Women Over 50 Redefine What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur

entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Michelle Oliver

It seems like the term entrepreneur is being thrown around these days more often than baseballs in springtime.

It wasn’t that long ago when most people were still struggling to say the word. Now it flows off the tongues of everyone, regardless of age or gender. Everyone seems to either know one, be one, or wants to be one.

“For those new to claiming this identity, the word carries with it a sense of pride, power and purpose.”

Sidepreneurship:

Women in midlife are particularly receptive to the possibilities this idea holds for them. Encouraging stats about women starting businesses over the last few years are flooding the internet. Women are jumping into this river of hope with both feet. As if they had been waiting all their lives for permission to swim.

The 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report states that the growth rate, of what they are calling “sidepreneurship” for women, has been much greater than for women-owned businesses overall. A striking 39% vs. 21%.

New Identity:

For those new to claiming this identity, the word carries with it a sense of pride, power and purpose. Things this world is hungry for. For those who took the said “leap” and are in the midst of struggling to push the rocket ship off the ground, the word brings comfort. Like tossing a giant, heated blanket over an aching body. Just knowing they are part of a collective, growing number of people who have adopted this title makes the difficulties of the role easier to bear.

The Term Entrepreneur:

But who are these new “entrepreneurs”? Where did they all come from?

The debate has been on for decades as to whether an entrepreneur is born or made. A subject I’ve written about on several occasions…me and hundreds of other people. That debate rests upon our ability to define the term entrepreneur, which opens up yet another playing field of controversy.

Investopedia, as well as many other sources, defines an entrepreneur as an individual who starts and runs a business with limited resources and planning.  It goes further and adds, is responsible for all the risks and rewards of their business venture. The business idea usually encompasses a new product or service rather than an existing business model.

The defining factor here is “known risks”, which are found in any small business. Versus the “unknown risks” entrepreneurs face with a new product or service. Thus, a business owner or franchisee does not fall into the category of an entrepreneur.

“Gino Wickman, author of The Entrepreneurial Leap, insists that Entrepreneurs are born.”

Entrepreneurial Seizure:

The terms mompreneur, solopreneur, sidepreneur and hustlepreneur all muddy the waters. While, at the same time, diluting the meaning of the word. Depending on who you ask, you may find a different definition.

Michael Gerber of The E Myth fame, states that, “We all have an Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician inside us.” He goes on to relate that “It’s important to understand that from my point of view. the entrepreneur is not a “person” but a part of everyone’s personality.”

However, Gino Wickman, author of The Entrepreneurial Leap, insists that Entrepreneurs are born, not made. And, he notes, they should be differentiated from a small business owner, Although naturally owning a small business may be part of an entrepreneur’s efforts.

Both Gino and Michael use the phrase “entrepreneurial seizure”. Michael refers to it as “the moment where you realize you should… no, you absolutely must… start your own business”. Gino references it in his book as well, with the added flavor of the uncontrolled impulse as part of the seizure.

“Regardless of what label you may fall under, you will find the way, the people, the skills and resources necessary to fulfill your dream..”

Build Your Systems:

Whether you fit the true entrepreneur definition or not, you still might want to own a small business and you can be very successful. You might have a passion you want to turn into a small business, you might want to buy a franchise, or buy an existing business and run one location.

The Spectrum:

Wherever you fall in this apparent spectrum, if you have the dream in your heart and the idea in your mind, in my opinion it indicates that it was meant to be. Regardless of what label you may fall under, you will find the way, the people, the skills and resources necessary to fulfill your dream. Especially, if you allow yourself to believe you can.

And while the rest of the world wrestles with definitions and whether or not you were hatched or planted, born, raised or both, you’ll be busy learning how to launch your email and lead campaigns, build your systems and refine your marketing as you pursue your prerogative to follow your dreams.

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About the Author:

Michelle has been starting and building businesses, professionally training and coaching within the small business sector over the last 34 years. Even as a child, the entrepreneurial spirit drove her to build communities and provide services to others and this continued throughout her life at each stage.

When her children were born, her passion for child development and education inspired her to commit many years to intense study in these areas. She was instrumental in 2 Waldorf charter school initiatives, started and grew 2 pre-schools, led numerous homeschooling collaboratives and started and ran several home businesses during this time. You can find Michelle on her site and you can follow her on IG.