Lately I have been hearing a lot of conversation about what it means to be an entrepreneur…really glorifying the word as though it’s the only way to live a life of freedom and purpose.  

I get it, I am Team Entrepreneur too!! But I get concerned when I hear a tinge of shaming for folks who just aren’t that comfortable with risking it all, quitting their jobs and hanging a shingle.

Entrepreneurship is not easy stuff, in all of it’s forms it requires both personal growth and persistent grind.  Committing to that is a personal choice and a personal project to take on without feeling pressure from folks on the outside

The truth is there is a way for us to shift our perspective a bit to free entrepreneurship from the narrow definition we have given it. There are lots of ways to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.

Let’s look at a few ways the entrepreneurial spirit shows up in the way we work so we make space for people to show up in business in ways that really works for them.  

Take a look and let me know in the comments which feels most like what would work best for you.

 

ENTREPRENEUR

Entrepreneurs create from nothing.  We have a vision for the future, see opportunities and are willing to invest time money and energy in bringing that vision to life.  Entrepreneurs must be flexible, creative, resilient, resourceful and committed to the personal development it takes to grow themselves into a confident visionary that’s willing to be seen as an expert in the work they want to do.  Entrepreneurs are on a steep learning curve where so much matters.

It is emotionally arduous and can push you past your comfort zone…ALWAYS!  But for the serial entrepreneur, you are more interested in building businesses and creating opportunities for yourself and others, but would rather leave the growth strategies, bookkeeping, or hiring decisions to someone else.  If that resonates with you…then you are likely a full fledged 100% incurable entrepreneur!

 

CEO

Let’s start by making it clear that all entrepreneurs are not CEOs and not all CEOs are entrepreneurs. They are two sometimes very different skill sets. Entrepreneurs are great at seeing the vision for the future. The task of the entrepreneur is to build and grow your business to the point where it requires a CEO.

For many entrepreneurs the transition to CEO starts to happen when you are now longer doing all of the day to day tasks in your organizations.   Once the Vision is set and the business is operating, CEOs are there to oversee and manage the business and help it grow further.

CEOs manage the “now” and sit at the helm of businesses that are already created and functioning.  If they are good at it, they grow profits and solidify plans. CEOs operate in the realm of certainty and planning and need loads of leadership, management and executive level decision making.  Have you ever thought you’d be a great boss, maintaining a business, running the day-to-day operations, but don’t really have the desire to start your own business? If that sounds like your vibe…then you might be a great CEO!

 

INTRAPRENEUR

Now let’s look at intrapreneurs…these are folks that have the entrepreneurial mindset.  Intrapreneurs innovate, they see opportunity, they are willing to take on responsibility for a project and have no problem stretching themselves to grow their capacity to make things happen.  

They feel a lot like entrepreneurs but they are not so keen on the full weight of financial responsibility or even the loneliness that is sometimes a part of being an entrepreneur.  These folks do their best work as a part of another organization. A place where they are not holding the complete burden for the financial well being of the business or responsible for seeing to every detail in the business. If you like to create, build, and strategize, but want to do it for someone else’s business or company…you are likely an INTRAPRENEUR.  

 

MICROPRENEUR

The micropreneur is a perfect way to dip your toe in the water of entrepreneurship.  These folks have side hustles or small passion projects where they can follow their dreams, do stuff they love AND make a bit of money in the process.  

What if you just like baking pies during the fall and winter months or you detail cars on the weekends, but don’t want to quit your day job to build an empire out of it? Or maybe you have a small private practice or do a few speaking engagements in your area of expertise.  You, my side hustling friend, are a MICROPRENEUR.

The micropreneur adventure is not always super profitable and cannot sustain your entire financial requirements, but it’s gives you a taste of that freedom and creativity. Sometimes folks start there and once their business starts to gain traction, they start transforming into an entrepreneur.  

 

SOLOPRENEUR

This one bears special mention.  Solopreneurs really sit in the middle of a few of these descriptions.  They are fully responsible for their financial well being…they are comfortable with that risk.  But they have little to no desire to build teams or have a big office. They are willing to take on enough of the CEO role to keep themselves growing and sometimes get tech-savvy and function like a one woman show.  If you are doing this work to support your life, but have no desire to build it super big and complex…you might be a solopreneur.

 

SO WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

I know I’ve thrown out some terms that might be new to you. If you do a little bit of research, you will even find that there are tons more out there that highlight different aspects of the entrepreneur lifestyle.  

People try to put a stigma on folks who don’t want to be full-time entrepreneurs…that is so unnecessary. Instead, I want you to be self-aware and know how you work best.

I want to see you make decisions for your career and life that resonate with who you are.  

I want to see you thrive and shine.  

Watch “Entepreneur, CEO, or maybe something else? and then comment below which one you are – a CEO, Entrepreneur, Micropreneur, or Intrapreneur, or something else? If I missed how you work best, pop that in the comments too!

I’d love to hear from you! Want to know what I am? Check out my response is in the comments, too!

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Alix says:

    Samara, again, you have hit the nail on the head! Yes, it is not for everyone, even people, like me (a solopreneur…I think). Some days I wish I could run back to a regular job. But with stagnant wages, sexual harassment and discrimination, a lot of people are carving out their own niche because there are toxic workplaces. Also, as a social worker, I found that there was a real lack of creativity in the way I was helping people and communities. I’m doing this because I care about my community and also about myself. Big ideas or even just different ideas, sometimes need a platform where they can find more freedom to create.

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