We live in the age of the entrepreneur. That’s not a bad sales pitch. As layoffs are slowly nudging shoppers back to mom and pop shops, and more individuals than ever are stretching their wings and setting out on their own, entrepreneurs are doing a booming business.
Entrepreneurship is the new black, ladies and gentlemen. Write it down.
I stumbled across an article the other day written by Erika Napoletano at Redhead Writing that posed an interesting question, however. She asked her reading audience if they were, in fact, entrepreneurs or if they were business owners. It was an interesting distinction for me, and one I’d like to toss out to all of you.
Which are you, business owner or entrepreneur?
Is there a difference?
I’ll bet further that you are one of the majorities who doesn’t have an answer to that.
So what is the difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner? A business owner is one who owns a business. It may be one that they themselves have started. It may be one that they’ve purchased from someone else. It may be that they’re third or fourth generation. It doesn’t matter. The point is, they run their business and they run it well.
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’re thinking the entrepreneurial life is for you, I’ve got a few questions to toss your way.
1. Are you deathly afraid you’ll mess up? Being an entrepreneur all alone in your business life can be a frightening concept. The truth is you will err. You will err seriously. Chances are very good you will fall hard and will need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again, as the song goes. If this is abhorrent to you, do not become an entrepreneur.
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. Does letting people know about your future plans disturb you? Entrepreneurs have been labeled as loony since the earliest of them walked the earth. If you have a brilliant concept that no one has thought of yet, people will tell you you’re dreaming and will try to force you back to reality. There will be a lot of that in your future. If you can’t stand up to them and walk away to do your own thing, you will not be comfortable as an entrepreneur and should forget about it.
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.