I have a question for you:
Entrepreneur Or Business Owner, Which Are You?
Down below, you’ll find a special presentation: four fundamental questions that are the cornerstones for living your best life with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Let’s first look at some self-identifying prompts to generate deeper understanding of what a “best life” is for you.
How do you know if you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner? What type are you?
In terms of the growth and value you commit yourself to, the distinction may be more important than you think. The question defines how you organize your lifestyle, freedom, and growth.
I like the definition of “entrepreneur” by French economist Jean-Baptiste Say:
Someone who takes resources from a lower level of productivity to a higher level of productivity. Regardless of what the resource is—a product, service, or experience—if it’s adding value to the marketplace, being used in a new way, and a business has been built around it, it’s entrepreneurship.
It revolves around innovation and creating resources that are better than what people had before, and there’s a consistent practice to add value where possible. Unlike an entrepreneur, a business owner is no longer operating from a place of creativity. They likely produced something of value early on in their career, but instead of committing themselves to continuous growth, they’re riding the profit of their early successes by scaling up the business and building a self-managing system.
Whether or not the decision was made consciously, once someone has chosen to no longer create or grow, they’ve ceased to be an entrepreneur. They’ve stopped looking for opportunities to develop and instead protect assets that were created in the past. The entrepreneur drives progress, while the business owner maintains course.
Innovations starts with making things better than before. In addition, the creative process is the armature and engine of the entrepreneur’s arsenal. The game is about getting better and better at what they do by having a reliable process for generating constant creations they envision.
Through the creative process, entrepreneurs use their own personal resources and make the resources of other people better. These are admirable people who create real human progress. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and the creators of things that are valuable to other people—an essential role for the growth of society. They’re unique because they’re the small percentage constantly increasing their knowledge, skills, and wisdom about what the world wants and doesn’t want.
The entrepreneur realizes that one cannot have opportunity while mitigating risk. In fact, they level up by constantly leaving their security, status, and comfort at the door to go to a whole new realm of capability. They have a growth mindset and a lab mentality. The growth mindset is to learn by doing. Action isn’t about getting things right the first time. The learner reflects on action, in action, and for new action. Hence, if an entrepreneur chooses to learn how to create a financial services business, the best way to learn is to start creating it.
The basis of their decision-making is wanting what they want because they want it. They desire or don’t desire an outcome, then decide to create (or not create) that outcome. Need and want are not the same. Desire and decide are not the same. Wanting is a creative act and doesn’t require justification or dependence on something else. Rather, the desired outcome is created for its own sake because it is loved and wanted first, then brought into reality through learning by action-taking, innovating, improvising, and organizing teamwork to accomplish it.
What category do you fall under, entrepreneur or business owner? How do you drive your business?
Which type of entrepreneur are you?
This type of entrepreneur does what it takes to get by. They’ve fired the boss and had an entrepreneurial seizure. Their primary goal is positioning the business to reach a take-off point.
The lifestyle entrepreneur lives by a plan and positions their business to serve their life, not consume it.
They enjoy time spent on their unique abilities, create great client experiences, and enjoy the value they effectuate.
Their marketing strategy is based on fortifying current capabilities and delivering to current clients. This gives rise to a “sustainable future company” vs. size and speed.
Ambitious entrepreneurs create businesses geared to be sold, continued, scaled up, and meant to build big wealth. They strive for big breakthroughs as an industry transformer. Size and speed matter most.
Which type of business owner are you?
You want to be bigger and better. Size matters to you. You’re simply too big to fail. The downfall of this approach is that you may find reduced profits occur when going bigger, and that greater margins are possible while staying at a certain size. Size can create cost issues and make a business lack the agility needed to respond to market shifts where opportunities are ripe for the taking. Bigger is not always better.
For lifestyle entrepreneur, size can eat them alive. I call this “big-stuff-itis.” They want results now, stratospheric growth, and often for ego purposes. Essentially, their identity is their business. The competition can smell this a mile away and take market share because fast growth is fragile.
You see faster as better. You focus on agility to get things done and respond quickly to changes in the market. Your ambition drives you to find the quickest ways to grow. You crave speed and are comfortable selling your way out of any money problems that threaten you.
