What’s An Online Entrepreneur?

By Daniel Scocco

As soon as I started making decent money with my websites (e.g., $5,000 monthly or so) I started calling myself an “online entrepreneur.” I would use that tag on my social media profiles, on my about page and what not.

Then around one year ago I started to think about it, and I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t really an online entrepreneur, I only pretended to be one, because the name was cool and could impress people (or so I wished…).

In reality I was (and still am) just a guy making money on the Internet with my websites. Sure I make over six figures annually and have many freelancers working with me part time, but I still don’t think that makes me an entrepreneur. In fact if you go to my Twitter account now you’ll see my bio as “Internet Geek,” which I think is a down to earth definition of what I do.
I do want to become a real entrepreneur, though, but I believe that the path to it is longer and more challenging than most of us tend to think. In my opinion an online entrepreneur is someone who has a real online business, and this involves having some office space, full time employees, a product or service you sell, and customers.

Having only some of those factors don’t qualify you as an entrepreneur. For example, I do sell products on some websites (e.g., courses and ebooks), and I do have customers, but I don’t have an office space yet and I don’t have full time employees, so I wouldn’t call myself an online entrepreneur.

This is just my opinion though, and I would like to hear what you guys think. What is an online entrepreneur in your opinion? Does having a couple of websites that make good money qualify you as one?

Update: Thanks for the kind words guys. While I also agree with most of your comments, I think one important aspect I forgot to mention is the risk factor. An entrepreneur takes risks, and if things work well he reaps the rewards. Starting a website has no risks, unless we are talking about someone who will invest a lot of money into that website. In this case yes I would call such a person an entrepreneur. If you just start a site paying $10 for the domain and $5 for the hosting plan, then I wouldn’t call you an entrepreneur, even if one day your site starts making a lot of money.

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33 Responses to “What’s An Online Entrepreneur?”

  • Sohail

    I think for me online entrepreneur is someone who uses internet to build a new idea for which he/she takes money (from investors or own pocket) and keeps the money at risk. The idea can be a hit or flop.

  • Jacqueline Boss

    I’ve got to totally disagree with you on that one. While entrepreneurs can have offices and full time employees and products, those aren’t the defining characteristics. What about a mom who rakes in big money from an online baking business that she runs, by herself, from home? She is an entrepreneur without employees or an office.

    The only defining characteristic, really, is that you start a business. And even that is open to interpretation- you can consider yourself an entrepreneur if you buy a failing business and make it successful.

    But I would definitely consider you an entrepreneur- you had an original idea and you do have customers, products, and services. The fact that you don’t have an office makes you more of an entrepreneur in my opinion, not less of one, because that is an “outside of the box” kind of thing- I’m sure most people would rather work from home than an office. You’ve been able to make a business that most people only ever dream of.

    I don’t think there is any question that you are an entrepreneur- so my question to you- are you just fishing for compliments?

    😉

  • Cleber Lusa

    I don’t agree with this post. Business are always business don’t matter if don’t have an office with employers or not, you’re still an Entrepreneur.

    And $5k per month is a very nice income +D

  • Ralph Thelemaque

    I Agree with you Cleber, if you are entrepreneur you always on a grind for what’s next and how you can dominated..the least thing in their minds is what kind offices they need and how many employers they need to hire..

  • Daniel

    You have a virtual(As in online) office, Daniel.

    Not to mention you are writing from your office whether you are at home(Home office) at the local Cafe( Mmmm! Okay, that would be shared office space) , out in the general public somewhere(Open Office) or, in transit(Mobile office).

    If you are using Entrepreneurial skills and methods, which would involve some degree of risk taking, then you are an Entrepreneur.

    Whether you wish to call yourself one, or be referred to as one, is your call.

    Some people are doing very well in their given fields(Online/offline) yet, they say they cringe whenever they get referred to with certain titles.

    Other people upon hearing their name attached to the same title, would be “Over the moon in raptures”

    Okay, just to make you happy we shall make it official:

    I Daniel, do hereby Declare that, Daniel Scocco of Daily Blog Tips, is an (Online/offline)Entrepreneur.

