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?
Employees tend to seek help when a problem arises at work. Entrepreneurs create the solutions that keep the organization moving forward.
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.
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.
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.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes the last to get paid in a company, because their compensation is tied directly to performance and profit.
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.
Entrepreneurs know that it’s risky to build a business and that they must sacrifice steady employment in order to build the company.
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.
Whether positive or negative, the entrepreneur is ultimately burdened with the impact of decision-making at all levels of the organization.
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.
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.
If they don’t develop strong time management skills, entrepreneurs can burn themselves out working too many hours each week.
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.
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.
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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