What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

What is a Wantrepreneur?

As the name suggests, a wantrepreneur aspires to own their own business and become an entrepreneur.

A wantrepreneur doesn’t hold back in talking about their great business idea. Though the bragging often doesn’t turn into action. And the wantrepreneur can tend keep on talking about their business idea forever!

Traits of a Wantrepreneur

Some of the key traits of a wantrepreneur include:

Talks the Talk but Doesn’t Walk and Walk

Someone might posses the next billion-dollar business idea. But they also must get active pursuing their business idea. And avoid becoming one of those people who do nothing but talk. Otherwise they’ll fall head first into the wantrepreneur category.

Makes Excuses for Not Getting their Business Idea Up and Running

Excuses include not having the time, lacking the funds or waiting until ‘next month’ to start. Wantrepreneurs are full of them. They use them to explain their lack to entrepreneurial action.

Refuses to Perceive Themselves as a ‘Salesman’

Wantrepreneurs also blame their lack of sales skills for holding them back.

True and successful entrepreneurs work hard to overcome all obstacles, including a lack of sales skills.

Has an Eternal Goals List

Wantrepreneurs might have unique and creative ideas, but they are typically hopeless at getting things done. From money goals, to vacation ones, career goals to New Year’s Resolutions, a wantrepreneur’s goals list rarely has anything ticked.

What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

How to Determine if You’re a Wantrepreneur or an Entrepreneur?

If you’re unsure whether you’re an entrepreneur or are stuck in wantrepreneur doldrums, take a look at the following means of determining your businessperson status.

You’re Forever Waiting for those ‘Perfect Conditions’

It might be a recession, personal problems, or an unexpected promotion at work that’s holding you back from taking the plunge and starting your own business. Waiting for those ‘perfect conditions’ that rarely surface, is a tell-take sign that you’re a wantrepreneur.

You’re Opposed to Taking Risks

Not all risks pay off, but entrepreneurs recognize that even failure provides an opportunity to learn. If you’re opposed to taking risks and don’t regard risks in any optimistic light, you could well be a wantrepreneur who aspires to be an entrepreneur rather than an actual entrepreneur.

You Focus Solely on the Money

There’s much more to running a business other than paying cheques into the bank and watching the dollar signs tot up. Running your own business comes with a myriad of rewards other than financial ones.

While it is nice to reap financial rewards, if you’re solely focused on making a ‘quick buck’ and are reluctant to put the blood, sweat and tears to get there, could be a sign that you’re a wantrepreneur not an entrepreneur.

You’re Slow to Adapt

Whatever industry you’re involved in, the business landscape is constantly evolving. Wantrepreneurs tend to be more ‘stuck in the mud’ than entrepreneurs, who are able to adapt to changing environments and demands, always act quickly and strive to innovate within evolving landscapes.

If you’re reluctant to embrace change and are slow to adapt to changing environments, you might be fall into the wantrepreneur path rather than entrepreneur.

You Worry Too Much About Funding

Whereas a successful entrepreneur doesn’t worry about what he or she doesn’t have and goes all guns blaring to get the capital required to get their business venture off the ground, a wantrepreneur worries excessively about funding and not having sufficient funds to pump into their business venture, which can often be used as another excuse for failing to get the business started.

What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

Moving from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur: Action Steps

Prepare yourself to shake off your wantrepreneur shackles. And transform yourself into a thriving and unstoppable entrepreneur.  You should consider doing the following:

  • Keep your business idea a secret and refrain from shouting about your idea to prevent others from stealing your business plans before you have time to get your venture up and running.
  • Get a solid business plan written up ASAP.
  • Throw away those negative excuses today and, if you’ve not got time, simply make time!
  • Put the work into your business idea by striving to get the funding, sufficiently branding and marketing your business and overcoming obstacles that almost inevitably fall in every business’s way.
  • Finish what you started by persevering with your business through a willingness to take sensible risks and putting in some blood, sweat and tears.

Maintain Secrecy

Rather than broadcasting your business idea to everyone you meet, it’s critical to protect it until you’re ready to launch. Sharing your idea prematurely can expose your plans to unnecessary risks, including idea theft or premature criticism that could derail your confidence.

Use this time to refine your concept, conduct market research, and solidify your business strategy. When discussing your idea with potential partners or investors, consider using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to safeguard your intellectual property.

Develop a Solid Business Plan

Investing time in crafting a detailed business plan is crucial for turning your idea into a viable business. Your business plan should outline your vision, target market, value proposition, marketing and sales strategy, financial projections, and execution steps.

This document serves as your roadmap to success, helping you to stay focused and organized, and is essential when seeking funding. Use this plan as a living document, revisiting and revising it as your business evolves.

Eliminate Excuses

It’s easy to find reasons not to pursue your business idea, from lack of time to fear of failure. However, these excuses are often roadblocks that hinder progress.

Challenge yourself to replace excuses with determination and a proactive attitude. Set aside dedicated time each week to work on your business, break down your goals into manageable tasks, and celebrate small victories to maintain motivation.

Secure Funding

A common hurdle for wantrepreneurs is the fixation on the lack of funds. Shift your focus to actively securing the capital you need to launch and grow your business. Explore various funding options, including small business loans, angel investors, venture capital, crowdfunding, and bootstrapping.

Each funding source has its advantages and requirements, so research and choose the one that best aligns with your business model and growth plans.

