George W. Bush once famously said that the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur (no kidding, he really did say it). Contemplating this bizarre statement I realised that what we lack is a word for non-entrepreneurial business owners. In this article I’ll refer to them as NEBO’s for short and describe the key differences between the two.
Most people start a business to replace a job income, take control of when and how long they work, or to work from home. Many just don’t want to have a boss any more. An entrepreneur starts a business to create wealth and make a big difference in some way. For both then, running a business is just a means to an end but the ends they seek are worlds apart.
A clear purpose and vision is a hallmark of a successful entrepreneur. It gives direction to every aspect and every stakeholder of the business. Many business owners are so focused on reacting to today’s problems that they lose sight of the big picture and miss potential opportunities.
An entrepreneur is inspiring to others. They inspire their teams to take focused action and budding entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps. Equally they seek inspiration to propel themselves to take the big risks that big rewards demand.
Many NEBOs run their businesses in a perpetual state of crisis management. An entrepreneur on the other hand will save the adrenalin until it is really needed. They practice the 6 P’s of success (prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance). Amazingly, many people will spend hours planning an annual holiday and even consult a travel professional but when it comes to planning their business (or even their life) they won’t even set pen to paper, let alone sit down to discuss it with a professional.
Once the decisions are all made and the plan is done it’s time to get started. An entrepreneur knows that there is no room for second guesses once the ball is rolling. Entrepreneurs set a challenging but achievable pace and lead by example as anything less leads to stagnation.
Entrepreneurs go the extra mile, they can see the difference it will make down the track and the reward that the extra effort will buy. Without this foresight it’s very difficult to do more than solve the immediate problems of today.
Any NEBO with staff quickly becomes good at delegating tasks. After all, how hard is it to tell someone else what to do? An entrepreneur masters the art of delegating authority. They determine what results will be achieved, then empower and guide others to determine for themselves the best way to proceed while supporting and never undermining their chosen path.
NEBOs struggle to separate themselves from their business. All the hours and dollars put in creates a false sense of the business being an extension of their own personality. To an entrepreneur it’s just a business, not a baby. It’s an effective tool for achieving their goals, not a physical part of themselves.
Entrepreneurs practice delayed gratification. They understand it’s better to get $100 tomorrow than $20 today. It’s human nature to focus on what we can get right now but entrepreneurs are prepared to make short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term gains. They typically receive more rewards because they know what they want, what it will take and when and how they will get it. And then they set off relentlessly to pursue it.
Establishing a distinction between NEBOs and entrepreneurs is important. Without it we risk giving NEBOs the title, responsibilities and risks of an entrepreneur with none of the rewards. The good news is that it’s never too early or too late to take a more entrepreneurial approach to your business.
For more information on making the transition from NEBO to entrepreneur give us a call or check us out online.
Article originally published at: www.gwpmagazine.com.au/gwpmedia/gwpmagazine/_pdf/issue_30.pdf