    This Declaration I make in all truth, in the presence of those currently viewing this Blog(Site).

    Okay…………….Just performing the official “Waving of my hands”

    Done!

    Congratulations, Daniel.

    You are now deemed officially, an online/ offline Entrepreneur.

    Okay, the party is over! Get back to Work…….Opppsss…..I meant your Entrepreneurial Concern.

  • Arijit Das

    After Reading this post.. With a confused mind, I searched over Google with “Define: Entrepreneur” and got this definition: “An Entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.”

    According to the definition, i think Daniel.. It Qualifies you as an Online Entrepreneur. 🙂

  • Tom

    I think of an online entrepreneur as someone who makes money day or night even when that person’s sleeping.

    The business is set-up online, products and services are ordered while the entrepreneur keeps the system working with a occasional fine tuning.

    I don’t think an office space is required since the internet can literally follow you where ever you go. From McDonald’s to Starbucks to most other businesses, the internet goes with you where you decide to set up for the day.

  • Stephanie – Home with the Kids

    I’d call you an entrepreneur too. Income and office don’t matter. Building your own business does.

  • Young

    Hi Daniel, you are an entrepreneur in my opinion, since an entrepreneur is a boss to me, and you are a boss to those people who works for you.

  • Adair

    Online Entrepreneur means taking risk but it should be either hit or Flop. If you want to make money online with your website you need to work hard more and more then only you will get at least one third of your hard work. Because the competition is very heavy

  • joe pferde

    It is kind a hard to tell people if the ask what you are working. But I tend to say that I work in “online media”. ^^

  • Glorious Blogger

    I don’t think you need an office to call yourself an online entrepreneur. If you have a product or service that people for that’s enough for me.

    That is why it’s called “online” entrepreneur in my opinion. You don’t actually need an office. Just an online presence.

  • Dinesh @ DailyBlogMoney

    In my opinion, who ever is doing full time job online and making money from it for the life (in good ways) can be an ‘Online Entrepreneur’.

    Its mostly depends on the money you make and how your online presence influence others and how you improve your self in online activity.

    You are one of the ‘Online Entrepreneur’ and you don’t need to have office or full time staff under you for that, I think!!

  • endy

    i’m agree with sohail…an ‘Online Entrepreneur’ is someone who can make their blogs, making money for him. So that he no longer needs to seek employment or income in the real world ..

  • Arpan Kar @ Business Fundas

    with every one starting their run off the mill business, the term is getting so over hyped.
    Nice article.. Loved your focus.

  • Money Blogger

    if you are really managing the people working for you to earn online income, then you are the ‘entrepreneur’.
    I am doing the same, and I am proud of.

  • Starting an Online Business with nIO

    I’ve got to agree with Jacqueline. She said it well. You might have just written this from too much humility in your heart, I think. =) I’m saying that in a good way. Anyway, you really considered an online Entrepreneur basically because you have a business. The others have said it well too. So hey, just cut the false humility. And be proud and thankful for what you’ve got. Cheers! 🙂

    For that, more power to you!

  • Jennifer Brown Banks

    Hey Daniel,

    Hmm…would have to disagree with you on some points here. I don’t think that an office space matters, in terms of definition. I don’t even think that the income level is a qualifier.

    If an individual provides a product or service online, has a website, and generates a profit from his activities he is indeed an online entrepreneur.

  • Carolee a.ka. Blogging Biz Mom

    I agree with @Jacqueline Boss and all the rest….

    You make some damn fine money there- more than some who work a full time J-O-B….

    …and your computer is your office- I work in my kitchen, my home office, the garden, the porch, the beach, up to camp…..

    That is the great thing about our “mobile offices” we can live, work and play anywhere!

  • Bridget Wright

    I like your take on what an online entrepreneur is, but I think an online entrepreneur is simply one who manages (multi)-businesses…online!! I also like Tom’s definition. There’s something attractive about making money 24/7. I am an aspiring one, to say the least, and I too don’t want the office space, yada, yada.

  • Stephanie

    According to dictionary.com, an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”

    So there.

