Ever wondered what it takes to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur? It takes some key shifts in mindset, habits, and comfort levels–resulting in some key differences between the types of people who thrive as employees and succeed as entrepreneurs. Some people generalize employees as followers, and entrepreneurs as leaders. Yet there are entrepreneurial employees, and there are entrepreneurs who know when it’s time to follow someone else’s lead. The difference between these two types of people isn’t always clearly defined.
So, what are some key differences between employees and entrepreneurs?
1. Employees seek direction while entrepreneurs create a path.
Employees tend to seek help when a problem arises at work. Entrepreneurs create the solutions that keep the organization moving forward.
2. Employees do while entrepreneurs listen.
It’s the employees who get most of the work done in any organization. But in order for them to do it well, the entrepreneur at the helm has to listen to their needs and ensure they maintain a productive and positive work environment for staff.
3. Employees take fewer risks while entrepreneurs live for them.
While doing things the safest way can actually be good for an organization, it takes a risk-tolerant entrepreneur to believe in and build the organization in the first place.
4. Employees are often specialists while entrepreneurs are generalists.
Entrepreneurs need to know a little bit about a lot of things, in part so they can empower the specialist employees who work for them. In fact, a Swiss-German study found that specialists tend to be employees for life, and in fact prefer that role.
5. Employees get paid for their role while entrepreneurs get paid for results.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes the last to get paid in a company, because their compensation is tied directly to performance and profit.
6. Employees love holidays because they get the day off while entrepreneurs do because they can work all day with few interruptions.
A lot of entrepreneurs rejoice when holidays come along, not because they’re taking well-deserve time off, but because they can be productive all day without being disrupted or distracted.
7. Employees appreciate steady employment while entrepreneurs are comfortable without job security.
Entrepreneurs know that it’s risky to build a business and that they must sacrifice steady employment in order to build the company.
8. Employees follow rules while entrepreneurs break them.
It’s a strange paradox, but to create a successful business an entrepreneur has to disrupt something, break a rule, or change the game. But in order to keep the entrepreneur’s company going, the employees need to be there to uphold the new status quo.
9. Employees are responsible for some decisions while entrepreneurs are responsible for them all.
Whether positive or negative, the entrepreneur is ultimately burdened with the impact of decision-making at all levels of the organization.
10. Employees execute tasks while entrepreneurs plan.
An employee can take work day by day, whereas an entrepreneur has to consider how well the tasks are being performed relative to the long-term plan for the business.
11. Employees like structure while entrepreneurs like infrastructure.
While employees generally prefer to have a defined range of responsibility, entrepreneurs consider how each person’s role contributes to the business–and its growth–as a whole.
12. Employees work to a schedule while entrepreneurs create their own.
If they don’t develop strong time management skills, entrepreneurs can burn themselves out working too many hours each week.
13. Employees are always working while entrepreneurs are always selling.
And it can be exhausting. Entrepreneurs have to sell investors on their ideas, clients on the value of their products, staff on the benefits of working there, and even their families on why they’re running a business.
14. Employees can enjoy more social interaction while entrepreneurs often work in a silo.
Entrepreneurship can get lonely, especially at the beginning. It helps to have a mentor or other group to bounce ideas off at the early stages of starting a business.
15. Employees dislike failure while entrepreneurs embrace it.
Failure means learning, and entrepreneurs know that failure is more likely than success–and failure can lead to success. Employees would rather not fail at their jobs as it can lead to fear of losing the steady employment they value.
Featured photo credit: LV woman/MariusBoatca via imcreator.com
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