Entrepreneurs, Wantrepreneurs, and Businessmen

More often than not I hear the term entrepreneur applied incorrectly. I'm pretty particular about its use, so I thought I'd make the distinction between entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, and businessmen.

Businessman != Entrepreneur

Being a businessman doesn't make a person an entrepreneur, even if the person is a founder. Entrepreneurs are characterized by very specific behavior:

  • They see opportunity in uncertainty.
  • They constantly look for a better way.
  • They minimize risk.
  • They take action.

The fact is, most businessmen aren't entrepreneurs. It's not a title, role, or set of responsibilities that makes an entrepreneur, it's behavior.

Introducing yourself as an entrepreneur? You're a wantrepreneur.

While applying the term entrepreneur to a businessman is often inappropriate, applying the term to yourself isalways inappropriate. The person who introduces himself as "a laid back guy" is never actually laid back.

The person who introduces himself as an entrepreneur? I apply the label wantrepreneur to that guy.

The person who introduces himself to the world as an Entrepreneur on LinkedIn? I apply the label Wantrepreneur to That Guy.

Please don't be a Wantrepreneur. Work on acting like an entrepreneur instead - the world could use more of them.