He took a risk, went through the motions of uncertainty and stress, worked a second job to support his family and his business, grew his customer base, hired other mechanics, sold services (auto repair) as well as products (auto parts), and was ultimately accountable for his own success.
Ask him what he does for a living, however, and he won’t tell you he’s an entrepreneur. He’ll say he fixes cars.
Ask him about being his own boss and he’ll say, “When you have your own business, you’re not the boss. You’re an employee.”
But in my eyes he is most definitely an entrepreneur, at least according to the definition you get from a quick Google search:
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
Like my dad, many small business owners don’t embrace their identity as “entrepreneurs”. On the other hand, you probably know someone who wears the title with pride.
Some people exclude those who own side businesses as “real entrepreneurs”. Others talk broadly about entrepreneurs as anyone who starts a new business in any capacity. And let’s not forget the “entrepreneurial tendencies” people can have without owning a business, that many companies today look for in the people they hire.
But is an independent freelancer an entrepreneur? What about a full-time Uber driver? Someone who runs a stall at a fish market? Where do we draw the line, if there is one to draw?
This wide range of interpretations, coupled with all the new ways for people to make money on their own terms, begs the question: What exactly is an “entrepreneur” today?