What Is An Entrepreneur: How To Explain It To Your Family

What Is An Entrepreneur: How To Explain It To Your Family

Raise your hand if you’ve had your loved ones scratch their heads and say: “What exactly is it that you do?”

It seems that having a job is easier to wrap their heads around, but you being an entrepreneur simply confounds them.

You know what being an entrepreneur is, but maybe those around you don’t. Here are a few points that you can share to help them understand why you do what you do.

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Ways to Answer “What Is an Entrepreneur?”

what is an entrepreneur

An Entrepreneur Has a Passion

Whether that passion is baking, helping business owners, grooming dogs, whatever, you and other entrepreneurs do something that you have a calling for. When you have a job working for someone else, you may or may not love what it is that you do. But when you go to the extreme effort of starting and growing your own business, you darn sure better love what you do!

I hear all the time “I do what I love,” and people can understand that. What’s exciting for entrepreneurs is to wake up each day and be eager to get to work. How many employees can say that?

An Entrepreneur Embodies Innovation and Vision

An entrepreneur isn’t just someone who starts a business; they’re a visionary, a dreamer who sees beyond the ordinary, identifying gaps and opportunities where others might see obstacles.

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They possess an innate drive, a relentless spirit that pushes them to turn ideas into reality, and in doing so, they often chart unexplored territories. While some are motivated by the thrill of challenge, others might be driven by a deep-rooted desire to make a difference.

An entrepreneur is adaptable, constantly learning and pivoting, aware that the journey of entrepreneurship is as unpredictable as it is rewarding.

Key Characteristics of an Entrepreneur:

  • Visionary Thinking: Entrepreneurs have the ability to see the bigger picture, envisioning a future that’s different from the present. This allows them to identify opportunities that many might overlook.
  • Resilience: The journey of entrepreneurship is riddled with challenges and failures. Entrepreneurs have a tenacious spirit, bouncing back from setbacks, learning from them, and pushing forward.
  • Adaptability: In the dynamic world of business, adaptability is crucial. Entrepreneurs are always ready to pivot, adjusting their strategies and approaches in response to changing environments or unforeseen challenges.
  • Risk-Taking: While they are strategic in their decisions, entrepreneurs understand that there’s no reward without risk. They’re willing to step outside their comfort zones, betting on their ideas and capabilities.
  • Continuous Learning: The world of business is ever-evolving, and entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying updated. They’re constantly upskilling, learning about new technologies, market trends, and business strategies to stay ahead in the game.

An Entrepreneur Is Willing to Take Risks to Succeed

what is an entrepreneur

Not everyone is willing to take a risk when it comes to their livelihood. Most people would rather have the stability and security that a steady paycheck provides.

But entrepreneurs are willing to risk utter failure in order to create something, to build something beyond ourselves. It doesn’t always pay off, but when it does, the reward is so, so sweet.

The end game of this risk could be that we sell our businesses, cash out or simply continue to make a lucrative profit.

An Entrepreneur Craves Freedom

what is an entrepreneur

Employees are required to show up at 8 a.m. and work until 5 (or later). They have to answer to bosses and follow the company’s lead in terms of how they work.

An entrepreneur essentially has a blank canvas to create whatever he or she wants to. An entrepreneur can work whatever schedule maximizes his or her time and peak productivity. An entrepreneur calls the shots, no one else.

What’s so great is that we have the freedom to chart our own destinies. We can take our businesses in whatever direction we care to. Sometimes we’ll realize that a particular path isn’t the best to take, and we come back to what we know best. But having the freedom to choose where we go is incredibly powerful for entrepreneurs.

An Entrepreneur Will Never Get a Job

what is an entrepreneur

Sometimes misguided friends or family ask, especially in the early days of us launching a business, “why don’t you get a REAL job?”

It’s a frustrating conversation because some people simply don’t get entrepreneurship. They don’t understand anything outside of their bubble of safety, and our own risk-taking and adventuring makes them nervous.

Understand that it’s not about you, it’s about them. You weren’t cut out to be an employee. You have a burning desire to be creative. To create. Never let other people’s limited view of the world impact your own ability to create positive change in it.


Aspect of EntrepreneurshipDescription
Has a PassionEntrepreneurs do something they genuinely love. Their passion isn't a mere interest but a calling that motivates them to start and nurture their business. It's this very passion that differentiates them from regular employees, giving them the excitement to work every day.
Embodies Innovation and VisionEntrepreneurs are not just business starters; they are visionaries. They see beyond the commonplace, spotting gaps and opportunities. With a drive to bring ideas to life, they often navigate uncharted waters, motivated by challenges and the desire to make a difference. They're adaptable, constantly learning and pivoting.
Is Willing to Take Risks to SucceedEntrepreneurs understand the intrinsic value and potential rewards of risk. Unlike many who crave the security of a steady income, they're prepared to face the possibility of failure, driven by the bigger picture of creating or building something significant and impactful.
Craves FreedomUnlike employees bound by fixed schedules and hierarchical constraints, entrepreneurs cherish their freedom. They operate on their terms, following schedules that suit them, making decisions that best align with their vision. This freedom allows them to steer their businesses in any direction they see fit.
Will Never Get a JobThe entrepreneurial spirit is often misunderstood by those who seek the traditional employment path. Entrepreneurs have an innate desire to create and innovate, which often doesn't fit within the confines of a regular job. Their journey is not about fitting in but about making impactful changes in the world.

Entrepreneurs Photo via Shutterstock


Ramon Ray Ramon is an entrepreneur, best selling author and global speaker. He is the founder of Smart Hustle Magazine. You can read more about Ramon.

3 Reactions
  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post of yours. You have inspired me to explain in my own words to my family and friends what being an entrepreneur means.

    Also, when I have found myself explaining why I don’t do the “real job” thing, I find it easy to show them that if I traded time working a job, my own entrepreneurial efforts would be in vain.

    An entrepreneur is someone willing to live for a few years like most people won’t, so they can spend the rest of their lives like most people can’t.

    Well done and thank you.

  2. And you’ve got to love when they think you’re some kind of wild gambler because you’re willing to take risks they wouldn’t. Everything has risk. It’s all about how you manage it.

    Oh, and high risk can lead to high rewards!

  3. Once you make the choice to be an entrepreneur, it always takes some time to explain these to people who don’t know what it means. But it is a path that is not attractive to everyone.

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