What is the Difference between a Business Person and a Entrepreneur?

Image for post
Image for post

Search Google. Ask Google what is the difference between a Business Person and an Entrepreneur. You will get a million different answers. Too many people are confused about what it means to be an Entrepreneur. Everyone thinks an Entrepreneur is someone that builds businesses, creates brands, or can take advantage of some market niche.

Business people can be Entrepreneurs but it is not required.

Entrepreneurs can be Business People but it is not required.

Does this sound confusing?

Let’s take a look at what it means to be a Business Person.

A Businessman or Businesswoman has a comprehensive understanding of an industry. Business people use their comprehensive understanding to analyze financials, review market trends, gain customer acceptance, incorporate companies, scale operations, hire employees, negotiate contracts and build “Brand Awareness”.

Let’s focus on the “Brand Awareness”.

When you think “Wall-mart” you think “Low Prices”.

When you think “Paypal” you think “Secure Payment Platform”.

When you think “Trader Joe’s” you think “Affordable Natural Grocery Store”.

When you think “JP Analytics & Consulting LLC” you think “What is that?”

You see Businessmen / Businesswomen understand that a business is a “Brand”. Businesses stay around for the long haul and survive due to their reputations. Often a business’ survival is predicated on its Brand. I’ll give you a good example of this. Look at “Sears”. Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund king (who bought Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2004) is supporting an unprofitable company because Lampert “believes” in the “Brand”.

Sears has not recorded a profit since 2010.

Imagine if you went and opened up a business. Then you told your investors you would “lose” money for 9 straight years. The caveat would be at the end of the 9 year term you would find a hedge fund billionaire to bail you out of bankruptcy. Hopefully in year 14 you would figure it out.

Investor interest.

Zero.

Sears sustained this terrible cycle because the “brand” Sears built. Sears built their “brand” over 100 years. Sears created “Craftsman”. I own “Craftsman” tools. They are great tools. Sears is still widely respected in the tool and appliance space despite their losses. Lowes purchased “Craftsman” for 900mm USD. That’s an example of building a successful Brand right there. Sears remains a contender in this area despite years of market share loss, and store size shrinkage.

Lampert saved Sears because of its “Brand”.

Businessmen and Businesswomen understand that the Brand is what makes the company. Without a Brand you cannot survive in business.

Let’s focus on what it means to be an “Entrepreneur”.

An Entrepreneur is a knowledgeable market analyst that understands how to take advantage of specific opportunities that surface from time to time. The Entrepreneur will make money regardless of their brand and their ability to profit is largely determined by circumstances.

The circumstances occur for various reasons and in various industries. The Entrepreneur is skilled in identifying market gaps. The Entrepreneur uses their keen skills in identifying market gaps to seize the opportunity when others are not paying attention.

The issue with being driven by a market is that the market will change. So the business changes with the market for an Entrepreneur.

Business people understand how to manage this change. Business people build a brand to outlast their specific opportunity. Business people evolve with their consumers.

Entrepreneurs that are not “Business People” tend to terminate their business with their industry’s cycle. The Professional Entrepreneur understands their opportunity time line. The Professional Entrepreneur who is not a business person will start a corporation due to market opportunity, run the time line course and then close the corporation when there is no longer a market for their opportunity. Once the time line is complete the Professional Entrepreneur will look for their next “opportunity”. The “opportunity” is completely driven by the market conditions. The Professional Entrepreneur may move to a “completely different” industry. The market decides the industry of a Professional Entrepreneur.

This is how and why a Professional Entrepreneur will typically cycle through so many corporations in their career.

Know the difference. Failing to know who you are is when you will actually fail.

Don’t agree with me?

In 2018 US businesses that had no employees totaled 24,331,403 (Source SBA Office of Advocacy 2018). There were 4,944,116 businesses that marked “Other Services” and 24,155 businesses that could not be classified in any category by the SBA (Source SBA Office of Advocacy 2018). None of these businesses fit in the 22 industry categories that further sub categorized into over 100 different choices of the SBA. These choices ranged from Retail to Management of Companies & Enterprises. That’s a whole lot of categories to skip.

Now answer one simple question.

A business with “no employees”, “no category”, “no scalability”, “no brand”, and “no meaningful market share” sounds like what?

I think you know the answer.

****

About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at www.christopherklopez.com

Written by

Christopher is a Professional Entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience, a Master Project Manager, Financial Analyst, & Master Financial Planner

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store