Before I started any of my businesses and even while I was operating and building some of my businesses, I was definitely a wantrepreneur. There are a couple of definitions as to what a wantrepreneur is, but I believe that a wantrepreneur is someone who wants to be an entrepreneur. So for the sake of this blog post, let’s just keep it simple and say that if you want to be an entrepreneur for whatever reason, then you are a wantrepreneur.
There are some great entrepreneurs out there that believe that entrepreneurs are a special breed, and that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. But I totally disagree with them. I strongly believe that ANYONE, yes, ANYONE can be an entrepreneur if they want to become one and are willing to put in the work. And the reason I believe that is because my life reflects this belief.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada and I literally had no idea what I wanted to do growing up. Actually, I didn’t even give it much thought until I was in high school. And even still, I had zero desire to make money and just went with the motions of life. I graduated high school and then went to university. I majored in exercise science since I liked playing sports, but beyond having an idea that I wanted to become a teacher, I had no idea what I really wanted to do in life. In the end, I found myself in South Korea as an English teacher. I really enjoyed Korea and I somehow got a job as a marketing manager / English teacher with a manufacturing company that exported dental crowns to other countries. At this point in my life I knew that I wanted to get experience working in a Korean company, but I had no idea why. In the end, it was really really stressful working at the company and I ended up experiencing my first ever panic attack. After working there less than a year, I realized that working for a company was not something I wanted to do. I experienced anxiety and was just not happy with working at a company.
One day I was walking through the Kyobo Bookstore located not too far from Gangnam station. And that is where a hard cover book with an orange colored cover caught my eye. Four Hour Work Week? What is that?! I read it, my mindset shifted and that set me on a path that I continue to be on today, which is the path of the entrepreneur.
You see, I was a wantrepreneur. I never got really bad grades in school, ended up getting two university degrees, never really sold anything, was really bad at negotiating, and had next to no financial education till I reached my late 20s. And the only reason I ended up starting my own businesses is because I wanted to live a certain way. Basically, I didn’t want to just work for a company. So I really didn’t know that I could be considered an entrepreneur, especially when famous entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuck strongly believe that not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Also, one of my favorite business books, “The E-Myth Revisited”, states that people like me weren’t really entrepreneurs, but we were just technicians who were fed up with working for someone else and decided to get into business for ourselves, which was exactly my situation.
I was a teacher at a Hagwon and School, and I just didn’t want to work for a company or a school board that made me teach certain things or a certain way. I was a marketing manager and the English guy at a Korean company who had to work years and years before any of my ideas would be taken seriously. And you know what? I honestly thought I could have ran the Hagwon so much better and grow the company I was at so much faster and bigger than the owners. And this was of course before I had any experience operating a business.
So my point is, if you are a wanterpreneur in South Korea, that’s awesome! You can easily become an entrepreneur. It’s not going to be easy work, as it will take lots and lots of work, but you definitely can become an entrepreneur. I’m proof that ANYONE that wants to be an entrepreneur can become one. You just have to want to become one and be willing to work super hard towards becoming one.