13 Experts Define What It Means to Be an Entrepreneur

“What is an entrepreneur?”

Asking that question to a bunch of people and expecting the same answer is a little like asking everyone to spell entrepreneur really fast and expecting the same answer…it’s not going to happen.

Even the wikipedia page for entrepreneur contains several different definitions of the word according to different people over the past couple of centuries.

So today I thought I’d share with you definitions from some of today’s most notable online entrepreneurs. I’m at NMX this week and I had the chance to do a one question interview with several entrepreneurs. Here’s their answer to the question, “what is an entrepreneur”?

Entrepreneur Pat FlynnAn entrepreneur is someone who takes control of the situation. Not necessarily just working for yourself, but just making your own decisions to help you progress in life, really. Being an entrepreneur is not just about business, and not just about money. But it’s about your goals and happiness, and life. And being able to have the freedom to explore options that you may not be able to explore while working for someone else. – Pat Flynn, SmartPassiveIncome.com

Entrepreneur Chris DuckerFor me, an entrepreneur is someone who wants to stick it to the man and be their own boss. It’s somebody that lives to create, to make difference, and to really build and start things. Like for me, I’m generally a crappy manager. But I have really good managers that I can work with. I don’t look at me as managing my managers. I look at me as working side by side with them, and they do all the heavy lifting for me. What I truly enjoy doing is starting things up, and marketing things, and building things. That for me is what an entrepreneur is. It’s somebody who can’t sit still. Somebody that has an idea a minute. When was the last time you had an idea for a domain name in the shower, and you stopped the shower mid-shower to go and register. Someone that just really wants to create change and rock and roll. – Chris Ducker, ChrisDucker.com

Entrepreneur Leslie SamuelAn entrepreneur to me is someone who creates something that can help others to accomplish their goals. And in turn they are making it into something that earns an income for them, and for other people. So it’s someone that’s really passionate about helping others and creating opportunities for them to do something that helps them to accomplish their goals. – Leslie Samuel, BecomeaBlogger.com

Entrepreneur Jeff RoseI believe an entrepreneur is someone that’s willing to take risks, someone that’s willing to make opportunity for themselves by identifying some of their strengths and their passions and essentially how they can take those passions and create solutions for people, and also derive a revenue stream from that. – Jeff Rose, GoodFinancialCents.com

Entrepreneur Stephanie SammonsTo me, an entrepreneur is someone with passion, vision, confidence, and the willingness to constantly adapt to change in order to successfully serve his or her unique market. – Stephanie Sammons, WiredAdvisor.com

What is an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Michael PruserAn entrepreneur is someone who doesn’t want to put up with others people’s shit all day and wants to work for himself. That’s it! – Michael Pruser, Staff Writer

Entrepreneur John DumasTo me, an entrepreneur is some that finds a niche that hasn’t been filled, or finds a space out there, or a pain out there that hasn’t really been solved yet. And takes it upon themselves to solve that pain, to solve that niche, and to really create those products or services that they know that they would want and that’s not out there yet, but they would want to see out there. And when your passions align with that, it just makes it all the more worthwhile to fill that pain, that niche. – John Dumas, EntrepreneurOnFire.com

Entrepreneur Todd TresidderThere are two key characteristics that define entrepreneurs. They are very good at seeing how problems can be converted into profitable business opportunities. And they are very good at implementing that vision. Many people have great ideas, and many people are good at getting things done. It is the rare individual who can do both, and that is why quality entrepreneurs are handsomely rewarded. There is a sense of “embracing the adventure” within them. Entrepreneurs are excited by their vision and see the business implementation process as an exciting adventure. Entrepreneurs need that excitement to feel fully engaged like a shark must swim to breathe. The box-like confines that define most traditional employment is suffocating to entrepreneurial creativity. That is why most business innovation occurs outside the confines of large corporations. – Todd Tresidder, FinancialMentor.com

Entrepreneur David WinchellAn entrepreneur is something you do not call yourself. If somebody calls you an entrepreneur, you can then tell them why you are one. “Entrepreneurs” take risks that regular people can’t stomach because there risk tolerance is too low. – David Winchell “golfwinch”

An entrepreneur is a person who’s driven, beyond all reasonable or common sense, and dedicated to their purpose in life. They can see what others can’t, and find ways to make it happen. They change the world through their beliefs, which are evident in the products and services they create. – Carrie Smith, CarefulCents.com


Entrepreneur Caleb WojcikAn entrepreneur is both a starter and a finisher. They aren’t afraid of putting themselves and their ideas out there, taking risks, or moving forward. But an even more important attribute of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to finish (e.g. launching a product, quitting at the right time, etc.). – Caleb Wojcik

Entrepreneur Jon OlsenAn entrepreneur is someone who takes control of a situation to help positively affect the outcome. Most people associate the term entrepreneur with business owners. Non-business owners can also be entrepreneurs. For example, a member of an organization that doesn’t just follow the status quo, but takes action to further advance the organization is an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to take risks and step outside of their comfort zone. – Jon Olsen, MilwaukeeConsumer.com

Entrepreneur Melanie NelsonTo me, an entrepreneur is someone who likes to create things. We can’t stop thinking of ideas — how to improve something, how to create something, how to re-imagine something. We stay up late because our brains buzz; we make voice notes on our phones so we don’t forget disjointed ideas that will come together later. Entrepreneurs appreciate the fear and uncertainty of taking on a project that may not work and know that it’s the fear and uncertainty that makes the successes so meaningful. – Melanie Nelson, BloggingBasics101.com

Those were some excellent and diverse answers. But three big terms pop out at me: taking a risk, putting in the work, and solving pain.

An entrepreneur is what I call myself, and entrepreneurialism (yes, that’s a word) is something that I’m sure you guys understand as a way to fast-forward your progress in achieving financial freedom. That’s certainly been the case for many of these entrepreneurs.

So now I want to hear from you. What is an entrepreneur?

Avatar About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. This is a fantastic post.  To me, being an entrepreneur means taking charge of your own destiny.  Some people are born this way, and for others it takes losing a job to figure out that having your eggs in somebody else’s basket will ALWAYS leave you foregoing your dreams for safety.

  2. Avatar TahnyaKristina says

    I love this post. Being an entrepreneur has a different definition for everyone. For me it means someone who is doing what they love and on their own terms.