The Entrepreneurial Edge

Just because you're not an entrepreneur at heart, doesn't mean you can't have a successful business.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the July 2005 issue of . Subscribe »

Q: I'm not an entrepreneur by nature. Will this prevent me from being a successful business owner?

A: Self-employment or independent careers are often lumped into the same category as entrepreneurship. But one thing we've learned from interviewing thousands of people over the years is that many people who are happy and successful in their own businesses do not fit the classic entrepreneurial mold.

We call these many successful individuals "propreneurs." Compared to entrepreneurs, they are less interested in the "business of business" and more interested in finding meaning in their careers and controlling their time, the kind of work they do and the manner in which they do it.

The key to succeeding as a propreneur lies in treating your business in a way that leaves you free to pursue the work you do best. That means you will need to:

  • Have a professional attitude. Take the legal steps to form your business, open a business bank account, launch a website, and so on.
  • Get business coming to you. Learn to attract customers in ways that come naturally and comfortably to you. Give away samples, offer free consultations, or use publicity.
  • Have a positive relationship with money. Become comfortable talking openly about money. Figure out what you need to charge and when you expect to be paid, get clear financial agreements, and follow up immediately to collect the money you're due.
  • Set up a support network. Line up a support team of professionals (such as a lawyer and a tax professional) you can turn to for advice and assistance.

Authors and career coaches Paul and Sarah Edwards' new book is The Best Home Businesses for People 50+.

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

It Started As a Joke and Turned Into a Startup That Raised $1 Million in Funding