Apparently, the number of people calling themselves entrepreneurs is fast disappearing. How bizarre considering we are the breed supposed to be leading the economic recovery.According to research by Sage, only four per cent of small business owners think of themselves of entrepreneurs. While many are happy to be called business owners, which of course is a more than respectable and factual title, it surprises me that more than a quarter of those surveyed preferred to call themselves self-employed rather than entrepreneur. Again, being called self-employed is a statement of fact, but we are the fire-lighters fuelling the flames of economic growth. Doesn’t that deserve a bigger term than ‘self-employed’? Consider the number of jobs that have their titles puffed up to supposedly increase the status of positions. Window cleaners have become ‘Transparency Enhancement Facilitators’, call centre workers are ‘Front Line Customer Service Technicians’ and bankers are, well, ‘Morally Corrupt Currency Hoarders’. Joking aside, these titles are supposed to make the employee proud of their position. The same should be true of the people who own and run businesses. But pride in their achievements doesn’t seem to be the only reason business owners are avoiding being branded entrepreneurs. It was suggested by Sage that business owners find it hard to relate to the term ‘entrepreneur’. They see an entrepreneur as someone who is innovative, but who does not necessarily have the drive or business skills to succeed. In their minds, entrepreneurs are those that bring innovation to a business rather than run the operation. I think there are quite a few business owners, me included, who completely disagree with that assessment. Maybe that’s the ‘Dragons’ Den’ influence, where time after time garden shed inventors looking for investment are classed as ‘would-be entrepreneurs’. Isn’t that crazy, considering the five entrepreneurs handing out the investments possess the drive and business acumen that got them where they are today and earn themselves a seat in the Den. It’s the Dragons and not the applicants that business owners should aspire to be like. In fact, there are thousands of UK entrepreneurs that create employment, deliver tax income for the Treasury and stimulate trade both at home and abroad. These are the guys that follow through on their ideas and lead from the front line. Surely you’d want to align yourselves with them? I know I do! Charlie Mullins is the CEO and founder of Pimlico Plumbers.
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