OPINION: Saying you're an 'entrepreneur' makes you a prat

Calling yourself an entrepreneur is the height of vanity, argues Just In Time PR chief, Dominic Hiatt.

by Dominic Hiatt
Last Updated: 22 Oct 2014
Over the years, I've had the good fortune to work with countless entrepreneurs.

In many cases, they've built up companies worth millions, and even tens of millions, of pounds. All are exceptionally driven, talented and, in some way or another, bloody good at what they do.

As you would imagine, these businessmen and businesswomen come in all shapes and sizes, from all kinds of sectors and from all areas of the UK (okay, maybe not Stroud).

But if there's one thing they have in common, it's this: not one of them would EVER, not in a bazillion years, not even with a Black & Decker pointed at their skull, call themselves an entrepreneur.

Because anyone who does so, let's face it, is a bit of a prat.

During my time on the, ahem, front line of PR, I've had the misfortune to meet quite a few people who have introduced themselves as entrepreneurs.

One even announced himself as a, wait for it, 'professional business angel and entrepreneur'. My instinct was to swap the imminent handshake for a knuckle-sandwich, but I'm a lover not a fighter.

The term entrepreneur has always bothered me. Well, when people use it to describe themselves anyway.

It's okay if someone else refers to you as an entrepreneur, but under no circumstance should you EVER describe yourself as one.

In fact, calling yourself an entrepreneur is like calling yourself a hero. And that's just not done.

The term 'entrepreneur' is an accolade, not a job title.

I also can't help but think that people who introduce themselves as 'entrepreneurs' are belittling the 'average' SME director.

The 'average' SME director may work tremendously hard, have a successful company, experience the highs and lows of business but — for some reason or another — doesn't merit inclusion in the heavenly vault of the business world: entrepreneurdom.

Now I'm not saying that self-assurance, confidence and ambition aren't valuable traits - they are.

But so's a dash of modesty.

Because the most successful people earn respect, they don't bestow it upon themselves.


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