Are you in the business of purchasing textile articles from Bangladesh and selling them in the West and label yourself as a successful entrepreneur? Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not even close to acceptable business practices. Following in the right path of business etiquette, you might get yourself called a businessman. But still, the essence of an entrepreneur misses out. In our contemporary business environment, entrepreneurship and entrepreneur have become the buzzwords that are well in fashion nowadays. Most people don’t understand the fundamental difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur.
So what factors or traits make an entrepreneur different from a business person? Are they not in it for money? Don’t they want success, sustainability, and profits? The simple reply is yes. They do want these metrics in their operations. However, an entrepreneur’s biggest motivation is not money but the idea, the story, and the drive to bring a positive change through his/her startup. Where increasing wealth would motivate a business person, entrepreneurs are encouraged to see the difference they intend to bring. And at times, they might not be earning a penny, but they would still be more than happy.
Elon Musk started Tesla with a dream to bring revolution in the automotive world. He launched SpaceX with intentions to uplift the entire space exploration technology. Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook with his roommates in a dormitory to connect his university fellows. Jeff Bezos initiated Amazon with a means to make books available readily at your disposal. Arch West created Doritos to utilize unused tortillas. And there’s a never-ending list of so many other successful entrepreneurs.
They never entered into these ventures to earn money or to be famous. They had a vision. A vision to introduce something new, something innovative, and a paradigm shift in the world. That is the drive that a business person lacks. In comparison, the same drive is the fuel an entrepreneur feeds on. Apart from this, there are also significant differences in how an entrepreneur operates differently from a business person. This article highlights some of these differences.
They Have a Thirst for Knowledge
A business person might be happy with internally generated reports presented to him/her by managers in the usual orthodox manner. An entrepreneur will always go the extra mile and would research the market. He/she would also hone academic skills if needed. An entrepreneur would gain knowledge through literature, online MBA programs, and relevant industry professionals. Whatever is mandatory to make the startup successful. A business person mainly operates on tried and tested business machinery and doesn’t need due diligence.
They Are Surprisingly Apophenic
Apophenia is the ability to recognize patterns in things that seem unrelated to an ordinary person. Entrepreneurs can see a comprehensive connection and a seamless pattern between things people perceive to be random. This ability comes in handy to recognize a potential need in the market. Sarah Blakely started Spanx when she identified a gap in the market for women’s leggings. It is such a niche market, and only an entrepreneur with an apophenic mind could trace this pattern. And it led her to establish a multimillion-dollar company. She started Spanx with just $5,000. Now the entrepreneur enjoys a net worth of over $1 billion.
They Scope Expansion, But Value Purpose
Scaling a startup to a bigger business is undoubtedly among the targets of an entrepreneur. However, they never compromise on the real purpose of their business. The soul of an entrepreneurial venture is the drive to meet a critical market need. If financial expansion comes in meeting that target, then an entrepreneur would never approach such development. Simultaneously, a business person might compromise its fundamental mission and vision to gain more financial muscle and expand it.
Entrepreneurs Are Highly Innovative
During the academic life, students learn various skills and capabilities to enhance their creative and innovative streak. However, when they enter the corporate world pursuing their MBA careers, only a few utilize their innovative skills. Undoubtedly, those who can adequately apply and implement their creative and critical thinking skills become entrepreneurs. Thus, if you cannot use the knowledge and experience you achieved during your MBA, don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur. Following conventional practices does not label you as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship stands synonymous with innovation. Their entire business model operates around a new and innovative product. If the product is a usual one, then their business methodology is something others have not experimented with yet.
They Love Taking Risk
An entrepreneur is not as risk-averse as a business person. That is why 22.5% startup fails within just the first year of operations. It might sound depressing, but that is the essence of entrepreneurship. You learn from mistakes and harvest failures to provide tremendous success. You can never learn to swim without actually jumping into the pool. It can be discomforting initially, but ultimately, you will be the pro of your field. Similarly, an entrepreneur learns from real-time experiences and transforms failures into lessons.
Entrepreneurs Don’t Hire, They Partner
Whether you like the overall business vision and mission or not, you sign the offer letter. You listen to your manager despite whatever your inner self says. You work for bosses who are no less than agony. That happens because a business person hires employees irrespective of their natural tendencies to support the business philosophy or not. On the contrary, entrepreneur partners with people with a similar purpose to integrate the startup’s overall philosophy. These people then become co-creators of the entrepreneurial vision. They can invest their efforts in a significantly better way. They prove more productive than someone who has a different mindset and works just for financial gains.
The differences between a business person and an entrepreneur lie between being subtle to predominantly prominent. Honesty, sincerity, social welfare, and intrinsic motivation are equally crucial for both. Whoever masters these attributes and implements them in their business dealings would undoubtedly succeed. However, an entrepreneurial venture with no innovative strings attached will not yield desirable results. Ultimately, many factors differentiate an entrepreneur from a business person. It might be how they perceive external stimuli, practice creativity, and value their business ethics. We should distinctly identify the differences so the youth can streamline their motivations accordingly.