You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur–someone else has to call you one. You’re only an entrepreneur if you create something new and bring it to market. If you own your own business, you’re a business owner. If you open a new convenience store or Papa Johns franchise, you’re a business owner, but certainly not an entrepreneur.
Atlas was founded with very modest ambitions–to create an exceptionally good product, and deliver that product to a handful of people, and in the process generate a few hundred thousand a year in profit–enough to support the other outside ambitions and interests of its founders (traveling, climbing, etc.). It’s not a John F. Kennedy go-to-the-moon-in-ten-years goal, but more of a get-a-good-job goal: a goal but not a dream, an ambition but not a lofty ambition, an aspiration but certainly no moonshot.
But along the way I’ve been inadvertently exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship–to the world of people who dream of changing the world by bringing new products and services to market, of having an impact, of creating something greater than themselves. I feel drawn to this world. I’d like to be an entrepreneur. You can’t, of course, choose to be an entrepreneur any more than you can simply choose to call yourself a doctor or a lawyer. First you have to work a lot. Then you have to succeed in an measurable fashion. Then, you’re still not a doctor or lawyer or entrepreneur until someone else calls you one.