The World Doesn’t Need Any More Entrepreneurs
Everyone is an “entrepreneur” nowadays — Instagram phonies, Mary Kay consultants, “Idea Guys.” Calling yourself an “entrepreneur” is meaningless and overrated. We don’t need any more self-titled entrepreneurs in the world.
What we need is more people who think independently, but we don’t need more entrepreneurs. What we need is more people who push the boundaries of modern innovation, but we don’t need more entrepreneurs. What we need is more people who see opportunities where others see obstacles, but we don’t need more entrepreneurs.
What we need are people with entrepreneurial mindsets, not the self-styled, self-absorbed “entrepreneurs” who have ruined the title.
Having a Good Idea Doesn’t Make You an Entrepreneur
When I was growing up and learning how to make money, I didn’t think of myself as an entrepreneur. The word didn’t really exist in my vocabulary. Heck, why would it? The world was not accepting of people like me. The people who, in our present-day, would be considered “hustlers” and “go-getters” were looked upon with a tinge of scorn and distrust for failing to fit in with the traditional working world.
In my school days, I sold soda at a markup to classmates when our vending machine was removed from the school, and I sold burned copies of not-yet-released CDs to teachers and security guards to supplement my income from a part-time job at a record store.
It didn’t matter that I was pulling in more money than some of my friends’ parents. What I did wasn’t considered respectable by the older generations. However, from that lack of support, I developed a strong desire to prove them wrong.
Because entrepreneurship has slowly become more mainstream, more respectable, many of our current so-called “entrepreneurs,” I’ve found, lack that drive. They’re too comfortable, too soft. Motivational speakers, coaches, and authors have convinced the younger generation that everyone can, and should, start their own business.
Praise comes cheaply and plentifully for young entrepreneurs in the form of social likes and comments — assurances from strangers that they are, indeed, “crushing it.” Self-awareness takes a backseat to social validation. That’s how we end up with a glut of self-serving “entrepreneurs” who may be full of ideas but severely lacking in discipline and tenacity. Convincing everyone that they too can make a million dollars by quitting their jobs and sitting on their butt has devalued the term “entrepreneur.”
Don’t get me wrong, ideas are good. Action is better. That’s because ideas aren’t worth a thing in terms of dollars and cents. I’ve given away “potential multi-million” ideas because I don’t have the time or plan to pursue them. The truth is, they’re worthless if I can’t actually put forth the work needed to get them off the ground. An idea without follow-through is just a wish.
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, and that’s okay. We need to stop acting like entrepreneurship is the ultimate goal that everyone should be working toward. #MichaelsWilder #entrepreneurship Click To Tweet
Some people aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs. They lack the drive to push past the “idea stage” and get to work on building something with no guarantee of success, no safety net, no breaks from the constant grind. No, not everyone can be an entrepreneur, and that’s okay. We need to stop acting like entrepreneurship is the ultimate goal that everyone should be working toward.
So, I’m tired of hearing that so-and-so is an “entrepreneur.” I don’t care. That’s meaningless. I’m more interested in the people who demonstrate an entrepreneurial mindset.
What’s the Difference Between Being an Entrepreneur and Having an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
Entrepreneur is a title. Anyone can claim it. Nearly everyone has claimed it. It doesn’t mean anything.
An entrepreneurial mindset, on the other hand, is a collection of inherent skills that can be applied in any type of profession. You can work a traditional job and still have an entrepreneurial mindset.
On the flipside, you can call yourself an entrepreneur but lack on entrepreneurial mindset. I can’t teach someone how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset; no one can. That drive needs to come from within. Thinking outside the box, pushing for new solutions to old problems, working your butt off until you’re satisfied with the result — these are some of the traits shared by those who have successfully cultivated an entrepreneurial mindset. I can’t say the same for many of the people who have falsely claimed the title of entrepreneur.
So, we need to stop telling everyone that they need to be an entrepreneur, and we need to start fostering self-awareness for the people who would flourish and be successful in a more traditional working environment. Imagine if all of our imaginative problem-solvers abandoned the working world, determined to strike out on their own — often failing because it’s not what they really want. We’d lose that talent, and innovation would slow.
That’s why I say that the world doesn’t need more entrepreneurs. We don’t need any more glory-chasers who are obsessed with the idea of entrepreneurship. What we need are more people with a drive to do better than the way things have always been done.