What's the difference between a business person and an entrepreneur?

10 replies
You hear the term entrepreneur a lot these days; Richard Branson is an entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, and Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur. But what sets these people apart from other business people?

Is there really too much of a difference between an entrepreneur and a successful businessperson, and if so what are the main differences... I know we are all going to have an opinion on this (which is a good thing).

Here's my thoughts on what makes a difference between the two:

Originality: Entrepreneurs have done something to break the mould. If you look at Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and J.K Rowling they've all taken big risks with their products and effectively, changed the world with their success. Business people traditionally travel a path which has already been walked before, so while they may be exceptionally good at what they do, it's not particularly inventive.

Purpose: You'll be hard pushed to find a successful entrepreneur who was in it for the money. Their ideas and drive come from a passion to create great social change on a large scale, and they respond to the human needs of society. Sure, they might make a lot of money doing it, but that's rarely the main driver.

Risk: A successful entrepreneur is not afraid to take a risk or two to get where they need to be. An entrepreneur will pass their business card to the president, buy a property with no funds for a backup plan and travel the world to see their dream come to fruition. Entrepreneurs are often driven by passion and as such, don't often consider that they might need a backup plan. And that's because they rarely do!

Views on staff: A business person is a boss with employees, an entrepreneur is a leader with peers.

Outlook on competitors: A business person tries to outdo their competitors; an entrepreneur collaborates to succeed.

Views on money: A business person relies on a healthy bank account to quantify his success; an entrepreneur doesn't need a cent! They have confidence in themselves which means they can start from scratch if the need ever arises.

Creativity: A business person follows rules, structure and timeframes; an entrepreneur is creative and fluid, working on their timescale and to their rules!

Definition of success: This is the key difference between a businessperson and an entrepreneur. A business person looks at sales figures, output, and the happiness and value of stakeholders as a marker for the success. An entrepreneur defines it as "Have they made a difference?"

Of course, this list is just an opinion and is no way meant to put one above the other. Both are key members of each society but in case anyone was wondering, as I have been recent, this is what I think are the key differences between an entrepreneur and a business person!

I'd love to hear your thoughts. .
#business #difference #entrepreneur #person #what’s
  • Profile picture of the author neshaword
    All entrepreneurs are business people, but not all business people are entrepreneurs. When I hear the word "entrepreneur" I immediately think about something new, revolutionary and ground shaking. However, I also think that all of these successful business people can be entrepreneurs for a very brief period of time. Once you're done with a new idea promotion, you have to make sure it has all it needs to develop and grow. It's very similar to talent and work ratio. Something like 1% talent and 99% hard work. In this case, 1% entrepreneurship and 99% good old business practice. Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    i don't really agree with how you set the list up..

    but if it works for you ...

    the key differences are entrepreneurs usually start businesses to grow them large ..and at some point will need to leave the business ..or be replace by investors ..

    if you want a 6figure income you can build a business without being an entrepreneur ..or trying to be the next steve jobs ..

    you can get a business to a few hundred thousand a year and build it to provide the lifestyle you want ..

    entrepreneurs ten to try and change the world or serve a cause with their business
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Views on money: A business person relies on a healthy bank account to quantify his success; an entrepreneur doesn't need a cent! They have confidence in themselves which means they can start from scratch if the need ever arises.
    I don't agree with that. It's that attitude that leads many people to assume someone who says "I'm an entrepreneur" means "I'm broke" - because so often that's the case.

    I've known business owners who were quite successful who were NOT 'entrepreneurs'. I've never known a 'successful' entrepreneur who wasn't also a good business person.

    I've seen businesses that EMPLOY entrepreneurs and know a couple entrepreneurs who HIRE business people to take care of finances and details.

    Practicality and Imagination....that's a good combination.

    Confused yet?
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    • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post


      Practicality and Imagination....that's a good combination.

      Confused yet?
      Ha! I tend to agree with you there Kay, entrepreneurs can often be seen as big thinkers / huge / big ideas (thinking Richard Branson and his idea to navigate a hot air balloon around the world or something like that) but do they know how to run the day to day business well - the nuts and bolts so to speak of successful business.

      I've worked with one CEO who came up with big ideas / changed the organisation and then quickly and swiftly moved to the next role, never idle for too long.

      I agree if there was a happy medium for the Entre-business person that would be brilliant... very thought provoking stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Diskretni
    Yes those are different modules of successful person. So be etrepreneur!
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    • Profile picture of the author BigFrank
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Diskretni View Post

      Yes those are different modules of successful person. So be etrepreneur!
      Not everyone is suited to be one. It requires a special skill set and mental attitude.

      Some folks are born to be 'worker-bees.' That's life.

      Oh, wait. I forgot. If you believe it, it can happen. My mistake! What the hell was I thinking??? lol

      Cheers. - Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
        Originally Posted by BigFrank View Post

        Not everyone is suited to be one. It requires a special skill set and mental attitude.

        Some folks are born to be 'worker-bees.' That's life.
        Agreed Frank, I know plenty of very happy 'worker-bees' - it's definitely not for me though
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        • Profile picture of the author neshaword
          Originally Posted by gingerninjas View Post

          Agreed Frank, I know plenty of very happy 'worker-bees' - it's definitely not for me though
          You also know quite a few self-proclaimed "entrepreneurs." When I want to see some of these "entrepreneurs" in action, all I have to do is to go to my local gym. It's entrepreneur's conference taking place every single day. All those guys are working out on their business ideas and muscles. They just don't have time to do something about it for real. Sounds familiar?
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          • Profile picture of the author gingerninjas
            I don't know, Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably a good example of a gym junkie who did something with his ideas.. and ended up being a filmmaker, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician..... but I guess that is probably a little off the topic .. we could start a thread on unlikely entrepreneurs if you like!
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