Are You A Businessman Or An Entrepreneur?
By Samit Samant - Account Head, Life Guru.
I have been an employee for over a decade now and trust me, the best part about being an employee is the financial security. Somehow, deep inside you know for sure that no matter what the market condition is, the work pressure is, the sales numbers are, the customer expectations are, or how stupid your boss is; at the end of the month you will get a salary for all your hard and smart work. To stay that way, all you need to do is not get fired, which is pretty simple in most cases unless you really pull some bad strings. On the other hand, starting your own business is a totally different ballgame.
Not so long ago, it was less complicated. Business was done by businessmen and employees used to work for them. Businessmen would either hit success and grow the company or fail miserably, go bankrupt and shut shop. Whereas, employees would either stick with their bosses for years or switch jobs for better salaries, security or personal reasons. Now, all that seems to have changed...
Nowadays, with just about every person wanting to either start their own or be a part of the next successful start-up, everybody is "AN ENTREPRENEUR".
So, what is the difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur? Have you ever wondered? If you’re running a business or are looking forward to starting something on your own, or just fantasising about becoming your own boss one day, will you call yourself a businessman or an entrepreneur?
Here’s the answer! Both businessmen and entrepreneurs have ideas and know how to execute them. They both provide jobs, make products, provide services, give solutions, help in developing a business ecosystem, and most importantly, they both make a lot of money! However, businessmen and entrepreneurs are not the same kind of people. During my career, I got several opportunities to do a lot of international travel and research. I opened myself to plenty of exposure, interacted with a variety of dynamic individuals, met many businessmen and a bigger lot of budding entrepreneurs for their advertising needs. Whether businessmen or entrepreneurs, both have an equally challenging professional role and an even greater personal role to play.
After immense consideration and tying one end to another, I have come to believe that there are nine questions, the answers to which, tell you which category you belong to:
1. Is your "BIG IDEA" original?
If you’re a businessman, you can create a business out of a ‘not so original’ business idea or a borrowed product idea, or a generic service delivery model. You choose a hot and profitable business idea, regardless of whether it’s original or borrowed. You can also enter existing businesses such as; franchising, retailing, etc.
Being an entrepreneur is a totally different story. You are an inventor and the first creator of a product or service. You invest time, energy and money on your idea. You don’t start a business from a borrowed idea. (That’s how you begin on a startup) and hyperlink the correct text, while a businessman starts a business.
2. "WHY" are you doing it?
If you are a businessman, you’re mostly doing business for profit, livelihood and for becoming your own boss. However, there are some who are more people-oriented than profit-oriented. This means that they are more concerned about the welfare of their employees and the satisfaction of their customers.
As an entrepreneur, you represent a totally different breed which is more concerned about changing the world. You want to pursue your passion and achieve an ultimate goal. You are not keen on financial returns but are more focused on what you can offer the world.
3. Are you ready to take "RISKS"?
You always take calculated and managed risks as a businessman, as you cannot afford to lose money and suffer from bankruptcy. That is why you always do the Math when it comes to business. You know the game and you know how to play it well.
You are nothing less than a skydiver if you’re an entrepreneur! P.S. I personally love adventure sports and can’t help but mention about them in all my posts.
Coming to the point, you’re not afraid to take crazy risks as an entrepreneur. You often don’t care about time and money in an attempt to pursue your passion and sometimes, that’s what helps you gain extraordinary rewards. Basically, you love what you do! (Do read my post, "Do you love what you do for a living...??")
4. How do you treat your "EMPLOYEES"?
As a business owner, you’re both, an employer and a manager. You hire employees and workers to help you grow your business. That's about it. Your primary focus is to create a winning situation for your company.
However, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a friend and a leader. You take advice from the experienced and believe in the younger generation, whom you try to nurture and help in realising their goals through your vision. Your primary focus is to create a win-win situation for everyone.
5. How do you treat your "CUSTOMERS"?
You usually see customers as a source of sales and revenues if you’re a business owner. Your target is to have more customers, a lot of customers.
Whereas, you see customers as a source of duty and fulfillment if you’re an entrepreneur. Your target is to simplify the lives of customers by giving them a re-callable product/service experience.
6. How do you see "YOUR COMPETITION"?
As a businessman, you try hard to beat your competition and spend a lot of time and energy in finding out what your competitors are doing.
On the other hand, the only competition you believe in as an entrepreneur, is with yourself! You’re always trying to set new benchmarks and find original ways to solve existing problems. You’re less concerned about finding out what your competitors are doing. You set the rules and let the competitors copy what you do. In fact, you enjoy it!
7. What do you think about "MONEY"?
Losing money is one of the biggest worries if you’re a businessman. Taxes, inflation, and a slow economy are your enemies. You rely on a good economy to start, operate and attain success in business, especially in the retail, franchising and financing industry.
As an entrepreneur, you do not need to worry a lot about money, since you can always start from scratch. You believe in delivering a product that can change lives. A product that will sell on its own!
8. How do you deal with "TIME"?
There’s no wasting time for you as a businessman. You always check the clock and don’t want any work or output to be delayed. You are always on the go and take quick decisions, with the belief that time is ticking.
You like to build castles in air as an entrepreneur. You work like an artist or a scientist in a lab. You are usually madly in love with your product and believe it to be your masterpiece. That is why you can be perceived as being a bit slow and could spend a longer period of time to finish and perfect your product. This usually frustrates everyone, especially if you’re a businessman who has put his money on an entrepreneur's idea. But trust me, it's worth the wait!
9. How do you "DEFINE SUCCESS"?
This is the best part! This is my longest post so far and since you have read it till now, I really want you to write in the comments below, about how you define success. This will help me formulate my next post titled, "Corporate Success - You, Me and Our"
And now, coming back to the point. As a businessman, you define success as the success of your business and its stakeholders, including yourself, investors, co-owners, employees and customers.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t define success. You simply love your work, do your job and patiently wait for your creation to create history. That defines success for you.
Lastly, I do not mean to put one above the other. I don't want to say that entrepreneurs are better than businessmen or vice-versa. Their roles are apart, their way of working is way apart. The world requires both equally. A businessman needs an entrepreneur and an entrepreneur may also need a businessman. There can also be a person who is a mix of the two. I am neither a businessman nor an entrepreneur, I'm just a regular employee who got lucky! So, here’s the ultimate question that you need to answer to yourself:
Which one are you?
Read the complete article here.