Business Advice, Startup Advice

Are you an authentic hustling mumpreneur? These are the 10 most hated small business buzzwords

Dominic Powell /

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning, hustling your way to work to meet your tribe while living your best life as a boss babe mumpreneur.

If the above sentence doesn’t sound like hell on earth to you, it might be time to re-think your small business rhetoric.

A survey of over 800 small business owners by business consultant Angela Henderson has identified the most cringe-worthy and despised words in Australian small business, with utterly awful words “mumpreneur” and “hustle” taking out the top spots.

According to Henderson’s survey, 28% of SME owners surveyed said mumpreneur was the most hated and cringe-worthy word, labelling it as derogatory and overused. One respondent said the word implied when business owners become a mum, all their prior experience went “back on the shelf”.

“Then to do anything entrepreneurial is an unusual variation of your true function of being a mum (and probably quite remarkable in itself because surely you have no brain cells left now). No one mentions ‘dadpreneurs’ do they?” the respondent said.

“Hustle” was also widely derided and seen as forcing people to work unnecessarily hard. In a statement, Henderson said there are multiple words that are being “thrown around like confetti” and are now losing all meaning. She warns bloggers and writers to stay away from them.

“There were 30 words that seem to keep showing up in marketing and on social media posts that have the opposite effect to what the writer intends,” she said.

“Instead of enticing and drawing the reader closer, these words are repelling and turning people off.”

If you feel like punishing your eyeballs, here’s the full list of the 10 most-hated words below:

1. Mumpreneur
2. Hustle
3. Authentic
4. Boss Babe
5. Influencer
6. Live your best life
7. ‘Preneur’ with any prefix (this author views himself as a keyboardpreneur)
8. Expert
9. Guru
10. Tribe

NOW READ: The language of startups needs to change: Why it’s time to stop saying we’re “crushing” and “killing” it

NOW READ: How startup jargon is exclusive and dehumanising

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the features and profiles editor at SmartCompany.

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