing that seems wrong with this word is the feel that “enterprenures” are some special kind of people doing something really great. They are not as far as “specialty and something great” is concerned.

When you leave your home, you see a lot of people doing something which makes them money but without a boss. They are all enterprenures or businessmen. This includes your local milkman, cobbler or small cart vendor selling vegetables.

I think many small businesses start as an act of selfishness. “I shall buy something at low price and will sell it high price and, hence, will make money.” The owner is probably not aware of the fact that he is fulfilling the needs of a particular “niche market” or “adding value” or “solving a problem”.

This very simple and selfish view of business is ok as long as the business owner is not cheating and making good enough amount of money. So when encouraging people to start their own business, I avoid this word and simply use “business” for any kind of, well, business.

I was reading “Rework” and came across this paragraph which says more or less the same thing but in a better way:

Let’s retire the term entrepreneur. It’s outdated and loaded with baggage. It smells like a members-only club. Everyone should be encouraged to start his own business, not just some rare breed that self-identifies as entrepreneurs.

There’s a new group of people out there starting businesses. They’re turning profits yet never think of themselves as entrepreneurs. A lot of them don’t even think of themselves as business owners. They are just doing what they love on their own terms and getting paid for it.

So let’s replace the fancy-sounding word with something a bit more down-to- earth. Instead of entrepreneurs, let’s just call them starters. Anyone who creates a new business is a starter. You don’t need an MBA, a certificate, a fancy suit, a briefcase, or an above-average tolerance for risk. You just need an idea, a touch of confidence, and a push to get started.

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