Beckham had recently been crowned UK Entrepreneur of the Year by a British magazine, and columnist Gene Marks took issue.
“I don’t think Victoria Beckham is an entrepreneur,” he wrote. “That’s because entrepreneurship is not just about business savvy. . .Or celebrity. Or wealth. Or even about financial success. She’s got all that too. It’s about the risk one takes to achieve those objectives.”
Marks then invoked the spirits of Sam Walton, who borrowed money to purchase a variety store, and Richard Branson who “started his record business with next to nothing in a church basement.” He also conjured up the story of a person who left her job selling wholesale clothing to pitch her own jewelry online, and another who left college and went into “their dad’s business selling electronic components to the computer industry.” Marks added, “These are the risk takers. These are the dreamers. These are the entrepreneurs.”
This might make for a good slogan for a weekend Tony Robbins retreat, but it’s hard to find a definition of entrepreneur that’s wandered further off the path of economic impact into the world of personality than this. Welcome, my friends, to the 21st-century Age of Big Entrepreneurship, where the world revolves around the personal attributes of the individual. In this case, Marks believed, Beckham might be a successful businesswoman, but she’s no entrepreneur—just “ask any successful entrepreneur who took risks and suffered failures and they’ll tell you there is a difference.”