From the outside looking in, small business owners and entrepreneurs may seem similar. If they are both running a small business, they are self-employed and took a risk getting their own businesses started.
While one is not better than the other, there is a big difference in the mindset of a small business owner or entrepreneur. While an entrepreneur and small business owner may begin on the same starting line and both may be planning ambitious and risky sounding goals for the coming six months, the further into their careers they go the more the differences in mindset become apparent.
A small business owner may start off taking risks to get the business running. They are taking big steps to get established. They have an idea that will serve their local community, or a targeted audience online. The business is started with a specific goal to serve that audience. Once they get started, a small business becomes stable and predictable. The small business owner enjoys making the decisions for their business and being their own boss. They can delegate well to their small team. They run the day-to-day operations of their stable, small business and successfully maintain a steady company for years to come.
Contrary to this, you could define an entrepreneur as someone always looking ahead. They are interested in scaling, which comes with risks that they are not only comfortable with but actually excited about. The challenges ahead are an accepted part of the adventure of business. There is never a point where they establish a steady business and become done. They either want to scale that business to something larger, turn it into a franchise, sell the business to someone else, or hire people to run that company while they are onto their next big project.
The adrenaline and momentum it takes to start a business, in the beginning, is something small business owners accept as the cost of getting started, while entrepreneurs may embrace this as how they operate on a continual basis.
Small business owners are an essential part of our economy and create small, steady companies that employ people and serve a specific purpose. Entrepreneurs are always moving forward, striving for progress and change. While they may start in the same place, and both are important, the people who take on these roles lead very different lives.