Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Is Failure Really a Good Thing?

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When this represents the status of your business, you may want to revisit how well prepared you were to start your business in the first place.

I watched an interview with Richard Branson a short time ago, where he encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to “screw it—just do it.”

Well, every year over 6 Million would-be entrepreneurs seem to follow Branson’s advice to “screw it—just do it,” … and….

Most of them quickly fail! Continue reading Is Failure Really a Good Thing?

What is an Entrepreneur—Really?



Entre front DDD

So… you think you want to be an entrepreneur! Well, over 6 million full-time businesses will start up this year, and….

Most of them will quickly fail!!


Various reasons are given as to why so many businesses fail each year… the most popular ones being: they were undercapitalized; the business idea was not viable; or that most of these were not “real” businesses to begin with.

These reasons could all be true, but they only emphasize the fact that the new business owners didn’t properly prepare before starting their businesses—they simply weren’t ready to ride the “Entrepreneurial Lion.”

Entrepreneurship is a demanding taskmaster and every business owner and aspiring entrepreneur should know what will be demanded of them when they start their business.

That is why I wrote “ENTREPRENEUR!—Can I Be One? This book will NOT tell you how to start a business—it is intended to help you determine whether or not you should start a business.

So, where do you begin? It takes more than just a good idea to start a business! You need to prepare yourself for the rigors of entrepreneurship, and this book is a good place to start.

ENTREPRENEUR!—Can I Be One?” helps you determine whether you currently have the “right stuff” to be an entrepreneur—and what areas you need  to work on before starting a business.

In this book you’ll discover;

  • The “real” definition of Entrepreneur.
  • Whether entrepreneurs are born—or made.
  • How to handle fear of failure.
  • The Characteristics of an entrepreneur.
  • The “Entrepreneur Test.”
  • Facts about home and Internet Entrepreneurs.
  • The “secret” to being a successful entrepreneur.
  • How to answer the question: Can I be an entrepreneur?

This book is one of my small business Primer Series books, where a primer is defined as any book of elementary principles.

This is a book that should be read by anyone contemplating starting a business, as well as those who are in business and are now wondering why things are not going the way they thought they would.

Unless you purposely intend to be one of the more than 5 million business failures this year, I strongly urge you to better prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur.

ENTREPRENEUR!—Can I Be One?” is a good place to start preparing.

Get more information on this book here, or buy today at Amazon.


Are You Cut Out to Ride The Entrepreneurial Lion?



Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions, has a favorite analogy where he compares being an entrepreneur to a guy riding a lion:

“People look at him and think, ‘This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!’ And the man riding the lion is thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”‘   —Toby Thomas

When you really think about it, you can see the truth in Thomas’s analogy… it’s hard enough to start a business (getting on the lion), but then, when you can’t make the business work (controlling the lion), it is often impossible to get out of the business without losing everything you worked hard for (getting eaten by the lion).

Unfortunately, there seems to be way too many people who, with little knowledge, or forethought, take a running leap onto the lion’s back and then wonder: “What the hell do I do now?”

Well, it seems that most of the time they get eaten.

I believe that just jumping on the lion—while unprepared to ride it—is the main reason that over 5 Million businesses “disappear” every year in the U.S. Most of them simply “get eaten.”

If you are going to “get on the lion,” you had better know whether you belong up there—that you have the “right stuff” to be an entrepreneur… otherwise, you will be one of those who get eaten.

The truth is: not everyone can be a lion-tamer—just like not everyone can be an entrepreneur. In other words, not everyone who starts a business should be starting one.

Can You Ride the Entrepreneurial Lion?

So, how do you know if you should even be considering starting a business… that you are entrepreneurial material?

That is not as simple a question as it might seem. That’s why I’m in the process of researching and preparing a small book on entrepreneurship.

This upcoming book is not about how to start a business—this book is about whether, or not, you should start a business.

The book will cover: the real definition of an entrepreneur; what the characteristics of an entrepreneur are; and what it takes personally to become a successful entrepreneur… to control the lion. It will also include a self-administered test that can give you a good idea about your chances of starting a successful business.

If you are a current entrepreneur, or still aspiring to become a small business owner, and you want to know whether or not you should be riding the entrepreneurial lion, leave your email address in the subscription box at the upper right and I’ll let you know when the book becomes available.

