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by Foti Panagiotakopoulos Founder at GrowthMentor

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Definition of a Wantrepreneur

A wantrepreneur is the start-up industry’s equivalent of a “wannabe”, someone who talks the talk but who doesn’t walk the walk. 

We’ve all met people like that, those who call themselves entrepreneurs despite never seeming to do any work. It’s become particularly common in recent years due to the fact that it’s become more fashionable for people to be – or to be seen to be – an entrepreneur. 

You can spot a wantrepreneur by the way that they keep coming up with excuses for why they’re not working on their start-up idea, such as that they don’t have funding, that they don’t have time or that they’re waiting for the right time to launch. 

Wantrepreneurs also often jump from idea to idea, never settling on any one idea for long enough to see it through to execution. 

The good news for wantrepreneurs is that they don’t have to remain wantrepreneurs forever. True, some of them are just dreamers who like the idea of being an entrepreneur but will never take steps to make it happen. Others go on to take action and are able to build successful careers as fully-fledged entrepreneurs. 

And while the term wantrepreneur comes with negative connotations, it’s worth remembering that many wantrepreneurs are only being held back due to a lack of resources or unavoidable external factors, such as when the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything crashing to a halt. 

With that said, it could also be argued that a true entrepreneur would find a way to move forward. After all, there will always be adversities to overcome, and the mark of a successful entrepreneur is their ability to confront these adversities and to find ways around them. 

Ultimately, being a wantrepreneur is like being a wannabe musician. There’s nothing wrong with being a wannabe in the early days, but if you’re seriously committed to your goals then you need to take steps to make your vision a reality. 

All successful musicians know that it takes a combination of skill, hard work and talent, and the same is true for being an entrepreneur. If you don’t put in the work, you’re guaranteeing that you’ll stay a wantrepreneur forever.

How can you tell if you’re a wantrepreneur?

If you’re a wantrepreneur, you’ll probably find yourself making excuses about why you haven’t followed up on your business ideas. You’re also likely to be risk-averse, preferring not to take any action at all than to risk going into business.

How can you go from being a wantrepreneur to being an entrepreneur?

The best way to progress from being a wantrepreneur to being an entrepreneur is to take action. It can also help to keep your idea and your aspirations a secret, because that can help to stop you from being all talk and no action. Instead of telling people about what you’re planning to do, go out and do it so that you can tell them about it afterwards.

Suggested mentors to help you make sense of Wantrepreneur

Oz Merchant

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Nathan Sudds

Co-Founder @ ActiveLabs | Community Builder, Consultant & Coach

After working with 1000+ coaching clients from around the world on their goals I’ve learned a few things about mindset & growth. From developing better habits to improving productivity, creating a new business or reaching life, career or business goals for success it all comes down to mindset.

Dani Hart

Senior Account Director @ NEWPORT ONE

Feeling burned out? After years of working with CEOs, Heads of Growth, & Marketers from all over the world, I have stories & experience ready to support you on your growth journey. I’ll help you identify your biggest opportunities for sustainable growth for yourself and/or your business.

Gunter Richter

Founder of The Agile Career Podcast | Coach | Strategy and Business Consultant

I help organisations and individuals improve their performance through business and technology change. I have delivered business transformation across many organisations, spanning multiple industries such as telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing, and retail.

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