Entrepreneur or Business Owner? Subtle but Vital Differences.

Do you enjoy a game of chess? Chess requires you to think several steps ahead with each move and so does entrepreneurship.

Although the terms business owner and entrepreneur are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences.

An entrepreneur will often take on more risk by coming up with a new idea or a new way of doing things, one that ‘solves a problem’. To do this, as well as entering some level of risk, they will need to innovate, make some personal sacrifice and show initiative. An entrepreneur will also need to believe they can adapt, succeed and grow.

In fact, the growth mind-set is one of the key characteristics of an entrepreneur. The Stanford University Psychologist Carol Dweck, who studies self-conception (or how you see yourself), suggests that if you have a growth mindset, anything is possible. She says that by stretching your comfort zone, you can define your own levels of success.

Naturally, there are hurdles when we take risks, upsets and failures along the way. But a growth mindset – a mind that is resilient – will not only bounce back and adapt, but even see them as learning opportunities.

A business owner on the other hand, will typically build a business around a proven idea or model. They tend to grow their business step by step, steadily – often to really good effect. Successful business owners will be focused and goal driven. There is usually less creativity involved than in the path of the entrepreneur.

Both business owners and entrepreneurs will take on responsibility and a leadership role. But a business owner may seek to manage and grow their employees and the company – and increase their sales. The entrepreneur on the other hand, is likely to be more focused on the future and think about scaling – or how to grow the business.

Take Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Did he set out to open a new bookshop or to create the store that sells everything – a brand new concept in online business? I’m sure you can guess the answer. Jeff Bezos used the idea of selling books online as a stepping-stone to create his online megastore. He went from a small venture operating out of his garage in 1994, to what it is today.

Crucially, in 1994, he was a visionary, an inventor, someone who was prepared to take a risk into the unknown. The ‘problem’ he sought to fix, was what product would best take advantage of the internet, with its extremely high potential for growth. At the time, web usage was increasing by a staggering 2,300 % a year! His solution was books after considering 20 different products – because there are so many items in the book category compared to items in any other category by far.

Many successful entrepreneurs will tell us that the key to their success is really based around passion. It’s this passion that drives all the other fundamental traits needed for ventures into new business ideas. Perhaps the first question an aspiring entrepreneur should ask themselves is if they can speak about their idea with genuine passion. Can you pinpoint what Jeff Bezos’s passion was?

Recommended Links

Entrepreneur - definition and examples - Market Business News

Question: Are You a Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? (oberlo.com)


Are You Trapped In A Fixed Mindset? Fix It! (forbes.com)

Making the Leap to Entrepreneurship (hbr.org)

Entrepreneurial Mindset: 20 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur (oberlo.com)

Young Jeff Bezos video shows why he built Amazon empire on books (businessinsider.com)