What is an entrepreneur?

treplife

The Esendemir Sisters Answer: What is an entrepreneur?

When Inc. Magazine’s Trep Life web series approached us about doing a behind-the-scenes profile piece on our entrepreneurial story, we were both flattered and nervous. We were nervous because we had been anonymously hiding behind our restaurant concept, Flatbread Grill, for a good seven years and saying yes to this amazing opportunity would no longer allow us that anonymity. We had to finally come out into the light and embrace our entrepreneurial journey, while willingly sharing our start-up story to a potential audience of a few thousand people, most of them entrepreneurs themselves. The opportunity to be a part of such a prestigious and well-respected business publication also got us thinking hard about what it truly means to be an entrepreneur, and whether or not we were worthy to call ourselves entrepreneurs.

We began asking ourselves: what makes someone an entrepreneur versus a small business owner? Who are all these entrepreneurs taking over the world, building multimillion (and billion) dollar companies that are changing the way we live? And where did we come from anyway? Can we be defined? And why the hek do we all seem so unassuming until the day our success is unveiled and we are thrust into the spotlight- then, suddenly, we seem larger than life? What EXACTLY is an entrepreneur? Though we can’t speak for entrepreneurs everywhere, we can share with you what we believe makes us, the Esendemir (a-send-a-meer) Sisters, entrepreneurs and why we are now proud to be defined as such.

We are entrepreneurs because we work hard day in and day out, toiling away to bring our grand vision to the masses in the hopes that we can improve their lives and make it just a little bit better. We hustle until the edge of exhaustion and we grind like our lives depend on it, because for us- it does. We wake up almost everyday not knowing what to expect, but knowing what we want to accomplish. We go through so many ups and downs that our lives can resemble a turbulent roller coaster one day, and then a freight train coming off the tracks the next day. We entrepreneurs don’t know what smooth sailing means or even what it feels like. We are always moving at over 100mph, with no braking or stopping in sight. We give all of ourselves to our vision and we make tremendous personal sacrifices for that vision. We go bravely and boldly after what we want even when we are truly scared to death. We take the good and the bad and try to figure out how to make it all profitable. We take risks and we make mistakes, but we get back up and we keep it moving. We keep our eyes on the prize, all the while, never losing sight of our values or our integrity. We get rejected, criticized and we are all severely misunderstood, but we keep going. We don’t stop and listen to the noise too long. We believe in ourselves even when no one else does. We lose friends and our success isolate us and make us feel like we don’t belong- but that’s okay. We build our own world and then, we invite others into it and offer them an experience or a product that is so memorable, they keep coming back for more. We create to share and impact lives, not just for profits.

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We entrepreneurs walk a fine line between sanity and madness. Our ambitions keep us awake. Challenges motivate us to keep going. We fight our way through obstacle after obstacle, refusing to admit defeat at any turn. We are entrepreneurs because we fight and we don’t stop fighting for our dreams. Unanswered questions gnaw at us day in and day out. We are constantly asking ourselves: how can we be better? How can we improve? We don’t get any sleep. Most of us are insomniacs. We can’t turn off our brains. The motor is always running. We get kicked down and we mope for a hot second, but then we get back up and find another way, this time, with more resolve. We have numerous doors slammed in our faces, so we go and build our own bridge or find another way. We take things in stride when the world is watching, but we fall apart behind closed doors. We are brave and we are naive. We believe we can change the world somehow and make a permanent dent in the universe. We are foolish and we are smart. We struggle and we become better because of it, not bitter. We can see things no one else has the courage to see. We seem invincible to others, but that’s only because we have mastered the art of keeping it together under pressure while the world is watching. We are burning up inside and nothing and no one can put that fire out. We are restless and dedicated. We are hardcore obsessed with excellence and execution. It’s all or nothing for us entrepreneurs. We can’t half-ass it. We can’t half-ass anything. We are committed to change and innovation. We drive ourselves forward in even the darkest times because within us is some deep-rooted source of self-motivation no one else could ever understand. We don’t give up because we don’t know how to quit, no matter how bad circumstances get. When things aren’t working out, we find a way to turn things around and make it better. We refuse to take things at face value. There is always more to any story. We are entrepreneurs because we always want to be more and achieve more. We live for the breakthroughs, and the thrill that comes with unlocking them.

