Entrepreneurial shame

mindset Jul 08, 2019

I'm quite surprised.
So many people feel shame when they call themselves (or been called) "entrepreneur". It's like you aren't allowed to call yourself that unless you meet certain conditions.

What are these conditions?

  • Do you have to earn a minimum amount of money, before you can call yourself an entrepreneur?
  • Do you have to be a fulltime entrepreneur and have no side jobs whatsoever?
  • Maybe you need a certain amount of clients?
  • Or work a certain amount of hours a week?
  • Or be some kind of established value in your market?

What is it?

Or ... let us formulate this question better:

What is it FOR YOU?
What do you need before you can call yourself an entrepreneur, without feeling ashamed?

And why is that?
Why do you feel ashamed?
Are you aware of the thoughts behind this awful feeling?

I can tell you this: the shame you feel is holding you back from being the entrepreneur you want to be.

There's no shame in calling yourself an entrepreneur if you haven't earned any money in the past few weeks. There's no shame in calling yourself an entrepreneur if you didn't find any new clients or if nobody knows who you are.

There's no shame in calling yourself an entrepreneur if you only work a few hours a week and need a day job (or side jobs) to fill in the blanks.

The latter means that you're a responsible person, taking care of yourself, providing for your family whenever your business falls short.

And also, I know a lot of entrepreneurs feel ashamed because of still having a day job, instead of working fulltime in their businesses.


Everyone needs food on the table.
And if you're the breadwinner in your family, it's even more important to take responsibility and not putting everything at risk, when it comes to being able to pay the bills every month. You and your family depend on it.

It's okay to have side jobs while building your business.
And it's okay to have a business on the side.

Nobody said you have to be successful tomorrow.
And nobody said you are less of an entrepreneur if you are not successful today.

What does success even mean (to you)?

Life could become so much easier if you stop tripping over specific terms.
Don't listen to the people who don't believe in the dreams you have.

Follow your truth.
Give your unique meaning to the term "entrepreneur".
Be creative.

If the term is loaded with shame, that tells you something.
It tells you that you're believing thoughts that are not true. They're worth investigating. You'll discover that those beliefs have been holding you back. You can choose not to believe those thoughts and create new, helpful thoughts instead.

That's the power of being an entrepreneur: you can create your own reality.
You are given the freedom to live your life the way you want to.

But of course, it's not always that easy.
Money has to be made. Decisions have to be also made. Not everyone is married to a wealthy partner or has found the perfect need in the market.

Some people have to work hard to provide for their families. And that does not always mean that their businesses are thriving. It does often mean they work a day job and have a business on the side. Or vice versa.

That doesn't mean you are less of an entrepreneur. Absolutely not.
You're worth every penny you work for. You're worth every working hour.

You're just not a full-time entrepreneur (yet).
That's all.
But you're still an entrepreneur and worthy of being called one.

Stop the entrepreneurial shaming.
It's not worth the energy.
Just do what you need to do to live your life and (hopefully) enjoy it.

Start seeing yourself in a new light: you ARE an entrepreneur (and so much more) from the moment you run a business even though you earn maybe 100 euros a month. Even though most of your time is consumed by taking care of your kids or working your day job.

You don't have to be a fulltime, successful entrepreneur to be worthy of the term.
I wanted to make this crystal clear.

I'll end with a quote:

"Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough. Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change. If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive." — Brené Brown

Are you finally ready to unlearn the harmful conditioning that is holding you back from being who you truly are? Check out my services and start today →


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