Are you an Entrepreneur or a Business Owner?

After several years of success many “entrepreneurs” find themselves overworked, frustrated and feeling like success sucks. They are working harder and longer than ever before, have no work/life balance and wonder whether they can get out of the mess they have created. They have become “business owners!”

 

Instead of being excited and passionate about what they are doing they are spending most of their time doing things they don’t like to do. They are managing more than creating.

 

They find themselves in this situation because they don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they start their business and they don’t know how to change it once they go down that road. They don’t know what they are getting themselves into because the entrepreneurial world is like no other. It’s not like going to school or working for someone else. In both cases there is a complete structure to follow; an orientation, training, evaluations, a boss (teacher or manager), and someone to tell you what to do, when to do it and how to do it. None of that exists in the entrepreneurial world. And once they start to become the “business owner” and not the “entrepreneur,” which is something they are unaware of for the most part when that starts to happen, they don’t know how to get out of doing all those things they don’t like to do.

 

In order to get out of this situation it is important for them to understand how they got there in the first place. Since there is no structure most entrepreneurs when things start to accelerate, they start to react. They react to everything that happens to them. They react to their customers, vendors, etc. and eventually they run their business instead of them. They also realize once they get into their business that there is much more to owning a business than just selling a product or service. They have to do marketing and sales, administration, implementation, customer service, etc. Well this isn’t what they had in mind when they started their business. They were just excited about their product or service and they were excited about creating. It’s the excitement of creating that gets the entrepreneurial juices flowing. But now there are managing and reacting to all the things that are happening in their business and slowly those entrepreneurial juices are dying.

 

The second thing for them to understanding is how bad the mess is. Understanding the evolution of an entrepreneurial business and where they fit into that evolution is critical. Are they going through the typical things most entrepreneurs go through or is something organically wrong with their business? Since most of them don’t know what they are getting themselves into, most of them aren’t aware of the stages of evolution of the entrepreneurial business. For the most part, finding themselves overworked and frustrated and feeling like success sucks is a normal phase in the evolution of an entrepreneurial business.

 

The third thing for them to understand is what they need to do to get out of the mess they find themselves in. Even though they need to start to put a structure in place to be able to manage more effectively and start to plan instead of react, the first thing they must do is evaluate what they are doing in the business. If they have evolved to the point of generating enough cash flow to be able to hire others or outsource, they have to start to get rid of those things they don’t like to do. They must follow their energy. What out of all the things they can do or have to do energizes them the most. Move towards those things and away from the things that drain them.

 

And finally, they need to know exactly what it is they are trying to create. Instead of having an idea about what they are creating, they need to have a vision. The vision has to be crystal clear, so that anyone can ask them a question about their vision, and they can answer it. This doesn’t mean the vision can’t change but if you don’t know where you are going, how do you know you are making the right decisions? You don’t.

 

So ask yourself, are you an entrepreneur or a business owner? An entrepreneur is a creator that gets excited about creating something new. They have the entrepreneurial spirit which means they would still be creating even if they won the lottery. They are leaders and innovators. But once it is created, they loose interest in it! The business owner is the manager. They control what already exists and tries to make it more efficient. They are interested in maintaining more than creating.

 

We need both in the business world. But, it is important to understand which one you are.

 

After several years of success many “entrepreneurs” find themselves overworked, frustrated and feeling like success sucks. They are working harder and longer than ever before, have no work/life balance and wonder whether they can get out of the mess they have created. They have become “business owners!”

 

Instead of being excited and passionate about what they are doing they are spending most of their time doing things they don’t like to do. They are managing more than creating.

 

They find themselves in this situation because they don’t know what they are getting themselves into when they start their business and they don’t know how to change it once they go down that road. They don’t know what they are getting themselves into because the entrepreneurial world is like no other. It’s not like going to school or working for someone else. In both cases there is a complete structure to follow; an orientation, training, evaluations, a boss (teacher or manager), and someone to tell you what to do, when to do it and how to do it. None of that exists in the entrepreneurial world. And once they start to become the “business owner” and not the “entrepreneur,” which is something they are unaware of for the most part when that starts to happen, they don’t know how to get out of doing all those things they don’t like to do.

 

In order to get out of this situation it is important for them to understand how they got there in the first place. Since there is no structure most entrepreneurs when things start to accelerate, they start to react. They react to everything that happens to them. They react to their customers, vendors, etc. and eventually they run their business instead of them. They also realize once they get into their business that there is much more to owning a business than just selling a product or service. They have to do marketing and sales, administration, implementation, customer service, etc. Well this isn’t what they had in mind when they started their business. They were just excited about their product or service and they were excited about creating. It’s the excitement of creating that gets the entrepreneurial juices flowing. But now there are managing and reacting to all the things that are happening in their business and slowly those entrepreneurial juices are dying.

 

The second thing for them to understanding is how bad the mess is. Understanding the evolution of an entrepreneurial business and where they fit into that evolution is critical. Are they going through the typical things most entrepreneurs go through or is something organically wrong with their business? Since most of them don’t know what they are getting themselves into, most of them aren’t aware of the stages of evolution of the entrepreneurial business. For the most part, finding themselves overworked and frustrated and feeling like success sucks is a normal phase in the evolution of an entrepreneurial business.

 

The third thing for them to understand is what they need to do to get out of the mess they find themselves in. Even though they need to start to put a structure in place to be able to manage more effectively and start to plan instead of react, the first thing they must do is evaluate what they are doing in the business. If they have evolved to the point of generating enough cash flow to be able to hire others or outsource, they have to start to get rid of those things they don’t like to do. They must follow their energy. What out of all the things they can do or have to do energizes them the most. Move towards those things and away from the things that drain them.

 

And finally, they need to know exactly what it is they are trying to create. Instead of having an idea about what they are creating, they need to have a vision. The vision has to be crystal clear, so that anyone can ask them a question about their vision, and they can answer it. This doesn’t mean the vision can’t change but if you don’t know where you are going, how do you know you are making the right decisions? You don’t.

 

So ask yourself, are you an entrepreneur or a business owner? An entrepreneur is a creator that gets excited about creating something new. They have the entrepreneurial spirit which means they would still be creating even if they won the lottery. They are leaders and innovators. But once it is created, they loose interest in it! The business owner is the manager. They control what already exists and tries to make it more efficient. They are interested in maintaining more than creating.

 

We need both in the business world. But, it is important to understand which one you are.

 

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