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Entrepreneur Diaries: What do non-entrepreneurs think of us?

Tariq Sanad

By Tariq Sanad, founder of social concierge service Lime & Tonic.

October 31, 2013 3:45 by

I was at a dinner last night with a group of well-heeled professionals and it occurred to me then that I would have been considered as one of them just over a year ago. We had to introduce ourselves around the table and I was second to last, however, I have to admit it was probably the first time I was a little nervous to say what I do for a living.

I then blurted it out: “I am an entrepreneur”, and I started to wonder why I was so anxious or nervous to say that – usually it has more to do with what I personally think versus what people’s real perceptions are.

When I was in the corporate world and someone would say that he/she is an entrepreneur, I would just think to myself – “here we go, it’s another one of those that has an idea that is the best in the world, but is bound to fail at some point”. Not many people would admit it, but I still believe that is how people with a steady monthly income generally view entrepreneurs.

I feel it was some form of jealousy that made me think that way before, because, deep down, I wanted to be one and was just not able to do so. So, I kept reassuring myself that being an entrepreneur was just not the right choice to consider.

After further considerations, I thought of a few more points, which, I believe, will help me say the right answer should any one ask the same question again.

1) Saying I am an entrepreneur is like saying that I am an employee, but it’s not what you do in reality. One should say, as in my case, I run the only online concierge business in the region, because that is what I really do.

2) If I were to go back to the corporate world, I would have more skills on hand than what I would have gained by continuing to do the same job.

3) Entrepreneurs are a different set of people. We think differently, we imagine about what we want to change, we innovate and do so, because its one of those survival skills that is key to success.

4) Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle that only a privileged few get to experience. So, enjoy it.

Lastly, entrepreneurs are geared to be more optimistic, otherwise we would never have started what we do in the first place. I believe being an employee, you generally tend to be more pessimistic, but the reality is somewhere in the middle as always. I am sure that many may disagree, but these are my thoughts based on my experiences so far.

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