The top ten most overused words in small business

The words “mumpreneur” and “hustle” has been revealed as the most despised and overused words in business in a recent poll of 830 small-business people.

The most overused cringeworthy word with 28 per cent(most women in business) hate “mumpreneur” seeing it as a derogatory term with one respondent saying, “as if, when you reproduce, your prior qualifications, skills and experience go back on the shelf; you become a ‘mum’, 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?”

Coming up a hot second is “hustle” with 22 per cent seeing it as negative word conjuring images of people being forced to work hard or selling out.

Business is full of buzzwords and jargon, but there are some words that really annoy people because they get thrown around like confetti and lose their meaning. Or words like “mumpreneur”, which divide people because of the connotations attached – some people wear the label like a badge of honour, while other women find it incredibility offensive.

It was interesting to see what words really irked people. 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. Instead of enticing and drawing the reader closer, these words are repelling and turning people off.”

The top ten overused words are:

  1. Mumpreneur
  2. Hustle
  3. Authentic – used to convince people that you are being real and relatable but if you are not being authentic, then what are you doing? If you have to tell people you are authentic, then chances are you are trying too hard. Just be you.
  4. Boss Babe – this word swept through social media few years ago like wild fire and somehow is still lingering. If a man called a woman babe, there the proverbial would hit the fan. It is meant to be an empowering term but it’s presence in the top five shows it is a term many women in business are over.
  5. Influencer – brand influencers have their place in marketing but surely not everyone can be an influencer?
  6. Live your best life – what does this really mean? No one really sets out to live their worst life, do they?
  7. Preneur with any prefix – add “preneur” to almost any group of people running a business and you have a recipe for everyone is one – solopreneur, ecopreneur, multipreneur, socialpreneur, teenpreneur, greenpreneur, seniorpreneur …
  8. Expert – Sigh …everyone is an expert these days. Do a course online for 40 seconds and you’re now an “expert” in whatever. A true expert is someone who have developed and honed skills in a area over time, they have runs on the board and have superior knowledge about their topic.
  9. Guru – used to describe someone who is an “expert”. Another label many attached to themselves to convince others to part with their hard-earned money but never really having to prove their qualifications as a “guru”. You know what a guru is? A Sanskrit word used to describe a Hindu spiritual teacher, not a person who runs a series of workshops.
  10. Tribe – this always makes me think of some exclusive club, which has the opposite effect of the intent of the word – to make people feel like they are part of something bigger.

Angela Henderson, business consultant and founder, Angela Henderson Consulting

No comments | be the first to comment

Comment Manually

Read more


FREE NEWS BRIEFS Get breaking news delivered