Entrepreneur or Self-employed: Which One Are You?

Many small business owners don’t differentiate between “working on” or “working for” their company; in many cases, they do both. The challenge with wearing so many hats during the course of your business day is how you are dividing your time, and whether or not you are successful doing it. It comes down to these two questions.

  • Are you dedicating enough effort to future planning and growth?
  • Have you spent enough time establishing your current customer base to feel successful?

It wouldn’t be surprising if the answer to the first question is a resounding “NO.” If anything, it more clearly defines you as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are dreamers and planners by nature. Their “business” isn’t what they’ve created so far; in fact, what they’ve created is meant to support the work they hope to continue developing. An entrepreneur gets paid to grow.

If you are of the self-employed mindset, you’ve probably answered yes to both questions, although the first one may have been a “Yes, but…” If you are dedicated to what you have currently built, then your future planning works around how you can do what you currently do better or more efficiently. Your job focuses on growing a base of loyal customers, and not necessarily your business. Self-employed business owners get paid to put in a solid day’s work.

If you’ve answered “no” to both questions, take heart: having both direction and momentum isn’t easy or always available. And recognize there is far more to it than what kind of business or empire you are building. There are personal life balances, sacrifices, and time constraints that will ultimately both restrain and train your business potential. If you find yourself struggling with achievement, it’s time to look at your support system. The key may be in identifying solid team players that can help you both define success and achieve it.

Figuring out your personal business mindset is an invaluable part to your business trajectory, especially if you have to think long term, which, let’s face it, you absolutely have to do. After all, the biggest difference between a person who owns a business and a person who works for him or herself is how they relate to the work. Both can be committed to a job well done, it’s how they define success that makes the difference. 

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