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    Friday
    May272011

    Defining the Entrepreneur

    I had an enlightening conversation with a good friend a few weeks back regarding how the definition of entrepreneurship has changed.  It's interesting to see the term defined HERE with it's various synonyms.  I know that if I was asked to define what it means to be an entrepreneur, I would not use any of those words.  That was really what got me thinking...how, why, when did things change?

    I remember a time not so long ago when this definition was pretty close.  Entrepreneurs were the people that went out on their own...adventured away from the corporate giant in pursuit of a "stick-it-to-the-man" business model that allows them the freedom to have their money working for them rather than simply working for their money.

    Things have definitely changed.  This is not to say that these entrepreneurs do not exist, or that the core principle I've stated does not still remain, but I believe the scope of the term entrepreneur has widened to encompass a group larger than disenchanted "idea people."  Fact is, with the evolution and daily integration of the Internet and social media into the business world, the term entrepreneur means a whole bunch of things to a whole bunch of people.  From guys like John Saddington and his "Tent Blogger" community and social media guru Carlos Whittaker and his YouTube/Twitter "Family Fishbowl" platform to Michael Hyatt (former CEO turned social media & public speaker extraordinare) and kook-bag Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Expert turned author turned social media ninja) all of these guys are entrepreneurs by definition, but the word itself doesn't really appear on any of their bios or websites...why is that?  Here's what I think:

    1) It's become a little "passé"
    It's much cooler to use words like guru and ninja.  Plus it works...I mean, I could call an Investment Banker a financial or investment ninja, but I don't think that would fly.  I believe that in the business community, being an entrepreneur is not faux pas at all, but somehow in translation to the professional blogger/social media community it has become a little mainstream (ironic...yes).

    2) The label is not exhaustive enough
    By moving away from the word entrepreneur and into other more specific titles, the loose "person who takes risks" definition gets pinned down a little (SIDE NOTE: If you have a pulse, earn a living and work in any one of 95% of the jobs I've ever seen...you take risks of some degree or another).

    3) They don't know the secret handshake...and probably don't want too.
    I believe that specifically John and Gary have some entrepreneur mixed in with their Cherios each morning, but don't believe either of them would define themselves as an entrepreneur like THIS GUY or THIS GUY would.  I (this is an assumption) don't believe that any of the guys I listed would be hurt by that.  See the stigma is that an entrepreneur is about making something out of nothing and then running it...more of a bricks and mortar (even if the mortar is not literal mortar, but online, etc.)

    I'm not suggesting a full redefine of the term, but do believe that there is a generation of enpreneurs rising up under the nose of the "business world" and not many are taking notice.  Saddington published how much he makes in a year blogging...5 years ago...that was impossible.  Sounds a lot like some similar stories that I have READ OVER TIME...

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      NFL is seriously a single of the biggest sports in America. It has a major following.
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      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      Response: back pain
      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      Response: hop over to here
      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur
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      Response: farm story
      - Blog of Matthew MacDonald - Defining the Entrepreneur

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