Entrepreneurship is as old as time. People seem to love making their own decisions, structures, and infinite income goals. The reasons people choose to be a business owner vary. That’s why I ask the question:
Are you an Entrepreneur because you want to be,
or because you have to be?
I admire anyone who explores the entrepreneur within for whatever reason. Whether it’s because they had to become one or chose to, it’s something to be very proud of and hopefully something that built character and wisdom along the way. Let’s take a look at a few of the entrepreneur models below as we can appreciate what drove them, prompted them or demanded them to do so.
The Survivor: I became a coach right when the crash came. People were losing their homes and their jobs left and right. It was an honor to be there for those who couldn’t find employment and desperately needed to survive. I, being a lifelong entrepreneur and advocate for entrepreneurism, absolutely loved launching new talent into the world. Even though they were scared and inexperienced, they had drive and determination. I know most of those businesses are still thriving today. According to the statistics, the number of small businesses started during that time skyrocketed. So, if that was the time you started your business journey, I applaud you for taking those daring steps.
The Creative Expressive – Conversely, there are those wanna-be entrepreneurs who had very secure and lucrative jobs who also had an incredibly strong pull to express themselves and their talents independent of a corporate dynamic. They not necessarily like The Survivor, have a magnetic pull to make a difference in the world and will not feel fulfilled until they do. They have known success and it’s worth nothing without personal fulfillment and leaving a legacy.
The Recluse: For whatever reason, the person who cannot or does not want to leave their home to work, still needs to earn money. Contrary to many beliefs, they are very passionate and motivated, yet stopped due to circumstances. These individuals range from stay at home moms to those with phobias, disabilities, and legal issues, all limiting their ability to work in the mainstream. In many cases The Recluse is a combination of The Survivor and The Creative Expressive since they must find a way to survive from home and yet, they often find their unique niche in the world and become fully expressed.
The Adventurer – Ahhh, this is a wide range of individuals. The adventurer can be anyone from a millennial who is out to conquer every thrill-seeking opportunity and needs to make money while on the road to the Baby Boomer RV’er who is retired and leisurely earning to support their ride. They typically are more committed to having fun than making money. Ironically, this is often the formula for success, because people don’t feel your desperation as much as basking in your joy. One of the secrets to successful entrepreneurship is to make it look effortless and fun while people become magnetically drawn to you.
The Senior-preneur – The Senior-preneur also has range. They could include The Adventurer, and The Creative Expressive. Those who are world travelers and living out their life’s work while enjoying every moment.
There is also The Senior-preneur who becomes more like The Survivor. They are misplaced or displaced. Some because of divorce or death of a loved one. Some because they don’t or can’t make it after retirement. To those individuals, I would like to say:
- No matter what, find your passion in what you do
- Stay on top of your industry
- Create balance and enjoy your senior years
- Run your business at an age-appropriate pace
- Keep your dignity, this is admirable, not shameful
- Know that you are not alone, find a community that supports other senior-preneurs
I too have seen the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. With only a short amount of time under my belt as an ‘employee’, I still advocate taking the risk and tapping into something completely unpredictable, unknown and not guaranteed. Since I don’t jump out of planes, entrepreneurship is my thrill-seeking opportunity.
Where do you stand in these models? Please share.
Fran Asaro is a Virtual Partner helping entrepreneurs start and grow their business