Everyone’s an entrepreneur nowadays.
With the rise of e-commerce businesses spreading like wildfire since the hay days of Amazon and eBay made their rounds, it’s easier than ever to own a business of your own. In fact, what used to be an occupation reserved for the elite in our society now seems to be a label that some folks who can’t get jobs adopt as a ‘get out of jail free’ card. People who didn’t use to impress you in school, and still fail to inspire you now are ‘entrepreneurs’, or ‘small business owners’. And you start to wonder: Has it become all too easy?
Last I checked, an entrepreneur is still defined as ‘a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.’ The only difference between now and the businesses of yesteryears is the significantly reduced “financial risks” that one needs to take on in order to become an entrepreneur, thanks to The Internet. In addition, the whole concept of Lean Startup also indicates that investments in terms of time also need not come at a staggering cost.
I struggled with this new idea of being an entrepreneur myself, having left my cushy banking job to be what is commonly termed as a “blogshop owner” so as to manage Dressabelle (the e-commerce store I co-founded) full-time. This is one term which I am sure many Singaporeans have came to relate to, some with skepticism and some with acceptance. However, I can say that not many I have met were genuinely excite for this transition in my life that I was making. After all, how much glory is there in a business that was practically virtual?
It took almost a year of stellar business performance (and some media attention) to help me finally realize and acknowledge the fact that I was indeed an entrepreneur in my own right. Not so widely accepted yet? Sure. But still taking on personal and financial risks, and making profits? Definitely. Even as an e-commerce boutique owner, I was actively hunting down consumer problems and coming up with innovative ways for solving them.
What I came to realise was that I needed to learn to not fight the new laws of doing business, by overcompensating and justifying to others why I am sort of an entrepreneur. The trick is to just embrace it and start acknowledging yourself as a small business owner. Besides, it is still about having the persistence, attitude and entrepreneurial spirit – and that hasn’t changed with time.
In fact, the beauty of today’s startup environment has progressed to become one that is a lot more inclusive. It is no longer a community reserved only for the rich or born rich. Individuals with creative ideas for solving challenges faced by consumers, or those with specialised skill sets and talents are given more opportunities to succeed when they choose to chase their dreams.
So whether you are ready or not, welcome to the new generation of entrepreneurs.
- So You Want To Be An Entrepreneur? (joellepang.com)
- Do you intend to start a biz on your own? (dnaindia.com)
- Recap – Sources of funding for startup Discussion at Buni (tanzict.or.tz)
- Even the Best Entrepreneurs Need Advice (inimitablerich.wordpress.com)
- Are you too old to be a successful entrepreneur? (shoestring.com.au)