Are you really and entrepreneur?

“En·tre·pre·neur ˌäntrəprəˈnər/

noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs

a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.


businessman/businesswoman, enterpriser, speculator, tycoon, magnate, mogul;


early 19th century (denoting the director of a musical institution): from French, from entreprendre‘undertake’ (see enterprise).

Entrepreneur (i/ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːr/), is a loanword from French.[16] First used in 1723, today the term entrepreneur implies qualities of leadership, initiative, and innovation in new venture design. Economist Robert Reich has called team-building, leadership, and management ability essential qualities for the entrepreneur.[17][18] Historically the study of entrepreneurship reaches back to the work in the late 17th and early 18th centuries of Richard Cantillon and Adam Smith, which was foundational to classical economics.”

I go into words and meanings a little deeper because I want to know if I am using the right word or not. Many of us have become lazy in our word choice, and I for one want to stretch and work on and make sure that I am communicating correctly and that means that the definitions need to be there. That and plus I had recently read somewhere where most people that called themselves entrepreneurs are in actuality Freelancers instead.

Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire, and the people who do so are called ‘entrepreneurs’. It has been defined as the “…capacity and willingness to develop, organize, and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.” While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of businesses have to close, due to a “…lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis — or a combination of all of these” or due to lack of market demand.

This in contrast to someone that is a freelancer is normally working for themselves with a limited risk involved. The freelancer is the production and the logistics arm all within one individual and with the risk-based solely on their production or not.  A freelancer normally does not have an investment other than time in the process. I look at these statements and still don’t find the defining difference and so I looked deeper.

In the 2000s, the definition of “entrepreneurship” has been expanded to explain how and why some individuals (or teams) identify opportunities, evaluate them as viable, and then decide to exploit them, whereas others do not, and, in turn, how entrepreneurs use these opportunities to develop new products or services, launch new firms or even new industries and create wealth. Recent advances stress the fundamentally uncertain nature of the entrepreneurial process because although opportunities exist their existence cannot be discovered or identified prior to their actualization into profits. What appears as a real opportunity might actually be a non-opportunity or one that cannot be actualized by entrepreneurs lacking the necessary business skills, financial or social capital. Also in the 2000s, “entrepreneurship” has been extended from its origins in for-profit businesses to include social entrepreneurship, in which business goals are sought alongside social, environmental or humanitarian goals and even the concept of the political entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship within an existing firm or large organization has been referred to as intrapreneurship and may include corporate ventures where large entities “spin-off” subsidiary organizations.

Still, this was not giving me enough to go on and was actually widening my idea of an entrepreneur.  I was beginning to think that it was product based, where freelancing was skill based, but the idea of social entrepreneurship made it plain to me that entrepreneurs had to have a sense of leadership and be considered “leaders” by others, (maybe clients, maybe by vendor, or maybe by employees, but leadership was something that was different from what I was reading about Entrepreneurs and Freelancers.

Entrepreneurs are leaders willing to take a risk and exercise initiative, taking advantage of market opportunities by planning, organizing, and deploying resources, often by innovating to create new or improving existing products or services.

Again in my research, I started to see that the term “entrepreneurship” has been extended to include a specific mindset resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives, e.g. in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship.

So there are elements of risk that go beyond self and a perception of Leadership that really are core to who an Entrepreneur is.  I would also say that they think differently because of being risk takers, would it also be true that they are more disciplined and more dedicated than others? Ahhhh now my trip down the rabbit hole was getting enjoyable.  Those things were what made Successful entrepreneurs. Because you could take risks and be a leader, but if you did not have the endurance to get through failures and setbacks, you still might have called yourself an entrepreneur, but I doubt that looking back through history, we would never associate those that lived the dream, but then gave up, as truly successful.

I think also a quick way to discern if someone is a freelancer and an entrepreneur is if thought went into the end of the business. With the end in mind, to build something outside the product of the business, but so that the business itself was viable to sell would be the mindset of an entrepreneur. This would actually change a lot of people that were calling themselves entrepreneurs into freelancers.  Take in account individuals in the Multi-Level Marketing industry.  New people are brought into that business with the hopes of being entrepreneurs, YES there is a risk, and yes to build a viable business you need to recruit and manage, so there are elements of leadership as well, but is the business marketable to sell off to someone after you built up your business?  In essence, you have become a part of the logistics wheels of the parent company, while also marketing and recruiting more logistic handlers and marketers.  

Oh and I am open to having input as well because it seems somewhat elusive this term entrepreneur, but I am sure that we can define it better if we look at it more closely.

John “Z” Zeydel

And my motto has always been Enhancing Entrepreneurial Heroes – but I think I need to broaden that because I really want to help all small business people, whether they are marketing, logistics, sales, or service provider.  Regardless of how you think of yourself, if you are helping grow your community, I want to help you grow as well – that is Heroes Helping Heroes. 502-777-7892

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