Are You a Business Owner Or an Entrepreneur?

This is a great time for the entrepreneur. The current rash of layoffs and business closings has driven former employees to start their own business or buy one.

Entrepreneurship is the new black, ladies and gentlemen. Write it down.

Erika Napoletano at Redhead Writing has written an article posing a fascinating question. She asked her readers if they themselves were business owners or entrepreneurs. There is an interesting distinction between the two and I’ll bet the majority of her readers couldn’t answer that question.

Which are you, in fact? Are you a business owner or an entrepreneur?

Is there a difference?

All of you who looked at that question and asked, “What’s the difference?” raise your hands. Go on. Raise ’em high. Now put them down and hang your head in shame for a second or two before acknowledging that you’re in good company. That’s what most people would say if someone slapped that question down in front of them.

The difference is simple. A business owner owns a business. They may have started it, or bought it from someone else. It may be the family business that generations have just gone into because it was there and it was always a part of them. It doesn’t matter. They are all business owners and operators.

Operating one’s own business, though, does not make them an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur actually started his own business. Fortune shines on the entrepreneur who took a brave new step in the right direction.

If you have a great idea for a business and are thinking about turning yourself into an entrepreneur, you should ask yourself a few probing questions before you take the plunge.

1. Are you scared to death you will fail? It is scary to contemplate becoming an entrepreneur yourself. The fact is you will make big mistakes and fall on your face – a lot. If you are unable to learn from your failures and rise up and charge ahead, go on a job search and work for someone else.

2. Is it a problem for you to tell others what to do? It is always more difficult to lead than to follow. If you are a follower, do not become an entrepreneur.

3. Can you think on your feet? If you can’t think and make quick, reasoned decisions, do not become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs face head on a whole new world of obstacles they never even thought of before. Many of these obstacles require a decision to be made in 30 seconds or less. If you are unable to think on the fly, do not become an entrepreneur.

4. Are you hesitant to announce your immediate plans to others? Entrepreneurs have been called fruitcakes for millenniums. Anyone with a new idea is suspect. You will receive a lot of sideways glances and knowing smirks as you go out into the world as an entrepreneur. You must learn to look them right in the eye and go off and do your thing. If your skin is too thin to do that, do not become an entrepreneur.

Now you know what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how it differs from being a business owner. If you think entrepreneurship will work for you, go for it big time and good luck to you.