The Necessity Entrepreneur

Necessity EntrepreneurA necessity entrepreneur is someone who has turned to entrepreneurship because they cannot find a job or another method to create income.

A typical necessity entrepreneur is over 50 years of age, been unemployed for over a year, and sees the possibility of finding full time employment dwindling. Many necessity entrepreneurs see this as buying a job.

Does any of this sound familiar?

To be frank, not everyone is oriented to being an entrepreneur. In fact, most of the population is not oriented to being an entrepreneur. So what do you do if being a necessity entrepreneur is your only option?

You have to understand where you fit into the business. Are you an entrepreneur, or are you just being a necessity entrepreneur? Watch the following video to set the stage:


Are you a technician? Technicians are knowledge workers. They make the products, deliver the services or make the organization work. I have spent much of my career as a technician. Whether it was as a programmer, engineer, trainer, sales person, teacher, or consultant, I was an individual contributor.

Is this you?


Are you a manager? Managers manage the systems that make organizations function.

I used to tell a story during a training that I developed for network processors. The processor had two sections. One section read the packet, analyzed it, and gave an order. The second section would take the order and make the appropriate changes to the packet to route it to the next hop. I would explain that the first section was like their boss: they analyzed the situation and gave orders but did no real work! The students, all non-managers, were like the second portion of the chip and did all of the real work.

Are you good at managing people and processes? If so, you are a manager.


Entrepreneurs are idea people. Wikipedia defines entrepreneurship:

“Entrepreneurship is the process of identifying and starting a new business venture.”

One challenge that a lot of baby boomers have:

“We were raised to be employees. We were told to go to work for father like organizations that would take care of us!”

Sound familiar?

Many of us can be entrepreneurs but were trained to be risk averse. We took the safe route.

Are you wired to be an entrepreneur?

What category do you fit in?

The Necessity Entrepreneur Dilemma

You have decided to be a necessity entrepreneur, but at your core, you are really not suited to be an entrepreneur. The dilemma is you are trying to be something you really are not.

As the video above suggests you should surround yourself with people who can support you. One option is to buy an existing business or buy into a franchise. I know, I know, you are saying that that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get into business for yourself. That is simply not true.

A couple of years ago, I was giving a presentation on networking to a room full of ex-military. One of the young ladies in the audience told me I had to speak with her step-father.

Her step-father was a former FranNet consultant. FranNet is a franchising consulting agency. Her step-father had purchased one his own franchises, a house washing franchise. He said three things that have stuck with me:

  • He emphasized buying a good franchise. You really need to do your homework.
  • If you follow the steps exactly as defined by the franchiser, you will be successful. The key is following the steps.
  • Ex-military make some of the best franchise owners. They know how to follow orders.

I have one client who is looking at a franchise where they can be the technician. They will hire a manager to run the business.

What role do you fill?

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