I operate a business out of my home, but I’d rather not call it a home-based business because it seems like there is a “get rich quick” stigma attached to that. You know those commercials — “Work two hours a day and bring in $60,000 a month! ” Those are too good to be true and we all know it. Most home-based business owners are working their tails off trying to make a living, just like everyone else. There is also a “I’m small peanuts” stigma to being a home-based business owner, which I’m ok with but I know others struggle with it.
Nevertheless, my home-based business is one of 38 million home-based businesses in the United States. If we’re all bad, we’ve got a problem.
The more I thought about it, most “labels” for business owners have some sort of stigma attached to them.
- Entrepreneur. If you start a business, you’re an entrepreneur (although the word is often confusing to people). Period. That’s what entrepreneur means. But for a long time, this word conjured up the image of a second-class citizen that has no credibility … because the individual was not part of mainstream Corporate America… People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates helped change this perception, although it still exists.
- Serial Entrepreneur. You are labeled a serial entrepreneur if you own multiple businesses (even two). But when I think of the word “serial,” I think of “serial killer” and craziness. But a person who can juggle multiple businesses successfully is anything but crazy.
- Lifestyle Entrepreneur. If you seek a certain lifestyle — flexible hours, a fulfilling career — over money, then you are a lifestyle entrepreneur. But, you still have to make money — and that’s a business, and that’s hard. The term “lifestyle entrepreneur” seems to imply someone kicking back on a beach while the money rolls in or someone who works, doesn’t make money and doesn’t care.
- Growth Entrepreneur. If you’re a growth entrepreneur, you’re in it for the money — but that’s also the objective in business. So are growth entrepreneurs bad because they want to make money? I don’t think so.
- Momtrepreneur. I’m actually a momtrepreneur, in addition to being a home-based business owner. Momtrepreneurs, in my opinion, are hard-working, smart women who have figured out a way to start a business that allows them to work around family demands. But sometimes I feel like we get dismissed — like we aren’t really serious about what we do. I’m here to tell you — if you want something done, give it to a busy person like a mom!
No matter how you’re labeled, you should be proud to be a business owner. It’s not an easy job — but it can be a rewarding experience.
How are you “classifed” by others?