You are not an Entrepreneur

In Business on March 3, 2009 at 3:56 am

We can see you are motivated; you stay late everyday.  We know you have great ideas because you can’t ever agree with your peers and superiors.  You’re too good for termination, but you’ve quit the last 3 jobs because, well, you knew the company was heading towards ruin and you weren’t going to have your good name impugned and hard effort wasted.  Two months later you’re freelancing on the next great concept, collecting $400 a week while the last company you ditched just got itself listed on the NASDAQ.

Entrepreneurs don’t work alone – they are the boss of themselves working for the benefit of others, while assuming a risk to do so.  Self-employment of itself cannot be considered qualifying criteria for entrepreneurs when there is no possibility of creating new jobs, managing outside resources, or affecting substantive inventive change upon an industry, market or community.   Billing for common skills as a 1099 employee adds more cheap labor to the pool of commodities;  we’re glad you’re keeping busy, paying your bills and not taxing the unemployment fund.

We can illustrate this thought by turning to agriculture.  A plantation owner pooled his money from the bank, his family and investors.  He bought land, hired labor, purchased equipment, negotiated his regional supply deals. To add an element of community good, we’ll say that he decided to produce all certified organic.  So he had to hire specialized agriculturalists, apply for certification and lobby some bureaucrat to allow for additional tax exemptions.  A lot of work for one person.  A lot of risk with other people’s money, time and effort.  A lot at stake for the people hired when a cold freeze comes around and ruins a crop.

You, on the other hand, with a bucket of soil hanging outside the window of your 4 flight walk-up, can’t decide between planting potatoes or corn because your buddy hasn’t returned your e-mail about which one grows better in the month of October.  You hope either one grows quick so you can store it away for winter and not starve – and all this because you think it is debasing to your dreams to manage your relationships at your day job.

Good luck, Farmer Joe.


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