Rise of the Innerpreneur

What Being an Innerpreneur Means to Me (And Only Me)


I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, I did not make the word Innerpreneur up. I was only drawn to it once upon a time ago (early 2007) when I was starting my business.

I saw the book Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs in the bookstore and despite the fact that I had little interest in the book’s overall themes, I bought it. I was compelled by the term, Innerpreneur, and intrigued by the people it described.

It spoke to me. I connected with it. I didn’t totally understand what being an Innerpreneur meant but I found truth in it.

I don’t know what it means to you but here’s what it means to me.

A year and half later, I still don’t know what being an Innerpreneur means to you. And I not sure I ever will. I’ve tried to define it for the community but the reality is I only know what it means to me.

As an Innerpreneur, I believe in:

  • Authentic marketing (If it’s not the truth, I’m not going to say it.)
  • Integrative thinking (I’m not an either/or kind of girl. I’m not creative or  logical, left or right-brained, I’m both. I come up with ways to have my cake and eat it too.)
  • Inner-directed action (There is only me and my relationship with others and the world. It is my responsibility to be aware of how I think, feel and act.)
  • Values-based business (Business that supports purpose, profit and people.)
  • Integral living (That the relationship between body, mind and soul needs to be integrated into all aspects of living.)
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Do we really need to define it in order to feel it?

The word is just a word. It has no real tangible value. It’s the ideas expressed in the word that have real power.

My intention was never to use the word to separate us from other business owners. I use the word to connect with those of a similar mindset and as a means to encompass my radical (aka inner-directed) views on business… and life.

If you are drawn to the word, you might like what I have to say. But then again, you might not. I’m just expressing what I am learning on my Innerpreneurial journey. I’m not every Innerpreneur, I don’t represent anyone, nor do I know the answers. Your journey and your learning might look similar to mine, or they might not.

It’s my words, not the word, that counts.

I’ve been torturing my Self by thinking that the word defines me as a writer, that without it I don’t have a voice. That without Innerpreneur to stand behind, my words don’t count. That you only visit because of the word, not because of my words.

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I worry about you getting bored with me. And the great irony of my fear is if I rest on the word, you inevitably will. Boredom only sets in when something is no longer relevant. If I stop growing and exploring my ideas and rest on some term, I would cease adapting and I would become stale.

So I write this article as a reminder to my Self that the word Innerpreneur does not define me, it is simply my means to find you and to draw you in. The word is part of my radio signal but it is not my music.

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

About Tara Joyce

Hello! I'm Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me. I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

10 Thoughts on “What Being an Innerpreneur Means to Me (And Only Me)

  1. You know what your MBTI is?
    Might be interesting to see how the Innerpreneur concept aligns.

    For me, I also found that the ideas outlined in the Strengths Finder 2.0 book helped inform / direct my own Innerpreneur.

    My Strengths: 1. Intellection 2. Input 3. Learner 4. Connectedness 5. Deliberative

  2. Samantha on October 22, 2009 at 3:59 PM said:

    I really like that last line, Tara.

    Sometimes the very word or niche that we launch ourselves under can feel like the stone that will sink us. I think that’s because although labels initially give us confidence, they can also come to confine and restrict us. Sometimes I play this out in my writing, and let my mood show. It’s about revealing myself more openly to my readers. It feels like a gamble at times, but I think it makes us more interesting, and better writers for it.

    We need to remember that we are multi-faceted beings. More than that, we need to keep finding new ideas and inspirations that will stimulate us to keep writing. ‘Innerpreneur’ covers the work and business values, but you’re also a writer, so how about trying ‘Artist’ on for size too?


  3. I love, love, LOVE this post. I visit your site and am inspired by it because of your music. You sing in a key that resonates for me. There's no way I'll get bored. Please keep on growing and sharing. It's awesome stuff. x

  4. JoannaYoung on October 23, 2009 at 5:27 AM said:

    Labels always get in the way. I get hung up on 'writing' all the time and try and think of other things to call it, and other ways to do it, so I keep allowing myself the freedom and permission to just be me.

