There was once a time when I was in school where life was simple. You woke up in the morning, went to school, hung out with people in your classes, and studied. It was a bubble where the mostly commonly used words and phrases were:

1)      Assignments

2)     Exams

3)     How that exam raped you

4)     Study

5)     How you raped that exam

There really wasn’t much else going on in terms of the latest buzzwords. I’m sure that list hasn’t changed for 500 years.

Now that I’m forced to expand my view of the world beyond school and into the corporate/business world I realize there is a lot out there. Some gems mixed in with a lot of crap.

There is a corporate “lingo” which is spoken through boring meetings in conference rooms and numerous educational lunch n’ learns. I’m not very experienced of how life was like “back in the day” but I’m going to assume that his corporate lingo stayed within the 4 walls of these offices and people didn’t throw them out in everyday conversations. But now with the popularity of LinkedIn and Facebook things have changed for the worse. Instead of the corporate buzzwords staying at work they are now online!!!!

I have a theory on how these corporate buzzwords started off. What essentially happens is in the steam of random incoherent nonsense that’s spewed out on a daily basis by managers, leadership gurus and marketing consultants someone says something that really sounds pretty cool and makes sense. It’s like putting rollers on a suitcase. It’s that “why didn’t I think of that” moment because it just makes so much sense. Now instead of using that word or phrase in the right context, people decide to dilute the living hell out of it and use it in every way they can until it becomes what is now known as a corporate buzzword.

Here is a list of the top 3 words that I hear which I absolutely despise:

1)      Entrepreneur

Okay so this might not actually be a corporate buzzword but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. It literally is the most diluted and overused word to the point it really has no meaning.

When I see someone proclaim themselves as an “Entrepreneur” the word “Useless” is the first thought that goes through my mind. It kind of reminds of people who say:

“I’m not book smart; I’m street smart” which is correctly translates into “I’m actually pretty dumb”.

Entrepreneur probably had a really strong meaning back in the day and it has quite a strong ring to it which is why it has stuck around. It’s just now that people who describe themselves as entrepreneurs just tend to suck, a lot.

It seems to be an all-encompassing term for people who like to start “businesses” aka project’s that make no money. The basic definition of a business is creating entity that generates a profit. Most “entrepreneurs” just start little projects that don’t make money but it’s cool to say you have a “business”, I guess.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of time off due to my job so this gives me ample opportunity to start something on my own. I do a few things that can be described by this loose word as “entrepreneurial” but I know better. I prefer the term “make believe job” because that’s exactly what it is.

The term entrepreneur should be reserved for people who actually have created a business that makes money, is something different and scalable. We don’t call kids in 1st year university doctors because they want to be doctors one day and we shouldn’t call people entrepreneurs on the same basis.

2)     Leverage

I hear this word a lot especially when people are describing social media “We’re going to leverage social media to increase our profits 10 fold and have people look at our shit.”

It inherently makes no sense and is overused to death. Leverage usually means to use the banks money for investments… or to apply force to a lever.

Here is a typical example of this crappy word being used:

“We will leverage our viral social media marketing efforts, resulting in widespread adoption of our revolutionary ‘no-revenue’ product, as customers recommend us to their friends and family.”  – Typical Entrepreneur

3)     Gen X, Y, Z,

It should be pretty self-evident why this word sucks. Marketing companies and leadership gurus are trying to appeal to people based on the generation they were born. It’s the archetypal buzz word because it means nothing.

It is after all the epitome of useless generalization. To paint a WHOLE generation of people with the same brush without taking into account their education background, family, or socioeconomic status? You might as well try to appeal to everyone; the results will be the same.

To summarize, this is just basically a rant. It will be refreshing to one day see “entrepreneurs” get the message that using gimmicky and overused words doesn’t get your message across to people. If anything it makes them tune you out because you are another advertiser bombarding them with ill-contrived and “game changing” bullshit.

If whatever you’re selling is really solving a need and problem it will sell itself in plain and simple language.

Uzair AhmedComment