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“Why do you call yourself an entrepreneur?”

Well, that was an interesting start to a first conversation. At first, that may come off as incredulous or even laughable (“j’accuse!” comes to mind).

An entrepreneur recently asked me this after a brief meeting citing he had had always introduced himself, “I have a company called XYZ doing THIS-THAT-THE-OTHER-THING”. I was the second person to introduce myself to him as Entrepreneur recently.

(At the event where we met, I actually consciously chose to introduce myself as “Daryl the Entrepreneur”.)

For months, I introduced myself with “well, I do a lot of different things” and would rattle off “independent supply chain and biz dev consulting, I program in iOS, just started a dev shop” and the list goes on. That took too long and eyes would glaze over.

In fact, “Aspiring Entrepreneur” used to be on my LinkedIn till I was reminded that once I was building my own startup and selling to customers, I was an entrepreneur. I was no longer “aspiring”. I was. That is, I am.

So I told him I had been introducing myself in many ways over the years, and depending on the audience, I would change my introduction to be the most relevant to the listener (okay… “most impressive”). Just so happens “Entrepreneur” also eloquently encapsulates everything I do from business development, to developer, to customer success rep, to bookkeeper, etc.

A couple take-aways here including:
  1. Own what you do. Don’t be shy or think “you’re not worthy” of whatever title or introduction you want to use. Instead of looking for reasons to argue the contrary, find reasons to back up your introduction. 
  2. Know your audience. At the event, it was clear “Entrepreneur” would resonate with others the best rather than “Programmer”.
How do you introduce yourself? What’s your 3-word description, 15-word introduction, and 30-second pitch? How do you modify (do you modify?) your introduction to the audience?


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