Entrepreneur or Business Owner?

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

– Andy Warhol


Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur or a  business owner?


Many people use the term interchangeably, but there is a difference.



The dictionary defines entrepreneur as ‘a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.’


A business owner is defined as, ‘an individual who owns a business entity in an attempt to profit from the successful operations of the company.’


So what’s the difference?  Entrepreneurs and businesses are both involved with filling a need.  They both deal in the exchange of goods and services to consumers, for profit.


The key lies in their focus and vision. The entrepreneur isn’t satisfied with the status quo.  His head is in the future – looking ahead for the ‘next big thing.’  He’s not afraid of risk.  In fact, he thrives on it.


To business owners, the future may very well be next month or next quarter. Yes, many business owners are concerned with growth and many do break the mold and challenge the status quo, but never on as grand a scale as the entrepreneur. He has a business that he must protect and nurture. The entrepreneur may flit from one concept to another or one industry to the next.  It really doesn’t matter because his quest is to change the future.


It’s interesting to note that while both are critical to the success of our society as a whole, many entrepreneurs eventually become business owners; but far fewer business owners become entrepreneurs.


I like to think that while for us, business ownership is not merely a goal, but a vision. These 30 quotes on entrepreneurship are not that far afield from who we are too, both as people and as businesses.

  1. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”- Warren Buffett
  2. “A lot of the best work I’ve ever done started out as something completely different.” – Merlin Mann
  3. “Anyone can release something, but it’s much harder to polish and refine it over time.” – Jason Fried
  4. “In some weird way, I think we need failure to keep us adhered to our proper path.” – Brad Smith
  5. “Who can I impact today and in what way that in 4 years from now, they’ll be glad I did?” – Seth Godin
  6. “The secret to successful hiring is this: Look for people who want to change the world. ” – Marc Benioff
  7. “You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down. ” – Reid Hoffman “
  8. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” – Lisa Stone
  9. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance.” – Debbi Fields”
  10.  “The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning.” – Guy Kawasaki
  11. ”If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making decisions.” – Catherine Cook
  12. “Start today, not tomorrow. If anything, you should have started yesterday” – Emil Motycka
  13. “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself” – Richard Branson
  14. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – Simon Sinek
  15. “If you ever find that you’re the most talented person in the room, you need to find another room.” – Austin Kleon
  16.  “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
  17. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”- Bill Gates
  18.  “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”- Napoleon Hill
  19. “Success is not what you have, but who you are.”- Bo Bennet
  20. “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake- you can’t learn anything from being perfect.”- Adam Osborne
  21. “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” — Ryan Freitas,
  22. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” —Tony Hsieh
  23. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” —Thomas Edison
  24. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” —Jason Fried
  25. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” —Drew Houston
  26. “It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” —Edwin Land
  27. “See things in the present, even if they are in the future.” —Larry Ellison
  28. “’I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” —Warren Buffett
  29. “What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” —Dave Thomas
  30. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” —Steve Case


No matter how the dictionary defines us, I think business owners embrace the entrepreneurial spirit as well.  Don’t you?


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