Why YOU Should Become A Closet Entrepreneur!

photo credit: blythe_d

Ask ten individuals what an entrepreneur is and you’ll get ten different definitions. Some individuals believe that an entrepreneur is a leader and organizer, while others believe that an entrepreneur is a risk-bearing opportunist waiting to pull the trigger on a new venture. Ultimately, an entrepreneur is someone who plans, starts, and builds a successful business while playing the role of inventor, innovator, leader, organizer, mentor, researcher, and risk-taker.

Defining Closet Entrepreneur

The closet in closet entrepreneur is an adjective used to describe something that is secret, low-key, or under wraps. In essence, a closet entrepreneur is someone who is planning, starting, and building a business on the down low – i.e., keeping this information limited to a group of individuals or oneself.

Currently, the de facto closet entrepreneur is a blue or white-collar individual who starts or operates a business on the side. Yet taking the literal definition from above, anyone who practices entrepreneurship in a discreet manner is a closet entrepreneur whether they’re a working professional, a sixth grader, a homemaker, et cetera. So now that you know what a closet entrepreneur is, lets take a look at the pros and cons of being one.

The Benefits Of Being A Closet Entrepreneur

  • MONEY – If your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities (e.g. casual job, hobbies, investments) provide positive cash flow, then proper budgeting can provide the necessary funding for your business.
  • NETWORKING – If your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities provide substantial networking opportunities through colleagues, classmates, and friends, then you have a nice resource of potential customers, beta testers, or even business partners.
  • DISCOUNTS – If your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities provide shopping discounts, then you can get your business software and equipment at bargain prices. True story, Intel once offered employees a full copy of Windows XP for one cent.
  • EDUCATION – If your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities provide educational opportunities, then you can increase your business knowledge through training and/or additional classes.
  • BENEFITS – If your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities provide life insurance, health benefits, and retirement funds, then it’s one less thing to worry about – and oh what a big thing that can be.
  • SAFETY NET – Last but not least, if your non-entrepreneurial responsibilities provide a safety net, then you have something to fall back on if your venture proves to be unsuccessful {knock on wood}.

In general, certain non-entrepreneurial responsibilities like volunteering or a job can help you learn the ropes by showing you how a business operates, or fails to operate from the inside. Of course, there are also disadvantages to being a closet entrepreneur.

The Drawbacks Of Being A Closet Entrepreneur

  • TIME and STRESS – Starting a business takes time and energy, now imagine adding entrepreneurship to your overflowing list of responsibilities. The fact is, being short on time and energy is inevitable and it just gets worse when working on a business while tending to other responsibilities and obligations.
  • SECRECY – Telling classmates or friends about your business plans shouldn’t be an issue, yet telling coworkers about your plans may lead them to believe that you’re not serious about your job. Chances are you have nothing to worry about, but my advice is to err on the side of caution and keep things under wraps until the time is right.
  • COMPLACENCY – It’s one thing to be dependent on your business’ success to provide a source of income, and yet another thing to have a job paying all the bills and putting a roof over your head. If you’re not disciplined and focused when it comes to your business, then there’s a potential for letting deadlines and plans slide since there’s no rush to get things done.

In Conclusion, Become A Closet Entrepreneur!

First and foremost, if you’re thinking about starting a business in your spare time then stop thinking and do it! The barriers to starting your own business are basically non-existent and your business ideas are worthless unless acted upon!

Second, don’t avoid starting your business because you feel that you lack time; you will always have distractions to deal with and it all comes down to prioritizing what needs to get done during the time you have allotted for yourself. Think things will get better if you quit your day job? According to Chris Yeh, an entrepreneur with a Harvard MBA, quitting your job doesn’t give you an extra 8 hours per day – it’s more like 5 or 6.

Last but not least, having the money and resources to become a full-time entrepreneur is a great position to be in, yet most of us don’t have that luxury so take advantage of the fact that you have other means of funding and support that you can fall back on.

So, what’s your excuse for not starting your business? 😉

The Closet Entrepreneur

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