From inception of my thoughts about business, marketing , commerce and all related terms I always lived with a dream of having my own business, handling employees and becoming a world class leader. But always had a theoretical doubt, which later turned out to be a practical one.
Burning Question “What is the difference between an entrepreneur and a businessman?”
There was one question which was not allowing me to develop the attitude of independence, a question which was rather preventing me to take any further steps to discover the potentials in me. This doubt is also somewhere engraved in your mind, which you may not be aware of. The clarification is utmost important part of being what you are. The question that is not letting your abilities flow is “What is the difference between an entrepreneur and a businessman?”
Currently I am a student but someday I will start my own venture. You might have started your own projects, ventures, start up but this very question within you might be preventing its growth.
Laymen Understand The Word “Businessmen”
Laymen are easily convinced by the sentence “I am businessman” but show utter dissatisfaction when said “I am an entrepreneur”. They may even reject your relationship with their daughter/son when they come to know that you are an entrepreneur. They would simply stress you to call yourselves a businessman and if not businessman than request you to look for a government sector job and then to show your face.
I am not posting this to make laymen teach the meaning off entrepreneur, but want to prevent budding entrepreneurs from becoming laymen.
So What is the Difference?
Business by itself literally means the state of being busy, or by economic means any activity which requires investment of land, labour and risk but reward profits in return of the efforts given.
On the other hand Entrepreneurship is the ability to convert any given item into resources.
If you switch in into an already explored market with the same product, same technology as your competitors you are only a businessman. If you enter a new market or even the same old market with differentiation or innovation you become the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs generally enter the niche market with the objective of developing it. Businessmen enter the developing or developed market just to extract profit out of it. They are highly aware of the conditions prevailing in the market, so they take lesser risks compared to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are totally unaware of the place they will be operating in, thus they take greater risks, or take greater time studying, understanding and assimilating the market.
In a simple phrase it can be explained as
BUSINESSMEN DREAM BIG START BIG AND THEN DISSOLVE, ENTREPRENEURS DREAM BIG START SMALL AND THEN KEEP ON GROWING.
Behavioral Trait that separates Entrepreneurs from Businessmen
What Varun has mentioned can be explained by the following example.
Consider yourself to be a police officer, you see a child drowning in a pool and nobody to help, you can do two things.
Number 1 call the control room, the control room will send force along with a professional diver to the save the kid. You are a successful police officer, congratulations with all the ability you had to manage the available resources.
Number 2 you risk your own life, jump into the water and save the child, you are now a police officer who is a true public servant, because instead of managing resources which you felt was time consuming, you created a resource out of yourselves. You recalled your training days of how you were taught to swim and save people from drowning.
So if you follow method number 1 of managing resources you are a businessman but if you follow method number 2 of creating resources you become an entrepreneur.
Now you must be thinking what prevents you from acting on method number 2 is simply explained by Varun Agarwal in his book.
Businessmen are highly concerned about their positions.
A businessman can become the proprietor in his owned business or say in a corporate structure he can be the Chairman, the Managing Director or the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) because he has whole lot of employees to manage the other tasks.
The Entrepreneur can become everything from top level President to a local sales man of his organisation, because he is damn crazy about his work that positions do not matter, same with the policeman working the number 2 method. In method number 1 the police officer is an arrogant piece of cake claiming “Why should I jump into the water, I am an officer, meri bhi koi izzat hai ya nahi?” (Do I have some respect or not?)
This behavioural trait was correctly stated by Varun in his book , who instead of being the owner of a company became a t-shirt salesman.
“I think you guys already know this but if you are thinking of starting your own company, never forget one major thing- networking. You need to sell your company shamelessly. Like everywhere. During the initial days of Alma Mater, I practically lived in one of our Cottonian hoodies. Networking is the key and if you want to be an entrepreneur forget about being shy.”
(Business 101, Page 126)
You don’t Need to Have Your Own Company to Become an Entrepreneur
Earlier I believed that only persons having their own businesses can become Entrepreneur but I was horribly proven wrong when I read about people who joined their firm as an ordinary employee but with their dedication, hardwork and the ability to create a difference are now leading their respective organisations. From Indra Nooyi to Satya Nadella, taught me that anyone can become an entrepreneur. The phrase coined for such entrepreneurs is Corporate Entrepreneurs or Intrapreneurs.
Thus, if you are working somewhere and have the desire to become an entrepreneur and you think you need to drop your job, than you are absolutely wrong. You can still become an entrepreneur in the organisation you are working , you can create differences by participating in various programs of your company, develop your co-employees and work environment and most importantly have patience, surely one day you will shoot for the stars.
For being a businessman you need to compulsorily have your own business, big or small, corporate or cottage, wherever you operate you will remain a businessman until and unless you are creating resources for everyone. But anybody can become an entrepreneur if he/she just has the ability to convert things into resources.
Whether you want to be remembered even after your retirement or death, depends upon what you did was as a businessman or an entrepreneur.
“Businessmen manage, Entrepreneurs Create”
What do You Think?
This was my take on “Entrepreneurs vs Businessmen” . I am very curious to know what you think. Please let me know in the comment section.