I didn't work for myself until I was 27 years old.
My first paying gig in high school was as a sales clerk at JoAnn's. In college, I worked 2 jobs and if it was a holiday break, I'd pick up a third one. When I graduated, I did what any xillenial does and had a series of jobs in real estate, education, beauty, entertainment and pharma.
It didn't stop there. Yes despite having a full time professional job, I even joined MLMs. Gasp. Shout out to Stella & Dot, Modere and whatever that insurance company my best friend got me into is now called.
It was a hustle.
I immigrated from Manila in the 90s. My mom was a single parent with 3 kids in tow, a hundred dollars in her pocket and 2 boxes of clothes.
Our mission? Make it.
'Cause there was no going back.
This was the birth of the hustle.
Fast forward to being one of the creators of an event called Secret Knock. Its purpose was to gather like-minded people going after 'it". Whatever "it" was.
Then it grew. Like really grew. As in Forbes featured it, Inc featured it. My co-founder's author career was taking off and I was being asked to do interviews and events.
I was being regarded as "founder", "entrepreneur", "business owner". This is the reality but I noticed it growing an interesting taste in my mouth.
This taste turned into distaste when I had a child. I wasn't "in your face" as much and had time to observe my life.
It grew even more when my partner and I officially agreed to let him take the public platform and my lane was the strategy and vision side.
I noticed most my interactions were "entrepreneurial" in nature. The game was about who I knew and what I can do for someone. I don't mind them. Really I don't. I adore the Knockers. Assisting their missions is an honor and the joy of my heart.
The issue was the existence of someone being regarded as an entrepreneur versus someone who is not.
In some circles, it's a type of person, a character trait that can be categorized as an asset or a flaw. There are nature over nurture debates over it.
I think it's ridiculous.
So yeah you can say I resisted the whole thing. Regarding someone as an entrepreneur as if it's a result personality quiz or a victory from the gene lottery is a narrow filter. Frankly everyone is an entrepreneur.
How we all do it is different from everyone else. The qualifier is not whether you work for someone else or for yourself. In fact, there isn't one.
It's simply about carrying the spirit of creating beyond what you currently have. We all have a version of this in each one of us.
It doesn't matter who you are. Dalai Lama. Single parents. Families living in a picket fence. Grandparents. Students trudging through common core. Everyone's got the spirit.
You might call it a dream, a career, parenting, work-life balance, a mission. Whatever your scene is; you thought of it, you manage it and you are the life force that keeps it going.
That spirit is what makes everyone, including you reading this, an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial spirit is a catch all hat.
It catches all of us.
So if you catch yourself looking at the impact makers or tech founders and think you're just a wannapareneur with FOMO, shake it off.
Everyone who wants to be included is invited into the catch all hat.
And with that filter, my world widened again. I hope yours just did too.
Cheers to you, Boss.