Hey Misfit, welcome to my little glossary of commonly used Entrepreneur terms.
If you have any you think I should add head to the contact form to email me and I’ll add them in.
Want to join the Misfit movement? Join my FB group here.
4-hour work week: The amount of time most parents can work between effing school pick ups.
A/B Testing: Testing two things against each other. Like in Vampire Diaries when you can’t decide if you like Damon or the other one more, so you line them up and compare eyes, and teeth. Talked about a lot when it comes to landing pages and email subject lines.
Align: These days everyone is aligning their business with other businesses. For me this conjures up images of people sidling up to other people at parties and laughing without knowing what everyone is laughing about. It’s awkward and weird, so don’t use it.
Amazon best-seller: You gave away a thousand copies of your book and kept refreshing the screen until you briefly hit the top of some obscure category on Amazon – just long enough to take the obligatory screen shot.
I hope this book becomes an Amazon best-seller in the ‘Snarky, bitter business books’ category.
Amplify: To turn up the volume on your marketing to an irritatingly loud roar that gives your customers a headache.
Authentic: To be a true entrepreneur you must be authentic. And then you must authentically tell people how authentic you are on a regular basis.
Automate: The true entrepreneur flicks a switch at the start of January and doesn’t do a god damn thing for the rest of the year because their business is entirely automated. (See also integrate.)
Activation: The activation phase usually comes after the planning phase, which is after the strategy phase but before the feedback phase. Phased out? Me too.
Big girl pants: Apparently we should pull these on before we do anything scary. No thongs allowed, and going commando is definitively a no-no. (Note: There’s no such thing as big boy pants.)
Bootstrapping: Starting a business with no money. In earlier times it was called being poor.
Boss lady: I know lots of you love this. And I get that it’s kind of cute. But like its vile partner in crime ‘Mumpreneur’, the fact women have to be ‘boss ladies’ instead of just ‘bosses’ irks me. And if you use ‘boss lady’ and ‘sassy’ in the same sentence, I’ll probably swallow my own tongue in disgust.
Brusher (FONT): The paint brush font you see everywhere that should be used on all memes, especially those telling you to dream big. The preferred colour is gold.
Coach: Someone who’s read one article about a given subject and now thinks they can charge $150 an hour to teach you about it. Warning: likely to post a lot of motivational memes.
Collaboration: No, you can’t just work with someone. You have to collaborate or, if you really want to be an entrepreneur, set up a joint venture. You must both be willing to talk endlessly about the collaboration, retweet like a man possessed, and name drop each other every five minutes.
Core values: The ‘solid as oak principles’ your business stands for. Your copywriter wrote them for you, and they’re on your about page. No one knows what they are, least of all you. You think one of them may be about toast.
Digital nomad: Someone who posts images of themselves on Thai beaches with their laptop just to show off and make you feel bad.
Disrupt: To break away from the commonplace and do something totally out there, crazy and incongruous. Synonyms: irritate, annoy, show off.
Engage: People no longer read your blog posts or like your tweets. They ‘engage with your content’ instead. Just another wanky marketing buzzword.
Funnel: I can’t write a definition for this. It just sounds too filthy. (See also Sales funnel.)
Guru: See Ninja.
Goddess: See Soulful.
Growth hacking: No, it’s not sawing that crusty lump off the bottom of your foot. Instead it’s like taking a big bowl of idea spaghetti and hurling it at the wall – you see which ideas stick and which flop on the floor. It’s about trying all the things, quickly, without regret. And then grabbing the bits that work and running with them. Or something.
Hack: Everything is a hack now, and every day I see a post titled something like “10 ingenious arse-wiping hacks” that includes ingenious hacks such as:
- HACK 1: Use two sheets of paper instead of one to avoid getting poo on your hand.
- HACK 2: Sit on the toilet rather than in the sink to ensure your poo goes in the loo.
These are not hacks. At best they’re tips, but more often than not they’re just stating the bleeding obvious.
Heart-centred: Rather than being driven by their brain (‘brain-centred’), ‘heart-centred’ business types are driven by the red pumping mass, which makes them better people than you and me. They’re still trying to sell you a $10,000 mastermind course, but at least they love you while they’re doing it.
I personally think I’m ‘spleen-centred’, or maybe ‘Frazzle-centred’. (Don’t know what a Frazzle is? Google it!)
Hustle: When I see the word ‘hustle’ I immediately think of fraudsters and swindlers. But these days it’s become the byword for anyone who wants to sell with gumption. Another meaning for hustle is ‘to push roughly’, which is what I’d like to do to anyone who uses this word.
Inbox zero: A mythical tale achieved only by people who haven’t given anybody their email address.
