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Online Entrepreneur: A Definition

Steven 6 responses General

By definition, an entrepreneur is a person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture. It’s a pretty big word that we typically associate with big-name business people like Donald Trump or Bill Gates, people who’ve made huge investments, taken huge risks and made huge mountains of money, generally in the off-line world. But what about people who work online? What’s the definition of an online entrepreneur?

When most people think of the word “entrepreneur” thing that comes to mind is “risk” and the first person to come to mind is Donald Trump. Over the years he’s risked millions of dollars while building his empire. But it’s not what Trump has risked or how much he’s risked that makes him an entrepreneur. It’s the fact that he risked something, anything at all.

Now, you might not think of yourself as an entrepreneur. After all, you’re working online. What have you really risked? A domain name costs 10 bucks and web hosting might cost you another seven or eight bucks each month. That’s nothing like the millions of dollars Trump risks every day. It’s not really a risk at all.

But remember, it’s not what you’re risking or how much you’re risking that makes you an entrepreneur. It’s the fact that you’re taking a risk. And when you’re building an online business, you take risks every day. In fact, every time you log on you put your entire future at risk.

But, wait a minute, you say. You’re still working at your full-time job. As long as you don’t quit your future is safe. Even if you’re a complete failure at blogging you’ll still have your job to fall back on. There’s no risk at all really. You’re not an entrepreneur.

I disagree. The minute you decide you want to be a successful blogger and build a long-term sustainable business, you become an entrepreneur because in order to reach that goal you’re going to have to take risks, and learn to organize and operate a business.

Anytime you move into uncharted territory you run the risk of failure. Right now you may only have $20 or $30 invested in your online business but as your business grows it becomes an asset and assets have value. Each step you take to grow your business means you’re going to have to learn something new, some new method or technique for making money online. And that learning process means that occasionally you’re going to make a mistake, a mistake that could put your entire business at risk.

Eventually, your business is going to grow enough that you’ll feel comfortable leaving that full-time job. The timing is different for everyone, but if you’re dedicated to success, then the time will definitely come. At that point, each new decision you have to make will not only mean putting your business at risk, but also your entire future, because now you no longer have that job to fall back on.

What’s an online entrepreneur? Someone who’s willing to organize, operate and assume the risks for a business venture, just like Donald Trump. Now, stop thinking of yourself as “just another blogger.” You’re an entrepreneur and you have a business to run.

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  1. Daniel Dipiazza

    Yep – risk is a huge part of the entrepreneur make-up. Being able to tolerate large amounts of risk for the chance of substantial reward is what it’s all about to us. However, one common misconception about ‘treps is that we are gamblers. We’re not. We are actually very risk averse and the successfully self-employed usually take very calculated risks…lot’s of thought goes into something that, on the outside, may seem very “spur of the moment”. Wouldn’t you agree, Ste?

    1. Daniel, I do not consider myself to be risk averse. I take a lot of risks with my online ventures, but this is always calculated risks. I take risks only if the odds are on my side.

  2. Rconnoriii

    Great topic and my current safe job is keeping me from making that next learning leap – will have to get out of my comfort zone more!

    1. Is it really your current job that is preventing you from moving forward or is it a good excuse to not take more risks? ;)

  3. Tonia Renee Lee

    Inspirational and inspiring!

    1. Thanks