Which are YOU: Entrepreneur vs. Small Business Owner?

Helping others achieve an “ah-ha” moment is usually a gratifying experience in my line of work.

Let alone 9 people, simultaneously.

During a day’s session training a team at a large technology company that works with small businesses, they all of a sudden realized some times they were actually helping their clients be something they were not meant to be.

From one simple question: What is the difference between an Entrepreneur and a Small Business Owner?


Small Business Owner:

  • Content making a comfortable living
  • Stability is key motivator
  • Growth and expansion not so important
  • Not outside the box thinkers
  • Works in the business
  • Likes repetition and predictability
  • Doesn’t usually change markets
  • Target markets are more general
  • Tends to have employees 


  • Not content with the status quo
  • Ambitious drive, beyond just surviving
  • Takes risks
  • Loves learning through growing businesses
  • Innovative– thinks outside the box
  • Works on the business

Most business owners assume they are one and the same, and then get frustrated with themselves when they don’t fit the “mold” of what it means to be successful as either and entrepreneur or small business owner.

Once you are clear which YOU are, you can build your business to support you in making it successful. In a way that works for YOU.

For example, if you have a company that is doing financially well, but you’re bored out of your mind, perhaps you need to stir things up a bit. Like most entrepreneurs, you are not happy when things are running smoothly. You need the challenge of creating something powerful and successful.

On the other hand, if taking risk or not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from drives you nuts, and you crave predictability and consistency, then perhaps you need to build a steady, consistent small business.

Understanding the distinctions might create a huge sense of relief for you, and perhaps you, too, will have an “ah-ha” moment!


Action Steps for the Week

Take a look at the last two months of your business. What do you find yourself losing sleep over?

Is it that you are bored or scared?

Depending on your answer is a great clue as to what infrastructure you should build around your business. For example, if you are a small business owner, you’ll most likely thrive by having a straight-forward business that generates consistent results.

For you, it’s not about growth. It’s about peace of mind.

If you are getting bored, then you may look to see how you can buck the trend in your industry. What makes things exciting is the fact that you are dealing with the unknown.

Rather than shutting you down, you find yourself thriving when this happens.

Once you’re clear on this, it is time for you to revisit your goals and infrastructure to make them happen.