Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

What everybody ought to know about entrepreneurs

I love entrepreneurs.

I write this blog for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are rare people and they have my admiration and my respect.

Rare people?

Yes!  In my experience, very few small business owners have the entrepreneurial mindset!

Entrepreneurs and sheepwalkers

Over the past 16 years, I have worked with thousands of small business owners and have noticed 2 very distinct groups:

  1. The biggest group are small business owners, who focus on what they fear.  As a result, their decisions are based on how to avoid loss.  They are the people Seth Godin calls sheepwalkers. Sheepwalkers are risk averse and security fixated.  They have the mindset of an employee rather than an entrepreneur.
  2. A minority of small business owners are entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurs focus on what they want to achieve from their business, so their decisions are based on progress rather than fear and loss.

Sheepwalking business owners

Sheepwalkers LOVE rules, instructions and those for dummies books.  Why?  Because if they follow the book and the rules, they feel safe and have someone to blame when it goes wrong.  They tend to do nothing that does not come with a guarantee or little perceived risk.  That’s a fatal mindset for a business owner, as hardly anything in business is guaranteed.  Sheepwalkers want things to improve but because they focus on fear, they refuse to get the help they need in case it doesn’t work.  The fear stops them doing the right thing and funnels them into doing the wrong thing.

You see them in the comments sections of blogs, asking the blogger for specific, detailed advice; never figuring out that it’s that exact approach to getting expert help that’s left them slowly going broke!  They are addicted to freebie advice, because if something is free, they see less risk and risk scares the shit out of them.  Sheepwalkers never work with people like me, because they have already decided they can’t afford us, and they are right: Because whatever the fee, it will always, always be too much for them.

So, armed with freebies from websites, and maybe, MAYBE the odd $30 webinar or book, they try to develop their business in the worst economy in living memory!  It’s unreal.  Like the farmer who neglects her crops, they don’t stand a chance; which is reflected in the shockingly bad small business survival statistics.

I refuse to work with sheepwalkers or even spend time with them.  They create nothing and spread negativity everywhere.

Entrepreneur business owners

A minority of small business owners are entrepreneurs.  I love being around these rare people. They are the complete opposite of sheepwalkers.  Their mindset is all about progress and results.  They understand the meaning of investment.  When they fall over, they get back up.  The sheepwalker falls over, THEN uses the experience as proof they should never have tried.   The people who work with me are entrepreneurs.  They give their business the resources it needs, like a farmer tending her crops correctly, so she can enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Entrepreneurs: I salute you!

For the entrepreneurs reading this:

  • You are the kind of person I LOVE to be around.
  • You inspire me when you comment here, email me or give me a call.
  • You motivate me to write this blog.
  • You make things happen.
  • You create opportunity where there was nothing.
  • You feel the same fear as the sheepwalkers, but you have the courage to keep on and PUSH through the fear.
  • You take responsibility.
  • You leave people better than you found them.
  • You are truly a rare individual.

You are also the person this blog is intended for and the person most likely to benefit from it.  You have my respect and my admiration for what you are trying to achieve; because I know you will be working hard right now, trying to make something happen.  That’s what people like you do!

That’s also why I am always here for you and excited to be part of your journey.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!


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  1. Great post making a real distinction between the two types of small business owners. Perhaps even with large business owners.

    Sheepwalkers, excellent. I didn’t read that post by Seth Godin but you definitely grew the discussion here.

    Thank God, fees keep sheepwalkers away. Have a great week Jim.

    • You’re right , John, this applies to some owners of larger businesses, though few ever get to own a large business with that mindset.

  2. Eduardo Esparza

    July 5, 2011 at 06:23

    Awesome way to segment your market. Cheers!

  3. Hey Jim – I love what you do here sir – I solute you and the entrepreneurs who make it happen everyday :)

  4. Thanks Jim! You’ve brightened up my morning…again :-)

  5. Great post Jim! I receive your words with gratitude! Prior to becoming an entrepreneur I worked for the state gov’t/federal gov’t as a school teacher. There is nothing more liberating than taking your destiny into your own hands. If we fail, we must get back up. You’ve lit the proverbial fire to spark inspiration on this one. Thanks, Lynn Clarke

  6. You know, I started out with a bold entrepreneurial spirit and have gotten back up with every fall, but now, reading this, I wonder…have I become a sheepwalker.
    This is a very eye-opening post. Thank you for sharing this. I will use it to step back and look at myself with new sight and perspective.

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