Even if you're living off grocery store samples and wiener water soup, just calling yourself an entrepreneur does wonders for your reputation.
Say you're at the gym in the middle of the day. No one has to know you're there for a hot shower after your water heater died and you couldn't spare the lettuce for the repair. You strike up a conversation with the guy on the elliptical next to yours. When he starts his cool down, just drop a few hints like, "Oh wow, I didn't even notice the time. I guess I should get back to work." Or mention it when you're sitting at the coffee shop with your laptop and paperwork all spread out on the table. "Oh, what do I do?" Those are the magic words, because an entrepreneur can get as wiggly as they want with their job titles. Oh, I'm a freelancer, a free agent, head of a start-up, self-employed, run a company, consultant, troubleshooter.... No matter what you say, you're telling the truth. Even if you have $12 in the bank and a skateboard is your primary commuting vehicle, you will strike envy in the hearts of all who meet you. They are hamsters…and you? You are a free bird.
You are also an expert. Your product, hopefully, is completely unique and innovative. No one knows your product like you do and that means no one knows your market like you do.
Paris Milan never has a problem with conversation. She tells people she's an entrepreneur but sometimes she uses "shoe designer." Everyone has an opinion on shoes, but Paris knows all about Manolo and Christian and hints that she has some insider info. And samples.
Next time you see some slacker, you could be looking at the next billionaire. Like Sandy Tanner, who spends all day at the beach, perfecting the lens on his new wave cam.
Or Cyrano DeB., who spends mornings at Jumpy Jakes, pounding espressos while he troubleshoots the code for his new headphone device, The Whisperer. Shy people, job applicants, first dates, folks with Aspberger's—pretty soon they'd simply listen to a few encouraging words on a tiny earpiece and they'd spread their new social wings.