Are You an Entrepreneur or Entrepreneurial? The Surprising Difference

May 22, 2019
Mary Maloney

Are You an Entrepreneur or Entrepreneurial? The Surprising Difference

Being entrepreneurial doesn’t necessarily mean you’re meant to be an entrepreneur. Some people with entrepreneurial traits just can’t hack it as entrepreneurs. In fact, many entrepreneurial types find more success and joy working for somebody else.
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If you ever Google “common traits of entrepreneurs,” you’ll find tons of articles on the topic (trust me, I did, and you will). One thing those articles usually don’t mention is that being entrepreneurial doesn’t mean you’re meant to be an entrepreneur. Some people with entrepreneurial traits just can’t hack it as entrepreneurs. In fact, many entrepreneurial types find more success and joy working for somebody else. Wondering which entrepreneurial track you should take? Let’s break it down.

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial types DO have a lot in common

Most lists that cover the common traits of successful entrepreneurs include many of the following qualities:

  • Self-motivated
  • Hard working
  • Driven
  • Passionate
  • Risk taker
  • Fearless
  • Decisive
  • Doer
  • Persuasive
  • Collaborative
  • Flexible
  • Visionary
  • Innovative
  • Creative
  • Confident
  • Positive thinker
  • Resourceful
  • Connector
  • Curious
  • Persistent
  • Authentic
  • Philanthropic

Sure, it helps to possess these traits if you want to be an entrepreneur but employers looking for employees with entrepreneurial spirits also seek candidates with many of these same qualities. Those candidates are the people that companies hire to build and lead their organizations.

You may be entrepreneur material if you need to blaze your own trail and are willing to take risks

Succeed On Purpose Wayne Dyer Quote

Entrepreneurs go all in, guns a blazing and balls to the wall. NOT pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams is NOT an option. And, the potential risk of losing everything doesn’t paralyze a true entrepreneur like it paralyzes someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who is better suited to working for someone else.

Many entrepreneurs don’t want to get bogged down in the minutiae of things like processes and procedures needed for scalability. They have a vision of what they want to build and simply MUST go after it. As Tren Griffin remarks in his book A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs, “entrepreneurs don’t ‘noodle;’ they do.”  

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You may have an entrepreneurial spirit if you’re risk averse and desire scalability

What many entrepreneurial types—or happy, successful employees—have that successful entrepreneurs usually do not is the desire to drive scalability and aversion to personal risk. They want to build something great and put systems in place that enable a business to scale. However, they prefer that someone else put up the cash so that they do not have to risk personal financial loss if that business (or entrepreneur) flounders or fails.

The stress of going it alone and potentially losing it all is too much for entrepreneurial types to bear. However, these people with entrepreneurial spirits can still build something big and achieve great financial success and personal joy by working for companies that are owned by somebody else.

Are you an entrepreneurial type who is stuck in an unfulfilling career? Our FREE Career Persona Quiz will identify the type of work you are naturally suited for and the companies that will value your gifts.

Still thinking about starting a business or want to kick a fledgling business into high gear?

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Mary Maloney is a freelance writer and solopreneur who has written content for a variety of industries – from wellness to finance to law. After 25 years in the corporate world, Mary decided to follow her heart and launch a marketing business. Mary began working with Terri Maxwell in 2014 and has been blessed to be a recipient of Terri’s wisdom about life, career and business success. When she isn’t writing, Mary enjoys cooking with her husband and snuggling with her Pembroke Welsh Corgi Seamus.

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