noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
synonyms: businessman, businesswoman, business person, business executive, enterpriser, speculator, tycoon, magnate.
I want to debunk the myth that in order to be a great entrepreneur you have to either be like Richard Branson or at least want to be like him. Neither is true. The reality is, even Richard Branson wasn’t Richard Branson when he started out.
Sure, there will be some people, who set out from the beginning to build a huge, global business, but for everyone who wants that, there will be 100,000 entrepreneurs that have no desire for offices in 20 different countries with a workforce the size of an army.
You see, these entrepreneurs don’t count their success by the size of their company, but by the impact they make. They want to follow their passion and make a profit. They want to make a living and have a life.
I believe there is a new generation of entrepreneurs coming through; and not just the twenty something’s, but also those of all ages who have woke up to a new way of working. These entrepreneurs don’t want huge overheads – they’re not afraid of commitment or hiring staff, but they don’t want big flashy offices, they want flexibility. They don’t want to be tied down when the world they work in moves at a pace where change is the only constant. Make no mistake, these aren’t what we’ve come to call ‘lifestyle entrepreneurs’ (NOTE: I’ve always disliked that phrase almost as much as ‘lipstick entrepreneurs’ – implies that anyone running one is somehow ‘less’ of an entrepreneur) who want to just ‘get by’ – these entrepreneurs want to make real money, just not at any price.
They’ve realised there is more than one way to skin a cat; in fact there’s probably 101. They can work from a flexible office, open up a smaller, central ‘hub’ office and allow their team to work from home or in the office when needed. They don’t just ‘outsource’ their workforce, they ‘near source’ it too. They hire people in their own country, but outside of the major cities, in rural locations where maybe there aren’t so many job opportunities, where the cost of living is lower. Where talented people migrate to when they can no longer afford the world’s most expensive real estate. These entrepreneurs get great staff, save money and provide an environment that not only allows them to have a life, but allows their staff to have one too.
Everything is relative. It’s about being true to your own very individual idea of what it means to be an entrepreneur. It might mean a workforce of 10,000 and offices in Paris, New York, Dubai, London and Madrid. Or it might mean a beautiful home office at the end of your garden with 20 staff working with you from different locations around the world. It might mean doing something bigger and better than its been done before, it might mean finding solutions for problems no else has figured out, or simply taking an idea and bringing it to life. There are as many different interpretations as there are entrepreneurs. One thing for sure, it most certainly should mean the freedom to choose your own answers to that question.