  • kasim

    i think online enterprneur is the one who work online full time not part time

  • Amy Parmenter

    Wow. Really? I kind of think you must be joking. An entrepreneur is someone who sees a need in the market and fills it — and hopefully is able to make some money in the process. Whether the business is online or a more traditional brick and mortar business is really unimportant. The fact that you don’t have office space just shows that, as an entrepreneur, you are watching your bottomline — so why pay rent when there’s no need?? Congratulations! You are an entrepreneur! Now admit it. I think you are just afraid that it won’t go along with your ‘geek’ image.

    Don’t tell Bill Gates.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  • steve

    wow 5000 a month? Wish I can earn $50 a day! I have a question. What if you and your friend started an online e-commerce, but you don’t own anything and you are the one who implemented everything (from establishing the company to package the goods and send it to your customer) except coming up the e-commerce idea. Are you consider an online entrepreneur or just an entrepreneur in general?

  • Nick

    I earn around $3.00 a month with my current site. I would by no means consider myself an entrepreneur, but as long as you are selling a product, by technical means you’re an entrepreneur. I would consider you a web entrepreneur if you sell products and have a constantly overturning clientele, also if you have repeat customers and a range of online business ventures(aka websites). I would say that you could call yourself an entrepreneur the second you sell one of your websites for a large margin of profit because it’s something you can do again and again for various clients. It’s not necessary to have an office or employees if you think of traveling salesmen as entrepreneurs and that’s what the internet market is, you’re appealing to people that constantly coming and going.

  • Tim

    hmm.. very keyword rich post 😀

  • Margaret Adams

    I don’t think you need office space to be an online entrepreneur.

    However, I think you do need products or services and you probably need other people selling them for you. That doesn’t mean they need to be your employees. Affiliates count.

    It’s a question of how you use your time. Are you out there spotting business opportunities, evaluating them and then setting up systems and gathering people together to exploit them? Are you taking risks and accepting that you might fail? If not, I think it’s difficult for you to call yourself an entrepreneur. It doesn’t mean you can’t call yourself a successful businessman.

    What’s in a label anyway? If there’s encough money in the bank and you’re making provision for your future, aren’t you a success, whatever you decide to call yourself?

  • Courtney

    So who got under your skin? What/who made you think you need to question who you are to write a post like this? I don’t like repetition, everyone has said what I would say, so just call yourself what you want, who cares? You are successful in your own right,that’s all that matters, who cares about what title is appropriate or not!

  • T

    Entrepreneur defined: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

    Doing so on-line just defines the location.

    For me, I let go of the picture in my mind of what a business owner looks like… and that was after I had the office and the staff.

    I now know that I can be in business and not have those extra things that are not (necessarily necessary.

  • Nhoel

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
    I’M JUST EARNING $300 PER MONTH BUT I’M CALLING MYSELF AS AN ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR. AND IF I REACH 500, ILL RESIGN FROM WORK.
    -Philippines

  • Jerrick

    Since you a good blog writter and i’m sure you have lot of story and experience to share with. Why not you doing as entrepreneur and selling e-book . Which is close related to your blog. I’m pretty sure you will be success in it because you do have lot of followers.

  • Alan Mater @ Work From Home

    Very interesting topic, Daniel. I actually would consider you an entrepreneur. I don’t think you need an actual business, employees and all that stuff. I believe part of being an entrepreneur is having an entrepreneurial mindset, which you obviously have.

    The fact that you make money full-time from home doing what you love, living life on your own terms and not answering to a boss gives you the title of an entrepreneur in my book.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Lynn Brown

    Appreciate you sharing your thoughts on being or defining online entrepreneur. Although Daniel, I’m not sure whether you make a certain amount of money defines an entrepreneur, what I think is more important is that as an online entrepreneur you are willing to work hard, take risks and never give up.

    Enterpreneurs generally have a creative spirit, a mindset for business and an idea that they are passionate about, enough to taking it online to sell and turn a profit.

    I think Daniel you have always been an entrepreneur but maybe see that term as more of a professional expert. Keep up the great work as I believe you are certainly on the right track!

Comments are closed.