Embrace Risk

Entrepreneurship inherently involves taking risks. Unlike wantrepreneurs who may shy away from risk-taking, successful entrepreneurs understand that risks are opportunities for growth. Embrace calculated risks that have been thoughtfully considered.

When faced with failure, view it as a valuable learning experience that can guide future decisions. Being resilient and learning from setbacks is key to entrepreneurial success.

Shift from Money-Centric Focus

While making a profit is essential for any business, successful entrepreneurship is driven by more than just financial gain. Reflect on the personal fulfillment, impact, and satisfaction that comes from bringing your vision to life and making a difference in your chosen market.

Focusing solely on financial rewards can lead to short-term decisions that aren’t aligned with your long-term vision. Balance your financial goals with your passion for the business and its potential impact on customers and the community.

Adapt and Innovate

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and so should your approach to entrepreneurship. Staying agile and open to change is crucial for navigating the challenges and seizing the opportunities that come your way.

Encourage innovation within your business by fostering a culture of creativity, experimentation, and continuous learning. Keep an eye on industry trends, listen to customer feedback, and be prepared to pivot your strategy when necessary to stay competitive and relevant.

By taking these actionable steps, you can transition from a wantrepreneur, who dreams of starting a business, to a successful entrepreneur, who makes those dreams a reality. Remember, entrepreneurship is a journey that requires patience, resilience, and a willingness to learn and grow.

Action StepsDescription
Maintain SecrecyProtect your business idea until it's ready for launch to avoid unnecessary risks.
Develop a Solid Business PlanCraft a detailed plan outlining your vision, strategy, and execution steps as a roadmap to success.
Eliminate ExcusesStop making excuses that hinder your progress and replace them with determination and a proactive attitude.
Secure FundingFocus on securing the necessary capital, exploring various funding options to overcome financial concerns.
Embrace RiskRecognize that entrepreneurship involves risks and view failures as opportunities for learning and growth.
Shift from Money-Centric FocusConsider the broader rewards of entrepreneurship, including personal fulfillment, growth, and community impact.
Adapt and InnovateEmbrace change, stay agile, and remain open to innovation and continuous improvement in dynamic entrepreneurial environments.

What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

Mentorship: The Bridge from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

Mentorship plays a pivotal role in guiding aspiring entrepreneurs away from the wantrepreneurial mindset and toward the path of successful entrepreneurship. Here’s how mentorship can be a transformative force:

  1. Guidance and Experience: A seasoned mentor can provide invaluable guidance based on their own entrepreneurial journey. They share insights, lessons learned, and strategies for navigating challenges, giving you a head start in your entrepreneurial endeavors.
  2. Accountability: A mentor holds you accountable for your actions and goals. They help you stay focused, track progress, and overcome procrastination. This accountability prevents you from slipping into the wantrepreneur trap of endless planning without execution.
  3. Networking: Mentors often open doors to valuable networks, connecting you with potential partners, investors, and collaborators. Networking opportunities can accelerate your entrepreneurial journey and expose you to new perspectives.
  4. Challenge and Growth: A mentor challenges your assumptions and encourages you to think critically. They push you out of your comfort zone, fostering personal and professional growth. Wantrepreneurs often resist change; a mentor helps you embrace it.
  5. Inspiration: Interacting with a mentor who has achieved entrepreneurial success can be highly motivating. Their stories of overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals can inspire you to take action and pursue your own dreams.

Finding a mentor can be a transformative step on your entrepreneurial path, bridging the gap between wanting to start a business and actually doing it. Seek out experienced entrepreneurs who are willing to share their knowledge and support your journey. Mentorship can provide the guidance, accountability, and inspiration you need to evolve from a wantrepreneur into a successful entrepreneur.

Mentorship AspectsDescription
Guidance and ExperienceSeasoned mentors provide valuable guidance, insights, and strategies based on their entrepreneurial experience.
AccountabilityMentors hold you accountable for your goals, helping you stay focused and overcome procrastination.
NetworkingMentorship often provides access to valuable networks, connecting you with potential partners, investors, and collaborators.
Challenge and GrowthMentors challenge assumptions and encourage critical thinking, fostering personal and professional growth.
InspirationInteracting with successful mentors can be highly motivating, inspiring you to take action and pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.

What is a Wantrepreneur and How Can You Avoid Being One?

Conclusion: From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

The distinction between a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur lies not merely in the aspiration for business ownership but in the transformative actions and mindset that accompany that aspiration.

Wantrepreneurs are characterized by their proclivity to talk without action, make excuses, resist risks, and prioritize money over broader rewards. In contrast, entrepreneurs are defined by their commitment to taking calculated risks, adapting to change, embracing challenges, and recognizing that entrepreneurship encompasses more than financial gain.

Understanding this distinction is pivotal for those on the entrepreneurial path. It’s an acknowledgment that the journey to entrepreneurship requires more than just a desire; it necessitates a profound shift in attitude and behavior.

The transition from a wantrepreneur to an entrepreneur demands a commitment to proactive planning, risk-taking, resilience, and unwavering dedication.

Ultimately, success in entrepreneurship is not solely measured by financial gains but by the personal growth, impact on others, and fulfillment it brings. By internalizing these principles and taking concrete steps toward entrepreneurship, individuals can transform their aspirations into reality, moving beyond mere talk and into the realm of action and achievement.

The journey from wantrepreneurship to entrepreneurship is a transformative one, offering the promise of realizing one’s business dreams and making a lasting mark on the world of innovation and commerce.

Image: Depositphotos.com

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".