If you only read popular posts on social media, you might come to the conclusion that you need to be a certain age or live in a particular country in order to be an entrepreneur.
These days, the word “entrepreneur” is often associated with the word “startup” and most people will point to Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and a whole list of big celebrity names as shining examples of what it is to be an entrepreneur.
But what is an entrepreneur exactly?
Having read numerous dictionary definitions, I personally like this one from the Cambridge Dictionary the best:-
Someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves seeing a new opportunity.Cambridge Dictionary
When I was growing up, the word “entrepreneur” was not commonly used and neither was the word “startup” – we just had “people that went into business for themselves”.
So who can be an entrepreneur?
Well the short answer is :- anyone, anywhere in the world, at any age!
OK – you might be thinking to yourself “but starting a business sounds complicated” and if you are thinking that, then you are focussing on the WRONG WORD!!
The most important word to focus on in the above definition is OPPORTUNITY.
An entrepreneur is someone that sees an opportunity to make money and then takes action!
A “business” is just a label we put on something that we do so that people understand our intention is to make money – if we do NOT intend to make any money then it’s either a hobby or it’s charity.
If you offer to wash and iron all of your friends’ clothes for free, then its charity (or a strange hobby if you just really like washing clothes??) – but if you offer a service to all of your friends to wash and iron their clothes for a price, then you have started a business – even if the business is just you!
I know many people who offer to look after people’s pets when they are away on holiday or walk their dogs for them because they are old or physically unable to walk their own dog. Many of these people do this for free because they like pets and live somewhere where they can’t have one of their own. But quite a few of these people have turned dog walking and “pet sitting” into a business that they earn a very good living from – and during the COVID pandemic, a few of them became so successful with their dog walking businesses that they quit their full time jobs!
These people are entrepreneurs, they saw an opportunity (to make money) and they took action.
You don’t have to think of a “big idea” or even a completely unique idea either. In the Western world, particularly in America, many first time entrepreneurs start out with what is commonly called a “SIDEHUSTLE” – meaning simply,, “something you do on the side / not your regular or full-time job”. There are literally thousands of websites and forums out there with tens of thousands of ideas for a “sidehustle” – all of which are ideas to start a business if the same opportunity is available for you, depending on your skills – and many of the skills are easy to learn if you don’t already have them. I am a member of a Facebook forum called Sidehustle Nation (note – it is very American focussed so many of the ideas sadly do not translate well in other parts of the world) where people are constantly discussing ideas to make money. Any one of these ideas can become a full time business – and there are tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands??) more ways to turn these into a full time business to make money that could potentially even replace your full time job.
In fact, I have a sidehustle of my own and have previously written a number of blog posts about my journey to date including step-by-step instructions on how to get started – you can read about it here if you are interested.
And age is certainly not a barrier. There are stories on the Internet from all over the world of people young and old and everything in between, seeing an opportunity to make money and taking action. In fact I’ve read quite a few stories of parents and children working together on a sidehustle – it’s a fantastic way to both teach and learn at the same time! For example, I read a story of a young girl that drew a lovely bright picture on the front of her notebook she was using at school. Her friends asked her if she could decorate their notebooks for them, which would have taken up a LOT of her time. Her mother asked in the Facebook forum if anyone knew any way that she could get her daughter’s drawing printed on the front of blank notebooks for a low cost and I responded to her question and told her all about POD (Print On Demand) services that required absolutely zero startup costs and her daughter could earn royalties off the products that her friends bought and not just notebooks! The mother set up accounts (you have to be old enough to verify banking accounts and such) and learned the technical aspects and then she taught her daughter what to do. The mother posted back in the forum the next month to say that her daughter had already earned nearly 300 USD in royalty payments within her first month!!! Outstanding result – not just from the financial point of view but also from the fact that they had both learned new skills AND they had both just taken their first steps on their entrepreneurial journey together.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be an entrepreneur that only employs yourself or if you want to build the next Amazon or Tesla – the KEY THING is to open your eyes to the opportunities that exist all around you.
In recent history, entrepreneurship has never been more important to society and the global economy than it is right now. Millions of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and economies all over the world are struggling. Through this site, we aim to encourage entrepreneurship and show people practical ways to employ themselves (either part time OR full time) through their entrepreneurial endeavours in order to achieve more financial security.
Have YOU started your entrepreneurial journey yet?
If you have a story to share that could help to stimulate an entrepreneurial mindset, please share it with us and take a look here to see how you could contribute (not with money) by lending a helping hand.