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The Armchair Entrepreneur - The Worst Kind of Entrepreneur... Apparently?

Armchair Entrepreneurs.
Almost universally disliked.
Entrepreneurs, just like Artists, seemingly have a 'snobby' section who like to draw the line of what actually constitutes an 'entrepreneur' much closer to them than near any of the riff raff, wannabes who dare suggest they might be one too.

I came to the term 'Armchair Entrepreneur' independent of the knowledge that they were a real thing and, based on my research (because I couldn't believe the idea hadn't already been thought of), discovered Armchair Entrepreneurs are almost universally disliked as people who claim to know everything about business without having actually put any of that knowledge into practice.

Just like your typical armchair sports person who yells at the TV during the weekend games.

As I got deeper into my research I discovered the people who dislike Armchair Entrepreneurs with a passion would often go on to describe what being an Entrepreneur actually entailed, listing off a lifestyle that sounded quite honestly like a living hell.

This quote comes from Fogbeam Labs blog from 2013, and is really more of a rant by its author Phillip Rhodes against armchair entrepreneurs:
  • "...what I know is that this armchair quarterback with his fancy title, working for some foundation somewhere, knows bloody f..king bugger-all about my motivation, or lack thereof. You want to talk to me about motivation, dude? Quit your job at the Kauffman Foundation and come work with us. We offer no pay, no benefits (not even free coffee), long hours, sleepless nights, stress beyond belief, non-stop fear of failure, and an equity stake that could make you really wealthy if we succeed. Would you be motivated to take that swap, in order to gain the satisfaction of doing your own thing, the freedom of not having a "boss" and the sense of accomplishment that goes into building something? No? Well, guess what... we are. So unless you want to take me up on my offer, don't f..king talk to me about motivation."
I'm not suggesting Phillip's experience of what being an entrepreneur is isn't valid but I feel at that point in his career maybe a step back to review his idea of 'freedom of not having a boss' wouldn't have been a bad idea. I think I'd rather have a boss than work with Phil.
Fast forward to 2019 and Phil's stopped venting in his company blog, the last post being about a year later, and Fogbeam appears to be ticking along still, while Phillip appears to have a concurrent job working at Lenovo (according to the Fogbeam trail on LinkedIn. Sorry Phil, if you happen to ever read this. I was just interested to see where you ended up... really wealthy I hope?).

Anyway, my own thoughts on being an armchair entrepreneur.

In today's world you can quite literally build a business online directly from your armchair... or anywhere, you like so long as you have a mobile phone or tablet and an internet connection.

Recently I decided to replace my mindless social media browsing in front of the television in the evening (because most of us are dividing our time between two or more screens) with something a little more constructive, like building back up my CafePress Store.

I figure it's a better use of my time that could lead to a nice little side hustle rather than never really building much, other than friendships (as much as you can with people you'll most likely never see face to face).

It gives me a reason to take up drawing in front of the TV again because these sketches now have a purpose, just like when I was painting. So many of my paintings began life as a rough sketch, drawn while watching TV. Now my drawings can end up on T-Shirts and more.

Anyway, that's how I came to the term of Armchair Entrepreneur. To me it sounds like a lifestyle to aspire to. I really didn't start calling myself an Entrepreneur to be like Phil's idea of what that is (and just in case Phil does read this and thinks I'm calling myself that because I have a CafePress store... that's not my only business Phil. I'm working, and have worked on, many money making ventures. I'm just not trying to get really wealthy).

Unfortunately I don't think I'll be branding myself as an Armchair Entrepreneur anytime soon given the history of the term.

Oh well.

In the meantime... visit my TET.Life CafePress Store. I think it's coming along nicely with some fresh, new designs and a very mobile friendly shop front.

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