What is an entrepreneur?

Recently I asked a young lady who was testing out a catering idea, “what do you do?” The first words she replied was, “I am an entrepreneur.” It got me thinking, this is possibly the most misrepresented word in modern history. I googled the question, “what is an entrepreneur?” and within the 133 million results, below were some of the definitions that stood out for me:

a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.

Google Card

According to professor Howard Stevenson from Harvard Business School, it can be defined as:

entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled

I’ll spare you all of the results but the final definition provided by the Webster dictionary states it is:

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

As you can see there is no single agreed definition of what an entrepreneur actually is. But what is widely clear is that increasingly EVERYONE these days wants to be an entrepreneur. However, what I find is that when I dig a little deeper the truth is that so many people overrate their their ideas. Idea generation alone though does NOT make you an entrepreneur. Spotting an opportunity in the market does NOT make you an entrepreneur. Calling yourself an entrepreneur does NOT make you an entrepreneur.

The definition needs to be more tightly coupled with ones ability to execute on ideas. Merely the pursuit, hope and dreams on entrepreneurship is not enough. One must be able to not only start a business but manage it also for a sustained period. It is for this reason I feel ideas are overrated, and execution is so undervalued.

So the next time someone tells you they are an entrepreneur, question what exactly it means to be an entrepreneur.

Let me know what becoming an entrepreneur means to you!

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