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I Don’t Have to Show You No Stinkin Labels

Labels, and labels. Two days ago I complained here about self-proclaimed “experts” and “gurus.” And today I realize that I do the same thing myself, calling myself an entrepreneur. I ran into this interesting thought:

I must admit that when I hear the word (which inundates conversation and — more interestingly– the personal summaries of seemingly everyone over the age of twenty on my two favorite social networks), a little voice in my head channels Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, and I say to myself in a nerdy accent to the entrepreneur in cyberspace, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Gulp. She — Colleen Dilenschneider, in The Mind-Numbing Evolution of the Term “Entrepreneur” — has a point. She goes on:

The title of entrepreneur– especially when said in description of oneself– is losing its meaning to me and I wonder how long it will be until the word has virtually no meaning at all.  Perhaps my scope is skewed, and this is an issue among all social network users, regardless of generation.  When I read entrepreneur in a person’s description, I think, “I need to learn more.”

Well said. And while Colleen links all the entrepreneurship to Gen Y traits …

by izzie whizzie on Flickr

With the rapid onset of social media, does the word entrepreneur mean less because we are all entrepreneurs? Is generation Y an entire generation of entrepreneurs? We certainly seem to be.

… I think it’s more than that. It’s most of our entire solopreneur-enamored, pushed entrepreneurs, baby boomer recession-survival Western world.

We love labels. Experts, gurus, entrepreneurs, nonconformists, bloggers, professionals, rock-star programmers, middle managers, and out-of-the-box thinkers all of us. We like working with labels and slogans because, as with the 30-second news byte, it makes life easier. We all need our labels. Sometimes it seems like the beginning of a board game, choosing your token to play monopoly.

And if everybody has the same label, the game doesn’t work.

(photo credit: izzie_whizzie on Flickr)


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