BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR not only requires determination, commitment and focus, but these days, it might also help to have a moniker.
New terminology for describing an entrepreneur’s particular bent or status, such as “greenpreneur” and “scholarpreneur,” have been making inroads into popular parlance. The term “Mompreneur” has even been trademarked in both the U.S. and Canada.
Some entrepreneurs embrace such labels because they say it helps them stand out in a crowded marketplace and network more effectively. Others are convinced that the terms clarify what they do or how they work. For instance, a “solopreneur” typically owns a one-man-shop while a “serial entrepreneur” may own many. John Jantsch, author of “Duct Tape Marketing” and a Kansas City, Mo., marketing coach, says labels “can be effective if they help to identify or communicate something of value to [a business owner’s] target market.” Socially-conscious consumers, for example, might prefer doing business with “socialpreneurs” over run-of-the-mill entrepreneurs.
The terms may also point to a business owner’s expertise within a specific market or industry. For instance, “fempreneurs” may have more insight into what women want than entrepreneurs who focus on the market as a whole. Plus, says Pat Cobe, the co-author of “Mompreneurs Online” and co-owner of the trademark for Mompreneur in the U.S., “as the word has become more mainstream and people Google it, we come out on top.”
So which term, if any, is right for you? Here’s your guide to entrepreneurial buzzwords (in no particular order):
Sideline Entrepreneur : Rather than dive head-first into a risky entrepreneurial venture, these moonlighters prefer to just dip their toes in — at least, at first. Jonathan Butler launched Brownstoner.com, a Brooklyn, N.Y., real estate site, in 2005 while spending his days toiling in finance for a hedge fund and then at a big Wall Street firm. The situation was “logistically difficult,” says Butler, who often had to run to the lobby to take Brownstoner-related calls during work. But the steady paycheck was indispensable. At that point, “I had a two-year-old and another child on the way, so I couldn’t just say ‘I’m going to take the next year off,'” says Butler, who ultimately quit his day job last year. “I was trying to put the building blocks in place.”
Solopreneur : When Adrian Miller, a sales trainer in Port Washington, N.Y., isn’t speaking at a conference, she’s throwing a luncheon or dinner party for current and prospective clients. But even as her one-woman shop has been around for nearly 20 years, for the most part, she says: “I do all of the training myself.” Her secret? “I use a lot of technology,” says Miller, who goes out of her way to make at least 50 touch points each day. “I stay on the grid with people.”
Copreneur : If two is better than one, these entrepreneurs are on point. Often, the term copreneurs refer to a husband-and-wife team that goes into business together. However, sisters Casey and Sloane Simmons, co-founders of Kansas City, Mo., retail store Stuff, also fit the bill. Sloane says working with her sister Casey, as she has for the past 11 years, is like pairing equals with differing skills. Where Casey excels at merchandising and graphic design, Sloane keeps the focus on organization. “We bring to our partnership a true understanding of our abilities,” she says.