Or, if you think you can ride the entrepreneurial lion without knowing how to tame it—go ahead, give it a try…  jump on……..   Here’s what you will be facing:




Entrepreneur Definition

Many people are looking for a valid entrepreneur definition, but the very term “entrepreneur” is being challenged by the “bully” of the entrepreneurial world–Entrepreneur Media, Inc. (EMI), publishers of Entrepreneur magazine. EMI is one of the largest resources of information for entrepreneurs around the world…as long as you don’t use the word ENTREPRENEUR in your business.

It seems that EMI owns the U.S. trademark on the word “entrepreneur.” Yup, even though the word is 100’s of years old, commonly used, and derived from the French–EMI holds the trademark. Worse yet, they vigorously defend their trademark as evidenced by just a few of their threats and prosecutions, as follows:

  • A public-relations firm by the name of EntrepreneurPR published a quarterly compilation of press releases called Entrepreneur Illustrated. EMI sued the firm and a federal judge ruled that the firm had to stop using the names, stop publishing the quarterly, and pay EMI $1 million in damages. Of course, the firm shut down and all the employees hit the unemployment lines.
  • EMI stopped 3Entrepreneurs, a small San Diego clothing company, from putting the phrase “Entrepreneur Generation” on T-shirts, sweaters, and hats.
  • A serial entrepreneur in Austin, Texas has recently been targeted for using the domain name of EntrepreneurOlogy.com. He was ordered by EMI’s attorneys to “cease and desist” using his website, and to give his domain name to EMI. Otherwise, he would be sued…and considering the current position of the federal courts on trademark law, EMI would more than likely win (they almost always win).
  • EMI is currently sparring with the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and Museum, a one-person website based in N.Y. Apparently, this will go the way of EntrepreneurOlogy.com.

EMI goes after a broad spectrum of businesses with the help of Latham & Watkins, a 2,000 attorney corporate law firm with 31 offices around the world. No one is spared, from the one-person website business, to Universities and non-profit organizations, as well as large businesses. There is no tally available, but EMI has sued, or threatened to sue scores of businesses and organizations since the early 1980’s.

Interestingly, the founder of Entrepreneur magazine, John Leonard Burke (aka Chase Revel), was a convicted felon (attempted bank robbery) who also, sometime later, had notes delivered to bank tellers saying their children had been kidnapped and to leave canvas bags of money for him, and the children would be returned. Actually, he did not kidnap the children, nor did he receive any money. However, attempted extortion still carries a penalty.

After his release from prison he started Entrepreneur and then registered the trademark “entrepreneur” in 1979. He eventually sold his enterprise to the current owners in the late 1980’s…and continued to have brushes with the law.

The irony I see in this whole issue of entrepreneur definition is the fact that the people who are at the forefront of promoting entrepreneurship (EMI & Entrepreneur) are the very people who are running roughshod over the entrepreneurs who use the word “entrepreneur” in the definition or promotion of their business. So be very careful how you use the word “entrepreneur” in your business

It also makes me question whether I will ever recommend any product or activity sponsored by EMI or Entrepreneur magazine in the future. I think I will distance myself from this enterprise from here on.

What do you think?

Note: This post is an excerpt taken from an article in Businessweek, (May 23-May29, 2011) authored by Paul M. Barrett.


By the Way, What is an Entrepreneur?

There has been quite a bit of chatter on the Internet lately about Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited. In his book, Gerber proclaims that unless you have employees, you are NOT an entrepreneur. Without hiring employees, you are merely a “technician” doing what you always did. He goes on to say, “The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.” This should come as shocking news to the 21.1 million non-employee businesses (70% of the total) in the U.S. (not to mention the world).

No, I do not believe Gerber’s premise for a second. Dozens of blogs and web sites offer definitions of what an entrepreneur is. There are also multiple dictionaries with definitions of the title, entrepreneur. They all say pretty much the same thing. Here is a compilation of those definitions:

An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business, usually with considerable initiative, while taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

Michael offers a very good approach for growing a business by hiring employees, but I think he does a real disservice to the majority of small business owners who do not want to take on employees, or do not intend to grow beyond a certain point. These are the same businesses that pump a trillion dollars a year into the United States GDP. I can’t imagine what the world contribution is.

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and takes a lot of time, passion, money, and intestinal fortitude to become a successful businessperson. I believe every shop owner; every market vendor, every home-based business owner, and every non-employee business owner in the world fulfills the above definition and deserves to be called “Entrepreneur.”