Monday, August 29, 2011

"I'm an Entrepreneur"

Occasionally as I click through the television channels, a show that I would ordinarily ignore grabs my attention. And I learn something.

This week I landed on a show that matches rich people to people who want to wed money. A matchmaker interviews the gold diggers, often asking them, “So what do you do for a living?

“I’m an entrepreneur” was the answer twice this week, one man and one woman. The matchmaker asked them to be more specific. I envisioned an entrepreneur as someone with a talent for identifying new business opportunities and turning those opportunities into lucrative ventures, a real risk-taker, a regular P.T. Barnum.

The man and woman both answered, “I’m writing a book.”

I burst out laughing. To her credit, the matchmaker did not. But later I reconsidered and read the definitions of “entrepreneur” available online. Here are a few:

•Someone with an idea who turns it into a profitable venture
•Someone who is their own boss
•Someone who organizes a business with considerable initiative and risk

I decided that a writer may indeed be an entrepreneur. But I’m not sure I would phrase it quite that way, anymore than I would refer to a homemaker as a “domestic engineer”--unless I was looking for the laugh, of course.

What do you think?


Robin Allen said...

I've been my own boss for 17+ years and I turned an idea into a profitable venture, although there wasn't considerable initiative and risk. I call myself self-employed, though, because "entrepreneur" does carry certain connotations. Now that I'm writing books, I'm closer to unemployed. :-)

Darrell James said...

Some people want to refer to me as "retired" since I retired from the workplce. But I hardly think of myself that way, since I put in some 12-14 hours a day on this business of writing.

Maybe "un-trepreneur" is a better term.

Kathleen Ernst said...

I don't think of myself by that title, even though my husband and I formed an LLC and the business end of things takes more time than the writing.

Keith Raffel said...

I started a company here in Silicon Valley. I guess that makes me an entrepreneur. What's striking to me is how similar launching a career as a writer is to that venture. Getting people to invest in your dream is at the heart of both. I'm not sure a writer is an entrepreneur but it sure helps to be entrepreneurial.

Vicki Doudera said...

Lisa, I would'a laughed too. Had these people published anything? If so, I would think they would call themselves writers...period...and hold their entrepreneurial heads high.

Beth Groundwater said...

I don't call myself an entrepreneur. In my mind that term appliew to people who make more money than I do with my writing. :)

Lisa Bork said...

Robin - It's the connotations that make it an amusing choice for wanna-be writers.

Darrell - 12-14 hours definitely does not constitute retirement.

Kathleen - You've published a number of books so the LLC makes a lot of sense.

Keith - "Entrepreneurial", yes.

Vicki - I got the impression they were trying to make themselves look more accomplished than they were in any endeavor.

Beth - As long as you're making a profit, it's all good.

Deborah Sharp said...

Hiya, Lisa ... I'm going to get rid of the t-shirt someone gave me that says WRITER , and get one that says ENTREPRENEUR. It'll sound like I'm wealthy and successful! Good post, and is the entrepreneur in you ready to start promoting your newest, ''In Sickness and in Death?'' Got to earn those millions!!!