Entrepreneurs are Like Porn-You’ll Know Them When You See Them

Entrepreneurs are Like Porn

 

Entrepreneurs are Like PornShakespeare asked “what’s in a name?” Turns out if you’re an entrepreneur the answer is, a lot.

When I told my entrepreneur friends that I was writing a book and blog about working for entrepreneurs, they were all quick to offer the same advice.

It wasn’t a tip about understanding the entrepreneur as manager. It wasn’t an insightful nugget on how the entrepreneurial mind really works.

Each one of them was (bizarrely) adamant that I start by defining the characteristics of a “real” entrepreneur.

Their motive: ensuring that I don’t accidentally let mere business owners into the exclusive Entrepreneur Club. That I don’t accidentally bestow on Chuck, of Chuck’s Corner Hardware, the coveted title of Entrepreneur.

Miss America(n) Entrepr eneur
So what gives? Think of it like a beauty pageant.

The contestants may all have similar sashes and sequin gowns, and they may all look like Miss Insert-Pageant-Name-Here. But what would happen if Miss Idaho—who only won the congeniality title (Midwesterners are a friendly people)—started calling herself Miss Insert-Pageant-Name-Here just because she competed?

Once innocuous state sashes would become deadly garrotes. Hair extensions and press-on nails would fly.

That’s how entrepreneurs feel. To them, hanging out a shingle in front of your business only proves that you know how to put up siding. It doesn’t make you an entrepreneur.

To an entrepreneur, Chuck doesn’t get the title simply because he owns and operates the Corner Hardware store. To be an entrepreneur means something more. It means you’re scrappy, innovative, and current.

It means you aren’t corporate. It means you created something from nothing. You are a builder of industry; and you did it on your own. 

Entrepreneur is a title you earn.

Membership Has its Privileges
The biggest benefit of the title are the privileges that come with it. Specifically, the privilege of behaving as an entrepreneur. Like a foreign diplomat on domestic soil, for entrepreneurs there are few consequences for poor behavior.

Example: Ted Turner. When Turner had enough of arch enemy Rupert Murdoch, he publicly challenged the then almost seventy year old businessman to a boxing match. In a fit of rage, he once smashed a reporter’s tape recorder (this after agreeing to the interview). He’s been known to actually hit crew members on his racing yacht for under performing.

Unreasonable reactions, right? Yet society simply shakes its collective head and shrugs at the crazy entrepreneur, at it again. Diplomatic immunity.

This is what it means to be a real entrepreneur. And this is what can make for a difficult boss.

Million Dollar Question
So, how do you know if you work for Chuck or if you work for a real entrepreneur? Throughout this blog we’ll describe some of the more obvious signs that you might be working for an entrepreneur. (And we’ll help you deal with the madness that will ensue if you do.) You can also check out Wonka Profiles for more common entrepreneurial profiles.

But really, it comes down to this… entrepreneurs are like porn; you’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em. Still confused? Then just ask another entrepreneur.

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2 Comments

  • kathy reeves

    Reply Reply August 6, 2010

    I just finished reading “How they blew it”. Makes me think you have a lot more at risk then your stock of scotch tape! Amazing how the power went to these CEO and Entrepreneur’s heads – some were seriously deluded – and they took everyone down with them. Guess it pays to learn how to paddle in case the ship goes down.

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