    So please, just be you :-)

  5. Tara,
    A truly fantastic post! I have not seen such a frank, honest and giving off creative sparks writing, since ages. The great Howard Gardner (Harvard psychologist),who made a practical
    revolution in education with his theory of multiple intelligence, couldn’t have done better.
    Starting from your amazing talent for writing and the ability to express yourself ,you have made a Quantum leap in Trans -disciplinary-design thinking. A true radio signal for listening
    to all kinds of significant music, without any formal obstructions. In this post one does not stumble into silly and pretentious instructions of what to think and what to think, just as
    6.5,year olds that stop asking questions because they quickly learn that teachers value the right(according to them) answers more than provocative questions.
    It is revealing to learn what Tara and the Innerpreneur/ Entrepreneur community that we intuitively represent (It sounds funny to be trying constantly to strictly define the terminology in something so young and constantly evolving). I share the open classification she does, in explaining what she believes in and can’t stop myself from smiling at the reflection that she considers herself both right and left brain thinker, that has the ability to come up with ways to make a cake and eat it to. In this context I can recommend two books that were successfully
    Tested over time: ”Value Migration-How to Think Several Mo9ves Ahead of the competition,
    by Adrian J. Slywotzky.” And “Growing To Be Great –Breaking The downsizing Cycle, by
    Dwight L Gertz and Joao P.A. Baptista.” Something that comes in mind is speculating a little
    more on how innovators think or creativity at work generally speaking. Five “discovery skills” could be specified: The first skill is what we call “associating.” It's a cognitive skill that allows creative people to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas. The second skill is questioning — an ability to ask “what if”, “why”, and “why not” questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture. The third is the ability to closely observe details, particularly the details of people's behavior. Another skill is the ability to experiment — the people we studied are always trying on new experiences and exploring new worlds. And finally, they are really good at networking with smart people who have little in common with them, but from whom they can learn. One might summarize all of the skills we’ve noted in one word: “inquisitiveness.” It’s the same kind of inquisitiveness you
    see in small children. Asking the question :How innerpreneurs /entrepreneurs came up with a strategic or innovative ideas? –Interestingly all of them talk about being triggered, or having what one may call “eureka” moments. In describing how they came up with a product or business idea, they would use phrases like “I saw someone doing this, or I overheard someone say that, and that's when it hit me.” It was found that 15% of executives are deeply innovative, meaning they've invented a new product or started an innovative venture. But the problem is that even the most creative people are often careful about asking questions for fear of looking stupid, or because they know the organization won't value it80% of executives spend less than 20% of their time on discovering new ideas. Unless, of course, they work for a company like Apple or Google. It is our firm belief that the most innovative entrepreneurs were very lucky to have been raised in an atmosphere where inquisitiveness was encouraged .
    Finally I would like to argue that innerpreneurs /entrepreneurs are among the most celebrated people in our culture. Celebrity people like them often grace the covers of prominent publications. These company founders and innovators fuel economic growth and give the nation they belong to its competitive edge.

  6. I'm an INFP. I wrote a while ago that I thought it was the Intuitive
    Feeling connection that linked Innerpreneurs. Not sure though.

    My strengths with StrengthsFinder 2.0… a great book was:

    1. Learner
    2. Input
    3. Adaptability
    4. Empathy
    5. Strategic

  7. Oh… Sam… you hit the nail on the head. I can't use the word you
    mentioned… to describe myself… artist. I am an artist. I need to
    embrace it. And I don't. I'm afraid of it. Thank you for pointing that
    out. I am forgetting the artist in me.

  8. Thank you, Jan. Thank you. It feels so good, yet so scary to share it.

  9. Thank you, Joanna, for the affirmation. It's so simple but it's true,
    I need to allow myself the freedom and permission to just be me.
    Labels be damned.

  10. Mike,

    You leave such beefy comments, full of ideas, references and more
    books to consume. Thank you for your continued education of me and my
    readers. I especially found the 5 discovery skills of innovators to be

    Your support and kind words are appreciated to no end. I thought you'd
    like my reference to having my cake and eating it too;)

    I agree, entrepreneurs are some of the most celebrated people in our
    culture… now we just need a stronger representation in the media of
    business owners with a more holistic view of business (enough of
    celebrating entrepreneurs just because they make money). I am
    confident that day is slowly arriving.

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What Being an Innerpreneur Means to Me (And Only Me)

By Tara Joyce Time to Read: 2 min