Years ago I never would have envisioned myself becoming an entrepreneur. I’ve long been a creator and an innovator, but entrepreneurship seemed a long ways off, mostly because business — and by that, I mean the financial side — wasn’t my forte.
And yet here I find myself delving into entrepreneurship. I’m building a business out of helping small companies use social media and blogging. I’m launching digital courses and guides. I’ve even hired two awesome social-media-ites to help my company grow.
Still, when I hear that buzzword — entrepreneur — I’m not sure it fits me. Today’s entrepreneurs seem focused on building companies they can sell. They aim to create hugely influential brands and platforms (think: Facebook), ones that will change people’s lives. They start lean, with the goal of making millions later.
That’s not really the game I’m playing. I’m dipping my toes into entrepreneurship not because I want to build a hugely successful company that will eventually sell for millions, but because it’s helping me create the life I want to live. Developing client relationships and selling digital products is my way of meeting my three goals:
1. Do work I love. I’m using my communication skills in creative ways. Sometimes that’s in the form of journalism, sometimes it’s blog strategy or social-media marketing, sometimes it’s creating a product that will help you all get where you want to be. All of this work has one thing in common: It makes me feel good about what I’m doing, challenged, fulfilled.
2. Create my own flexible “workstyle.” Building a business requires more than the typical 9-to-5, but I can work those hours around my other life pursuits, making time for family and travel and writer’s residencies. It also allows me to work where I want, which is equally important for meeting this goal.
3. Make money. Not millions, but enough to maintain my lifestyle and eventually support a family. (Not that I’d shun millions if they came my way.)
So where does that put me? It puts me at Dictionary.com, looking up a definition. An entrepreneur, Dictionary.com says, is “someone who starts a business alone” (check) or a “person who takes risks” (yup, got that down, too).
In some ways, I think we’re all entrepreneurs of our own lives, creating a framework within which to thrive.
Do you have a little bit of entrepreneur in you? How are you using it to get where you want to be?