Inner circle: Just like the outer circle, only more expensive to join.
Integrate: All your systems should integrate with each other, and synchronise with your social media and email marketing. I’ll charge you $10,000 to illustrate this by drawing circles with the words ‘email’ and ‘website’ in them, and then drawing wiggly lines leading from each circle.
Journey: See story.
Like ladder: A popular activity in Mumpreneur groups, which involves posting your Facebook page in a stream of 8,567 other Facebook pages in the hope one sad sucker will ‘like’ it. Achieves nothing, but you still come back every week and do it again.
Maven: No idea. Might be one of the vampires in Twilight.
Mastermind: A collection of people who’ve paid an absurd amount of money to suck success juice from the teat of some sleek entrepreneur type.
Mindset: Our way of thinking, which we must be keen to change and improve. In the old days people didn’t have mindsets. They were too busy trying not to be eaten by dinosaurs.
Movers and shakers: A group of Mumpreneurs at a networking event waiting for the free wine to be given out.
Networking: Standing in a room full of people you don’t like and trying to eat a mini quiche with one hand while giving out limp business cards with the other. (Note: May involve drinking too much wine, telling the hot dude from your business Facebook group that you really admire him, and then trying to touch his face.)
Ninja: A ninja (or shinobi) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja include: espionage, sabotage, infiltration, assassination and guerrilla warfare.
But if you’re a marketing ninja or an SEO ninja, you’re really just a marketing manager or an SEO consultant. Yes it’s boring, but adding ‘ninja’ to your title doesn’t make you sound sharper or quicker than the rest. It just makes you sound like a twat.
Similarly, you should avoid using words such as ‘icon’, ‘rockstar’ and ‘guru’. (Unless you actually are Jesus, Bono or Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in which case go for it.)
Passionate: A business owner who tries to touch your thigh when you meet them for a briefing.
Passive income: A product that earns you a six-figure income while you sleep. It may take eight months of 40-hour weeks to create, but we don’t talk about that bit.
Pivot: To tweak your business so it goes in a different direction (e.g. “I used to be a dancer on a cruise ship, but I pivoted into being a heart-centred business coach”).
Sassy: Quite literally my most hated business word of all time. And those who use it are generally the most tedious people you’ll ever meet.
Sales funnel: A greasy tube that becomes progressively narrower, leading your victims from the free thing to the gazillion dollar thing.
Scale: Something you get in your kettle in areas with hard water.
Side hustle: Not an 80s dance move, but rather a side thingy you do to support your main thingy. (See also Hustle.)
Six figures: Refers to how much moolah you’re shoving down your pants every minute of the day. Ideally you should have a six-figure launch, a six-figure ecourse, and be earning seven figures before you have your morning Weetabix.
You don’t need to prove that you make six figures. You just need to say it – a lot. You should provide an exact figure (such as $228,981) to make it sound more profitable. But never reveal that only 7% of those six figures is actually profit.
Solutions: You no longer provide services. You provide solutions. But if you actually use this word you are a problem, not a solution.
Soulful: Soulful entrepreneurs generally have more soul than you and less money. Often fond of dreamcatchers, organic muffins and hessian underwear. (See also Heart-centred.)
Story: (Synonym: journey) I like stories with interesting protagonists who fight dragons, have invisibility cloaks, and ride across clifftops with flowing locks. And so the story of your journey as “A mum who started a wigwam knitting business to have more time to spend with her kids” would be put straight in the bargain bin.
People do connect with stories, but only if they’re interesting. And I’m afraid yours doesn’t cut the mustard.
And just as you should call a spade a spade, you should call your About page your About page, not ‘My Story’.
Synergy: I recommend you regularly leverage the synergies you find in business, preferably as frequently as you change your toothbrush.
Transform: Your business cannot change. Instead it must transform like a fat greasy caterpillar into a glorious entrepreneurial butterfly (with those aggressively white teeth we’ve already spoken about).
And its variant, Transformational, can be used to express orgasmically awesome stuff (e.g. “This ebook of five copywriting tips that my hamster could have written will be transformational to your business”).
Tribe: I blame Seth Godin for this one. We no longer find customers. Instead we ‘attract our tribe’ – a group of like-minded people who ‘are all individuals’ and yet spurt forth the same mantra in the same brushstroke-fonted memes.
I refuse to have a tribe. Instead I have a gang with shiny jackets and flick knives.
Tripwire: A low-cost item you sell to get people on your hallowed list so you can flog them your big expensive thing. Much like having them trip over your door mat and then while rifling through their pockets while they’re struggling to get up.
Up-level: To take your business to the next level, as in “Up-level your coaching business with this simple trick”.