You know that golden oldie “The Great Pretender” sung by Tony Williams and The Platters?
For some reason, that song comes to mind when interacting with some entrepreneurs out there and I figured why not coin the term “pretendtrepreneur” to talk about all the pretend entrepreneurs there seem to be.
Pretendtrepreneur – Pretend Entrepreneur – Get it??
I mean, it’s only fitting that we chat about the other side of the coin seeing that only just last week, our focus was on the customers that drive us insane (read about them here)
Now my definition of a pretendtrepreneur is one who believes that because they are a business owner with ideas that makes them an entrepreneur, when in fact, they’re just pretending. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some really hard working and innovative professionals out there who are truly pushing themselves forward but one reason or another they are stuck. These professionals will try different things or call on other professionals to help them – much like you call a tow truck to assist you if your car gets stuck. A pretendtrepreneur will sit in the car in the pouring rain ignoring all the passersby who stopped to lend assistance and refusing to call motor assist then grumble that they’re not moving forward and not reached their destination yet.
Think they don’t exist? Well let me give you some characteristics of those pretendtrepreneurs and you tell me if you’ve ever come across any of them on your journey
1: THEY DO NOTHING BUT COMPLAIN ABOUT EVERYTHING
This is the one that annoys me the most. There is so much information out there, so many of my fellow colleagues and I offer free training and advice with actionable steps to take to achieve goals. Sometimes we kick ourselves because we feel we give ‘too much’ but these pretenders just do nothing. They sit and wallow in their misery and say that nothing works for them. Of course it won’t………you’re not DOING anything. My mentor says “there is no transformation in information, only in action”. You have to get up and do something for something to happen.
2: THEY ARE SO STUCK IN THEIR WAYS
I know I said the first one annoys me the most, but I think this one is it. I think maybe because this one and the last go hand in hand. Doing the same thing that doesn’t work over and over and doing nothing is practically the same thing…….right? It amazes me how many entrepreneurs are confidently doing the same thing in their business knowing that it’s not bringing any returns. Maybe it’s easier to just ‘go with the flow’ or to try to convince the persons closest to them to purchase even if they have said repeatedly that they are not interested, but a real entrepreneur will understand that they need to try different things in order to see different results.
3: THEY REFUSE TO SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
They think so small and are only interested in the next sale or the next client. Their idea of going global reaches as far as their social media account to see if there are any messages or comments on a post. They’re not focused nor do they have no end goal in mind, whether it’s a financial goal or a business one. Ask them: Where do you see yourself and your business three, five or ten years from now and what steps do you have to make today to reach those goals and I guarantee you will get a blank stare or some blanket statement like “I will be making a lot of money” . It’s because they just never thought of it. Too many pretend entrepreneurs think that a couple hundred bucks here and there is success and with no strategic plan their future is unknown while the real entrepreneur knows the future is what you make it.
4: THEY STILL TRY TO MARKET TO EVERYONE
This one hurts my soul! It’s impossible to market to everyone and while entrepreneurs will get specific to who they want to market to and create packages specifically for them, the pretendtrepreneurs will continue to advertise to everyone by ‘diversifying’ their offerings with things that have absolutely nothing to do with who they claim the core target is. So for example someone may own a women’s clothing store, instead of building and truly establishing the brand, they will one day wake up and start selling children’s clothing, then clothing for men and why not throw in some bedding and drapes while we’re at it? Then they rationalize this by saying that women will come with their children and bring in their husbands……..etc, etc, etc when in fact their core target was single women who are unmarried with no children. The owner of this store has now confused their core target. A real entrepreneur understands that they need to get their target to fall in love with them first, then, based on what those persons want then move forward with genius ideas
5: THEY ARE NOT FLEXIBLE
The pretendtrepreneur just don’t know how to let go of their egos. They are so committed to their ideas that they lose out on opportunities. They close themselves off from potentially fruitful collaborations just because things are not the way they envision it should be. Like life, business is unpredictable and a real entrepreneur will make themselves available for any opportunity that may arise.
6: THEY JUST WON’T INVEST IN THEMSELVES
With pretendtrepreneur ‘free’ just seems to be the magic word, and while nothing is wrong with building yourself up off of freeness there comes a point in your business that free just will not cut it anymore, especially if nothing is being done with the information provided ( see point #1). A real entrepreneur understands that in order for business to grow, they must grow as well and invest in the things that they absolutely need. There’s no need to overspend when investing in yourself, but understanding where you are now and where you want to be will determine how you can move forward in your business.
Well those are just the few I’ve crossed paths with.
I am interested to know if you have met any of these pretentrepreneurs. Let me know in the comments below
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