Are You Really an Entrepreneur or Just a Small Business Person?9:52 PM
Are you really an entrepreneur, or just a small business person? The differences between the two are...
Are you really an entrepreneur, or just a small business person? The differences between the two are subtle but quite distinct.
In defining whether you truly are an entrepreneur, or just a small business person, the differences between the two are subtle but quite distinct.
A small business person can grow their business to be a large business, but that does not automatically make them an entrepreneur.
- Types of businesses can be similar.
- As can propensity or appetite for risk
- Even the concept of 'unknowable outcome' can be similar for both groups. (Just because you don't know the potential outcome, doesn't mean that it can't be anticipated by others).
The key difference between the two is 'mindset'. A business person is usually focused inwards; in revenue, sales, operations, compliance, regulations, administration. etc etc.
Whereas an entrepreneur (whilst still having to complete these tasks, or be mindful or these obligations) is focused outwards. They are focused on the needs of others. That includes their audiences, customers, suppliers, partners, the wider community, and critically, one other key group; the group of aspirational entrepreneurs. This is the group that seeks to follow in the path of other successful entrepreneurs.
This key difference is (mostly) manifested (but not exclusively), in whether you support that next cohort, with your time, wisdom, experience, guidance, and in some cases, money.
And I'm not talking about via
- a fee-for-service exchange - that makes you an advisor.
- advice-for equity - that makes you an investor.
- a substantial contribution of effort in co-participation collaboration of creating a venture. That makes you a co-founder.
- writing books about business, experience or expertise - that makes you an author
- talking to large audiences through presentations, conferences, podcasts or TV shows - that makes you a speaker.
- you must be the recipient of guidance (mentorship) from a preceding successful entrepreneur (a real live face-to-face mentor), and
- you must, in turn, pass on the benefits of your learning, to a succeeding group of individual aspirational entrepreneurs.
That, my friends, is the true heart of entrepreneurship. The ability to 'pay-it-forward', usually for no external reward.
The outcomes for the 'mentee' are immense. Perspective, learning of wisdom, accountability, In fact, guidance (or lack of it) is the single biggest determinant of success or failure in any venture.
But the intrinsic benefits to the mentor can't be understated either. For those that recognize "Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs", this is the 'top of the pyramid'. These benefits create a level of satisfaction, clarity, and a deeper understanding of self, that can only be experienced, not described.
And in reality, those that know the benefits, don't need a list. And those that need a list of benefits, will never really discover them.
So if you want to be a true entrepreneur, my friends, you must cast off your requirements of self (at least for part of the time), in order to become self-less. The is the heart of a true calling - to do for others, without expectation of return or reward to yourself. And yet still recognizing that this is the very basis of the equation of "reciprocity"- " in order to receive, I must first give".
And we'll save that new thought for another blog post.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? After you've made a comment below