What is an Entrepreneur?

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“Entrepreneur” isn’t just a more glamorous way of saying “business owner”. My name is Naomi Burgess and I’m going to provide a brief insight into what I believe differentiates a business owner from an entrepreneur.

Being an Entrepreneur

Recently, the word “entrepreneur” became kind of a buzzword casually thrown around by business owners. On the one hand, I do believe that any business owner can become an entrepreneur, but on the other, owning a company doesn’t automatically grant you that title. You might have just bought a company, or inherited it, or just keep it for tax reasons without actually doing anything with it – all of the above makes you a business owner, but not an entrepreneur.

An Entrepreneur take Risks

I consider a business owner to be an entrepreneur when he or she isn’t afraid of a challenge and to take risks with their company that can potentially bring a lot of revenue; they have to be willing to expand, to take their business to new levels, to explore yet untapped markets. They can recognise great opportunities when they see them and aren’t afraid to take advantage of them. They know how important the business resources are and understand that simply wasting them on opportunities that won’t come to anything shouldn’t be done.

Hard work is the main idea

So do you have to have some kind of special talent to be an entrepreneur? Some people believe so, but in my experience, no matter how much talent a business owner has, he or she can’t achieve anything without hard work. Some business owners have had a “head for business” since they were young, but their understanding of markets is too limited for them to be considered entrepreneurs. On the other hand, you have the people who had come into owning a business that they haven’t launched and didn’t know anything about running a business, but they’ve learnt with experience and worked hard to keep it afloat and even expand. Members of the latter group are the true entrepreneurs. Talent does play a role in entrepreneurship, but hard work and passion for what you do are just as important, if not more so.

Entrepreneurs are even starters with a big goal

Some people believe that they don’t deserve to be called entrepreneurs because they’ve only launched/are running a single company. I completely disagree with that idea – running even a single business is very hard and if you’ve been doing a good job with client relations, exploration of new target markets and have taken advantage of excellent opportunities, you more than deserve the entrepreneur title. And you deserve it even if you haven’t sold a business and/or purchased a new one – despite the belief that you had to have done the above in order to be called an entrepreneur, many successful entrepreneurs haven’t done so.

Being an Entrepreneur is a choice

It is, of course, a personal choice whether to call oneself an “entrepreneur” – some business owners don’t like that title because of the negative connotations of opportunism associated with it, and others just don’t really understand it and prefer to stick with “businessman/woman or business owner”. I can understand that. While I personally believe that anyone who has proven themselves worthy of the title like I described above, I know that the title isn’t for everyone, and that’s absolutely fine.

It’s not about the size it’s about the winning attitude

I hope I have made it clear that it doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running – a start-up, a medium-sized company or a large multinational corporation – you can be called an entrepreneur. It’s not about the size of the company or the revenue figures, or even the industry – it’s about how you run it, how big the risks you’re willing to take to make it more successful, and how much you’re willing to invest in them. Whether you choose to call yourself an entrepreneur or not, you should remember that the negative connotations associated with the term don’t have to play a role if you don’t want them to.

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