Am I an Entrepreneur?
In the upper left-hand corner there's a text blurb where I describe myself, and it says, "23 year old entrepreneur...".Â Well, actually it said 'entreprenuer' until an anonymous commenter was nice enough to point out my spelling mistake on my bio page.Â This same commenter asked what makes me an entrepreneur, and my first reaction was to jump to the defense of all my projects and work; instead I looked up the definition of 'entrepreneur'.Â The WikipediaÂ entry is probably the most useful for getting a good definition, as well as some interesting references:
An entrepreneur is a person who has possession over a company, enterprise, or venture, and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. The term is a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome. In common understanding it is taken as describing a dynamic personality.
As I wandered to the shower (where I do my best thinking)Â I asked my husband, "am I an entrepreneur?" and he responded, "Well, life has a lot of risk".Â After my shower I asked him again and he said, "no, you'reÂ not right now".Â He's right.
AlthoughÂ I generate content and work on various projects beyond my day job, it isn't part of any system thatÂ forms an enterprise.Â I've been an entrepreneur on a veryÂ small scaleÂ in the past, when I ranÂ little businessesÂ like web design or teaching people how to use their computers.Â However,Â right now I'm more of wantreprenuer with many ideas and a continuously growing stockpile of knowledge and understandingÂ ofÂ what people want, but no business to show for it yet.Â
Right now, I'm finding people I can learn from about pitching, financing, filtering through good ideas and bad.Â I'm alsoÂ building a network that I hope will someday consist of potential customers, partners, advisors, employees and investors.Â The tech community in Seattle is a big change from the networking I've done in the past, in finance and in international trade.Â It's refreshing; people tell you what they really think of your ideas and they're excited about seeing you make them a reality.Â Being involved in the communityÂ helps me meet people who can give me a sanity check, or suggest problems that need solving.Â I'm still learning more about myself, andÂ what kind of business I want to work on and live with for several years.
In the meantime, I'm working for a Web 2.0 (or 3.0, whatever that means) company learning all sorts of different things.Â In the past year I've learned how to use Linux, mySQL, manage bloggy goodness with Wordpress like a champ, and furthered myÂ MS Excel guru status through even greater utilization of Visual Basic.Â I'm also learning to give interviews and speak publicly, which I've discovered IÂ enjoy and hope to someday be truly good at.Â Most recently, I've been learning to blog to a public audience about more than just my day-to-day life.
So, am I an entrepreneur?Â No, not right now.Â If it didn't have such a negative connotation, I'd call myself a wantrepreneur.Â Instead, I'll go with 'entrepreneur in training' - I'll fix my tagline.
Who's Weighing In?
Seattle entrepreneur Marcelo Calbucci says:
"The Wikipedia definition of entrepreneur is wrong, IMHO. Here is my definition:Â An entrepreneur must start something from nothing. Must create value out of thin air, either by creating a product or service, directly by his handy work or by aligning the right people to do so. Â Risk is just a consequence and not "causation"."Â