Are You an Entrepreneur or Business Owner?

Posted by Greg Roworth on Oct 4, 2017


Deciding whether you are an entrepreneur or a business owner is the most critical decision you will ever make for your future and the future of your business?

You may wonder what’s the difference.  However, the difference is critical to you either:

  • Positioning yourself with 95% of business owners who achieve little to moderate success, but always have to remain working in their businesses, or
  • Becoming one of the rare entrepreneurs who create a business that works for them, providing them with the freedom and prosperity to live the lifestyle of their dreams.

Another way to look at the difference is to define a business owner as a “business operator” and an entrepreneur as a “business orchestrator.”

The intention for an entrepreneur, or business orchestrator, is always to create a business that works for them and as soon as possible, have a business that runs on autopilot.

The business orchestrator sees the business as the focus of development, where they orchestrate what happens, while business operators focus on the daily operational activities that need to be done.   Business operators play a hands-on role in operating their businesses. For the business operator, the business cannot be run on autopilot because their focus is never on that. The business operator’s business is limited by the owner’s focus on the day-to-day activities only.  Because of this focus, they fail to develop effective systems and processes that help them manage results and growth. The business is typically underdeveloped in that it is not totally sustainable, scalable or saleable.

Business operators remain stuck in a level of thinking that limits success. If you want your business to achieve its maximum potential, the first thing you need to do is not try to change your business but to change your level of thinking. You need to understand that you need to at least gain the level of thinking of a business orchestrator so that you can start to shape and grow your business like a business orchestrator.

The first step, after deciding to develop the mindset of the successful business orchestrator, to achieve the realisation of your vision, is to focus on designing, developing and building a sustainable and successful business model that gives you the ability to scale up without the normal constraints.  You want to ultimately have a business you can sell for maximum value because it can be run by anyone and does not need you or your unique set of skills to make the business work.

The most common reason business owners limit their success is the failure to focus on building a business based on this model. When you get stuck at this level, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and the vision and purpose you started the business with get clouded and lost outside the scope of your daily focus.  Business orchestrators have an ability to shift between focusing on vision, objectives and strategies for future development and daily execution and team issues as appropriate.

business systems

Maintaining your level of thinking and focus on the vision, objectives and strategies of the business implies that a fair bit of attention is devoted to planning for the future and determining how to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be.  The typical business owner fails to devote enough attention to these aspects, instead, focusing mainly on execution of daily tasks and how the team members apply themselves on the job.  This keeps them limited to doing things as they have always been done.  An entrepreneur is always looking to develop effective systems to relieve them of the need to do daily tasks, so they can ultimately focus more on building the business than doing the work of the business.

It is your choice whether you decide you want to be a business owner or an entrepreneur.  There is nothing inherently wrong with either choice.  Just realise that choosing to be a business owner, perhaps because it seems to be a lower risk option, comes with the limitations that you may not necessarily realise are going to keep you stuck in a business that doesn’t turn out to be what you hoped for when you started.

If you would like to know more about how to become a business orchestrator and fully develop your entrepreneurial capabilities, you can find out in my book, Run Your Business on Autopilot.  You can currently download your free copy from

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