One of my very favourite words in the world, perhaps my No 1 all-time favourite, is ENTREPRENEUR. I love it so much I adopted it at AdoptAWord.com which helps children with communication difficulties.
Their website allows you to buy merchandise with your word on it so I can see on my keyring every day that I am an ENTREPRENEUR, lest I forget, which is very, very unlikely but just in case.
But, here’s the bad news. Increasingly people are bastardising my favourite word. The first culprit was Mumpreneur (yuk!), which has now been officially recognised and added to the dictionary. God. Help. Me.
Then next a client wrote to me calling herself a Nontrepreneur. Soon put her right on that one, “not on my watch you ain’t!”
And now I notice all over the web that people are calling themselves ‘Treps. Geddit? Yes, I geddit. I just don’t want to. Stop it immediately as I am also known to say to clients (but only in extremis, theirs or mine).
I know, I know. I’m horribly up myself when it comes to other people tampering with my beloved English language. Contrarily, I also love the fact that language is a living thing which grows and morphs in every moment of every day and I enjoy taking liberties with it myself, but there ARE limits and my favourite word is that particular limit. So just don’t do it. OK? Or face the sharp side of my virtual
There’s a story that George Bush is reputed to have told Tony Blair, according to Shirley Williams, that “the trouble with the French is, they have no word for Entrepreneur” and funny though that is, a very quick Google search throws up that Alistair Campbell denies it ever happened and suggests that Shirley Williams might have put it in a speech as a joke. And a jolly good one it is too, Shirley. But then wordplay would be the favourite choice of joke from a woman whose family is steeped in a love of the written word, of course it would. This is my kind of humour. Quick, sharp, no long stories and no rude words. Nicely done, Shirl.
I occasionally say that the majority of those I call Entrepreneurs are not, including myself. We are just plain old-fashioned self-employed folks and no shame in that, quite the reverse. But the world’s media now seem to have taken up the idea of calling all the multi millions of us self-employed types Entrepreneurs, which is grand-sounding but just not true. Heck, why let the truth stand in the way of a good story?
Because Entrepreneur is my favourite word and I love it and them, I have set a Google Alert on Entrepreneur(s) and everyday Google handily sends me loads of links to stories about Entrepreneurs and what they are up to. Currently, most days, a handful of the links are about the global swelling of the ranks of people like you and me. This is music to my eyes because Entrepreneurs are my business, Entrepreneurs R Us. Bloomberg reported last week that “400 million individuals all around the globe are engaged in entrepreneurship”. Blimey! That’s a lot. And if it’s true then it’s toptastic and life-affirming and world-altering. I hope I live to see that sea change come to fruition in my lifetime.
What’s really good about this is that 400 million of us are prepared to nail our colours to the mast and stand up and be counted as Entrepreneurs. And as we do that we are each taking responsibility back from the state or an employer for our own livelihood. Self-empowerment rocks.
It’s a huge part of my own mission to serve that community of Entrepreneurs but I’m going to have to re-think it if you keep messing with my favourite word, my Lovelies. You have been warned.