The subject of being an entrepreneur is so popular lately that you will not only find almost an infinite amount of hits on Google for this word, there is also a popular magazine with this word as its title. However, there is a great deal of argument about what exactly an entrepreneur is.
A fundamental aspect of being an entrepreneur is being in business for yourself or in other words, being a business owner. As in all businesses, this can mean providing physical products, services or a combination of these. Usually these are sold for money to customers or clients, but they also can be traded or bartered for. Until fairly recently, this was carried out by what was (and still is in many cases), shop owners, merchants, vendors and professionals. However, being one of these and carrying out the fundamental aspect of being a business owner, does not make one an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur requires additional dynamics than just being a business owner. The best way to describe this is through an allegory - being an entrepreneur is like being a parent. First, there has to be a pregnancy, there has to be a conception. In the case of having an actual child, this is usually easier than conceiving an entrepreneurial business. The entrepreneur has to have a vision and also a passion about a particular business idea and then has to turn the idea and all that is involved with it into a physical and operational reality. This business "baby" will not automatically grow in some womb. The entrepreneur has to be the total architect, engineer and technician to give birth to his/her idea.
Of course, like a parent, it doesn't end with giving birth. Both the baby and the fledgling business must be well nurtured and cared for so they can become viable and successful. Like a parent, the entrepreneur must be extremely committed, physically and mentally. This parenting dynamic is key in being a true and hopefully successful entrepreneur.