We make our success look easy, but we forever carry the secret knowledge of what it truly took to become what the world now sees. We cover up our bruises and we patch up our wounds before anyone sees the pain. We toil away in obscurity waiting for our time to shine and when the moment comes, we are already on to our next venture, trying to figure out how we can do it all over again. We maintain our humanity and dignity through it all and when people ask us how we did it, we smile and say: hard work, dedication, and persistence. We entrepreneurs know that the true key to our success cannot be quantified with hard data, metrics or even analytics. We humbly applaud ourselves for overcoming all the difficulties and for never giving up. We are entrepreneurs because we choose to give it everything we’ve got even while people mock and criticize us and friends and family tell us to give it up already. Our vision is everything to us. We do not walk away from it, ever.

We are entrepreneurs because we see a way to make the world better. We constantly seek a way to improve the lives of everyone around us. We keep going, no matter how tough things get. We keep working, building, collapsing and picking up the pieces again and again. It’s hardly just for the money. The money never comes right away. We do it because there is a force within us propelling us forward to embrace new challenges, to rise up and overcome the mounting obstacles. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark the tunnel is while we are working. Maybe we entrepreneurs have something to prove. Maybe we don’t. At the end of the day all that matters is- we did it our way and on our own terms. We built something that can positively impact the lives of others and yes, we lost a huge part of ourselves in the process, but what we gain cannot be deposited into a bank. And that’s the true definition of being an entrepreneur: creating something that will live on far after you are gone.

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Photo Credits: Inc. Magazine

16 Comments
  1. Jennifer 3 years ago

    You girls are so inspirational! I love how you summed up what it means to be a true entrepreneur. It’s more than just about the profits. Thank you for sharing <3

    • Author
      Esendemir Sisters 3 years ago

      We are so glad we can provide some inspiration. Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment!

  2. Cindy Morales 3 years ago

    I love reading everything about you girls and now by your girls!!!!!!!!! I am trying to launch my own make-up line here in LA and I come from a working class family too so I can relate to you girls so much. You inspire me thank you for being so unique and different and I really want to be able to visit Flatbread Grill someday I hope!!!!! My cousin tried it a few years ago when she was visiting her college friends in new jersey and she love it so much. kisses and hugs and I wish all the best forever and ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a very big fan <3

    • Author
      Esendemir Sisters 3 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time out to write us, Cindy. We appreciate it so much!

  3. Maryell 3 years ago

    I enjoy reading your tweets. Please write more about being businss owners. As I want to start my own business omeday too.

    • Author
      Esendemir Sisters 3 years ago

      Hi Maryell, we will definitely be writing more about being business owners. Stay tuned… 😉 and thank you for your comment!

  4. Lizeth 3 years ago

    I loved , loved this article . I started following you girls on IG , I opened my restaurant 2 years in Passaic , NJ . I think your story is inspiring and I love seeing women entrepreneurs … You’re absolutely right there’s always a fire in us that won’t burn . It was motivating to read this . Looking forward to more, and will definitely visit your location soon .

    • Author
      Esendemir Sisters 3 years ago

      Thank you, Lizeth, for your kind words and thank you for following us. It is nice to see another woman running a restaurant. Best of luck to you and please keep in touch!

  5. caprice 3 years ago

    This describes me and my sisters so much! We are not only building our bakery business but other ones as well and it gets very hard at times. It is so enlightening to follow you ladies because it helps us get through our toughest days.

    • Author
      Esendemir Sisters 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for visiting our site and taking the time out to leave us a comment. It is difficult to build your own business and we encountered so many obstacles with our own business, Flatbread Grill. But don’t ever give up on it! Good luck to you and your sisters. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of assistance.

  6. Tami 3 years ago

    I’m not sure that I could be the entrepreneur that you guys are. You have put so much time, energy and love into what you are working on. I may not know you, but I am proud of you and what you stand for, and what you are working on accomplishing.

  7. Louisa 3 years ago

    You certainly are an inspiration to us all. I love that you’re not afraid to talk about putting in the hard work and that nothing comes easy in this life. I also love that you are women in business and flying the flag highly for all us women in business! Onwards and upwards

  8. Darlene Unsett 3 years ago

    My boyfriend is an entrepreneur. He lives and breathes his business. I love him, but I also sometimes think I would like him to talk about something other than business. Reading this post helps me to understand him a bit better. It also helps me understand why he isn’t more committed to our relationship. Anyway, he is all of the things you describe and that makes him special. I think he will own the world one day.

  9. Ellen 3 years ago

    Very informative! Thanks for posting Esendemir sisters.

  10. Jill 3 years ago

    It’s always nice to see a new post from you two, keep it up!

  11. Jolene 3 years ago

    This is my favorite post by far!!! I am very motivated to keep going for my dreams no matter what!!

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