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15 Differences Between Employees and Entrepreneurs

15 Differences Between Employees and Entrepreneurs

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

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Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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