Business Owner / Entrepreneur. What’s the difference?
Often the words “entrepreneur” and “business owner” are used interchangeably. In a time where social media and PR has deemed it so ‘fashionable’ these days, everyone from the next fintech through to the kid on the corner washing cars has taken to calling themselves an Entrepreneur.
The fact is that the meaning they signify is as different from each other as it can possibly be, and through a combination of social pressure, social status and a degree of (dare I say it) ignorance, many self-employed / business owners casually label themselves as entrepreneurs.
A business person is any person that engages in a series of economic activities to earn a profit. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is someone who conceives an idea or a solution to a current problem that the society is facing, either finds investors, self invests or bootstraps and sets up an enterprise to offer their expertise to the general public or a specific niche.
There are many differences in the way both think, operate, and do business.
- A business owner starts their business with an already existing and mostly a well-exploited area whereas an entrepreneur conceives a fresh concept/idea/solution to start their enterprise. The entrepreneur has an objective to provide a never-tried-before solution or identifies the opportunity to deliver a solution in a ground breaking new method to an existing problem instead of simply capitalizing on a tried-and-tested idea.
- A business owner is often overt to taking risks whereas an entrepreneur is always ready to plunge deep in. A business owner is apprehensive of trying new things. An entrepreneur is almost habitual of taking risks.
- A business owner is concerned with hiring people to increase their business productivity whereas an entrepreneur creates productivity through their employees, be that inhouse or through outsourced or Partnership/JV solutions. An entrepreneur hires people and converts them into a pool of resource which can be easily and effectively tapped by the society.
- A business owner shies away from changes, and often finds themselves at the receiving end of turbulent business environment whereas an entrepreneur is always eager to face challenging business conditions sometimes even creating them to embrace volatility. A business owner is apprehensive of changes whereas an entrepreneur embraces changes.
- A business owner, more often than not, sticks with proven products/services and is afraid to innovate. An entrepreneur is renowned for their knack of innovating and creating a better product/service for their community. An entrepreneur thrives on their own risk taking capabilities and strives to outshine all their previous products/services each time.
- A business owner stays with the more traditional way of doing business whereas an entrepreneur is obsessed with unconventional way of doing things. Beginning from the product idea and going till after the product has been sold, an entrepreneur makes an effort to be boldly unconventionally different.
- A business owner is known for making revenue whereas entrepreneurs are focused on creating value. Adding value to the society is the reason entrepreneurs exist. Entrepreneurs want to bring in a revolutionary change in the way society thinks and works.
A business owner may adopt an idea, starts a business and brings it to life whereas an entrepreneur plants the seed, nourishes it over years and creates a value-generating asset for the world, they bring life to their business, see it flourish and then rinse and repeat!
Put it plainly, most self professed Entrepreneurs are actually business owners! (and that’s ok) They have felt the need to ‘branch out’ to ‘stay current’ by adopting their title, where as the way they operate and what they do, has predominantly stayed the same. For me, its ok to be a business owner, there is no shame in NOT being an entrepreneur. The world still needs conventional, reliable, safe, trust worthy. We just have to be willing to be honest and accept who we really are, and WHY we are doing what we are doing.
If you have created a job for yourself, if you have built a business around you and your lifestyle, if you have done well and earn a good salary then I salute you, that’s a most admirable thing to have done – but its not an entrepreneur! (and that’s ok) but lets be crystal clear about WHO we are, WHAT we are and WHY we are doing, in order we can establish WHAT does YOUR success actually look like?
Perhaps you’d like to read my blog: THE BIGGEST hurdle for more details on the importance of CLARITY?