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I love when people who see my videos or read the transcripts of these videos send me questions.  Here’s a recent question from Dale and it’s one that I hear often.

Dale:

“What exactly do you mean when you say, ‘entrepreneur’? Is being one a state of mind or after start-up? My pursuit or goal is extending a hobby into a career.”

Such a great question.  One thing you should know about Dale is that he’s totally into activism in Uganda and looking to generate revenue through business rather than rely on private donations. 

Here’s how I responded:

It’s a much debated question.  The best definition of entrepreneur I’ve found is someone who puts something at risk in order to potentially create greater value.  It’s not a perfect definition since investors do this too.  But it’s definitely true of entrepreneurs.  We put our savings at risk or other people’s money at risk in order to create a business that will provide value for all stakeholders – us, staff, vendors, shareholders, customers, etc.

 

So, as you take your hobby and make it your career… you’re still putting something at risk – even if just your time and some raw materials – in order to create value – schools, jobs, etc.  Thus, I’d consider you an entrepreneur.

 

I also tend to allow people to self-define since this is such a debated topic.  If you see yourself as an entrepreneur and are actively trying to be one, then you’re an entrepreneur.

 

Does this make sense?  Would you agree?  What other thoughts come to mind.

 

From there Dale sent an email back.  He brought up some really good points about risk and the fears associated with taking risks.

What is an entrepreneur? Working with the definition.

One of my favorite podcasts asks the people being interviewed, “What held you back from becoming an entrepreneur?”  Many times people answer with one fear or another.  Fear is a big barrier to taking the risks inherent in entrepreneurship.

What I find interesting as a psychology nerd is this idea that these entrepreneurs often didn’t ignore the fear.  Instead, they faced it and pushed ahead knowing the fear was real.  We often don’t get rid of the fears.  We simply decide to keep moving and let the fears be real.  Over time the fears might decrease but, more likely, they’ll always be there and we constantly have to keep making the decision to move forward.

So I might add to my earlier definition: someone who actively puts something at risk in order to potentially create greater value even though fear would tell them not to do so.

Entrepreneurship definitely requires action.  Entrepreneurship definitely entails fear.  Yet the return can be totally worth it.

Weighing the Fear of Action vs Inaction

Especially if you’re like Dale, you get to a point where the risk of inaction is greater than the risk of action.  The risk of NOT making the impact you want to see in the world is greater than your personal financial or time risks associated with starting and growing your business.  When the fear of inaction is greater than the fear of action, that’s when the magic in business happens!

2 things I’d love for you to do to take smart risks and manage your fear:

1. Take action that reduces risk.

If you’re a business activist entrepreneur, you aren’t going to want to miss Business Activist Bootcamp.  It starts August 7.  Reserve your slot at overflowyourpossibility.com/bootcamp.  During this bootcamp, you’re going to be inspired to take daily action on your entrepreneurial journey and move your business forward.  While your competition is enjoying vacation time in August, this is your chance to get ahead.  No matter what stage of business your in, this bootcamp is for you.  Just like a fitness bootcamp, we’ll lovingly push you to act and increase your revenue, your impact, and your life outside of work. (p.s. it’s free!)

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2. Comment on this video and share what fears you’ve needed to face on your entrepreneurial journey. 

They could be ones you’ve conquered or ones you still face most days.  I ask you to share because (a) sometimes naming the fear decreases its power and (b) sharing will encourage others who might be facing the same fears.

I’ll see you back again next week to share about a subject with which I recently helped a friend.  In the process I realized I know more about this subject than I realize.  I look forward to sharing it with you.

See you next week.  Keep overflowing!