The downfall of this type of business owner is that eventually, limits to growth catch up and contraction usually follows. These business owners don’t like to let outcomes develop on their own time frames. They’re usually preoccupied with controlling outcomes and obsessed with getting things right – and willing to be fast and furious to get things done. They rush others.
This can cause morale problems when employees have different expectations than working under an overachieving boss. It’s often said that to plant a vibrant garden, you must first “till the soil.” I call this “change readiness” in a business.
The system must be built like a runway, clearing the debris for more planes to land. If growth is to be sustained (rather than contract after big stretches), working ON the business is just as important as working IN the business.
You want to be sustainable, and that means you have reached a “take-off” point at your current stage of the business growth, such that you are effective, efficient, and productive. You’ve put systems and structures in place to consistently get more sales. Your people are doing the right things in the right ways. Your profits are always rising because you have organized processes and procedures to scale at the level of business you’re generating. Things are in balance. You have the right sized team. You’ve got control of your expenses, and your operating cash flow is aligned with your ability to organically grow, pay down debt, buy more assets, and pay distributions to the owner(s) to fund a lifestyle they desire – all while shaping a retirement income down range by investing in the company and other additional vehicles for passive income.
Speed and size often accelerate naturally when a sustainable company is built with robust culture, hygiene, and systems, as well as a great business strategy that supports a client experience that is unmatched anywhere else, becoming crucial to the future success of the client.
Sustainable businesses are worth sharing, and for this reason, the client base becomes the marketing team of the business as raving fans.
If you’re a coaching client and creating an HLP company, you’re nodding your head and affirming that our coaching process is geared to cultivate both entrepreneurs and business owners simultaneously.
A true lifestyle entrepreneur owns and operates a sustainable business that is enjoyable, fun, and lucrative in both time-to-value and wealth creation.
Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle choice when you’re a sustainable business owner. You build a business to serve your life, not consume it, and provide the space for others to flourish in both domains, as if all employees are partners. Partners can own assets, but most importantly, they truly want the shared vision. They have the trust and freedom to refuse, but choose to create the vision because it’s a choice, not an obligation.
One way to cultivate your entrepreneurial spirit is to continually motivate and fascinate yourself.
Humans crave involvement. The ideal business is one you never feel tired of or want to retire from. You have the option to retire from the thought of retiring, especially with an enjoyable, lucrative, and fun business that gives you energy and supports your life plan. This includes having a fulfilling life over an impressive lifestyle. NO PIMP FACTOR!
The path to greater involvement in what you’re creating is not a four-hour workweek.
That’s what I call “misery for money” – when business owners want to get away from the things they’re doing. Instead, involvement is the quality of being in the work, the intrinsic rewards of coming into aliveness through the work, and experiencing the joy and contentment of doing what you’re born to do. It is the heartbeat of the entrepreneurial fountainhead of energy and devotion to a great cause.
When a vision really matters to you, it’s incredible who you begin to put around you – and suddenly, mystical experiences like unforeseen forces seem to come to your aid. If you jump, the net will catch you. Like a high-altitude diver in Acapulco once said, “you must jump when you see rocks below because the downward movement will meet the water by the time you get there.”
The spirit of the creative process is to do what you love and love what you do, and to organize your subject matter (your business, your life building process) as the predominant creative force in your life. If anyone asks why you do it (what’s the point?), here’s when you know it’s you, the entrepreneur, talking: because I cannot NOT do this.
When you organize your life by what matters to you, you’re automatically surrounded by people who are eager to go along with new ideas and willing to risk everything to bring about more convenient and comfortable ways of doing things. You inspire others by choice, not obligation, to build workable ideas and learn by creating them. This way, others always want to be part of something new and special, and feel that entrepreneurism is the new major force behind their life building process.
When you seek to work with the ideal client, you begin to listen to them and understand what is relevant to them, which becomes a feeding pool for creative offerings, value creation, and leadership.
Are you self-motivated and committed to a life of constant value creation? How you decide to grow determines your impact on the world and on those around you.
We teach FOUR FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit and level up. There are four convictions from which these questions are drawn:
LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE
BE A GREAT SOUL
MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
LEARN TO RECEIVE
So…are you more of a business owner, or more of an entrepreneur? To get started on your discovery journey, try taking this quiz designed by HLP to give you some insight.