Back to: Exploring Entrepreneurship: Video Course
So let’s kick off by looking at our preconceptions about the terms Entrepreneur and Business Owner.
Are they the same thing, or do they mean something different? What are the words and personal qualities we associate with each term?
We recently asked a group of 66 senior high school students in Stony Plain, Alberta, what they thought the word Entrepreneur meant to them. I think their responses are interesting, and fairly typical of the majority of us, especially those who regularly watch shows like Dragon’s Den.
Here’s what they said:
- Someone who is motivated to help the world.
- A businessman who’s independent.
- A person that sells things.
- Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank.
- A person who makes their own future and develops their own name as a company.
- I think entrepreneur means going out on your own, creating a business from the resources you have. Trying something new.
- An innovator selling his product or service.
And then there were some more unusual answers (which I include here for fun!):
- French business man.
- Rich dudes.
- Something expensive.
- Some kid that decided to take business in college because they didn’t know what else to take.
- Sneaky money makers.
- What a long dumb word, is it a fancy title for someone who owns a restaurant?
We then asked them to rank 12 definitions most associated with a Small Business Owner. The top 6 they picked were:
- You are self-employed
- You are your own boss
- You provide a service, and make money from that service
- You set your own work hours
- You create and sell your own products/services
- You have a hustle mindset.
So what do you think?
Do the terms Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner mean the same thing to you? What sort of personality traits, qualities, or skill sets do you think each has? What differences or similarities do they have? Is Entrepreneur just a fancy word for business owner, or are they really different?
Pause the video here for a moment and write down what these terms mean to you.
When you’re done press play and we’ll take a look at what our workshop participants came up with.
Let’s take a closer look at these results (you might want to pause again to read them through).
Some things stand out as differences:
For the entrepreneur we have a lot of dynamic or action-oriented words. They are always on the look out for a new opportunity. They build networks to understand what the newest trends are and so that they can have a big reach when they have something to share themselves. They are innovators who are often looking to make changes that will make a large impact – for a maximum amount of money. But they are not necessarily looking for long-term commitments – they want to have the idea, implement it, make some money, and move onto the next thing. They can be empire builders who are creating multiple businesses or brands, but tend to be very hands-off once the business is established.
The business owner has a different energy. They are looking to set up a single business for the long-haul using a 5, 10 or even 30 year plan. They can be empire builders, but aren’t necessarily thinking that way at the outset. They are looking to create something solid, dependable, which has the capability for long term financial growth – either by expanding the size of their operation (but staying with the same product or service) – or by diversifying their products or services in order to expand their market. The business owner may consider concepts of innovation, but will usually have a stable business before they do so. The business owner builds teams and their network is usually more of a community where individuals commit to support each other for the longer term.
And here’s where it gets even more interesting – similarities:
The above key words may give the impression that these two people stand miles apart, but do they? Let’s look at the shared traits, where the circles intersect:
- In terms of mindset, we have words such as: Brave, Determined, Self-Motivated, Resilient
- Energy levels are: Enthusiastic, Productive
- Examples of shared skillsets are: Organization, Planning, Delegation
- Shared outlook includes elements such as: taking a Strategic view, valuing Accountability and Reputation.
In summary, there is a lot of cross-over terminology between the Entrepreneur and Business Owner ie traits that both individuals encompass.
So, where do you currently figure in this diagram of Business Owner v Entrepreneur?
And, how can we ensure that regardless of where we are on the Entrepreneur -> Business Owner spectrum, we can still be successful in business?
To explore these concepts and how they relate to each of us, we’re going to use a quick and easy questionnaire – a variation of the True Colors personality quiz. Using this test we can view our personality traits as a convenient color code. We can then relate these colours to the characteristics business owners and entrepreneurs consistently demonstrate.
Let’s do the quiz, and then we’ll talk a bit more about how you can use it afterwards.
Pause the video and download the quiz if you haven’t already.
You can download it here:
Follow the instructions, then start the video again once you’ve figured out your colour.
So how did you get on? Did you have one clear winner or did you score equally across multiple colours?
The personality traits listed here are typical for each colour. And each colour relates to a more descriptive “type”: Thinker for Green, Doer for Orange, Planner for Gold, and Feeler for Blue.
By looking at the words in the list under each colour, you can start to figure out which colour group generally relates most closely to the entrepreneur and business owner roles. For example, words like “spontaneous”, “active” and “competitive” are found in the Orange category. These words relate most closely to our previous definition for an Entrepreneur. In contrast, the Gold list of words includes “stable”, “organized” and “responsible”. These words remind us of our earlier definition for Business Owner.
In summary, Orange relates to a Doer – a motivated individual, whose spontaneous and full of different ideas. While, Gold is related to a Planner – a stable, goal-oriented organizer.
So, if Orange is our Entrepreneur and Gold is our Business Owner, what do we do with these other 2 colours? And does it mean that if we are not predominately Orange or Gold we have no chance of being successful in business?
Of course not.
We already know that businesses owners and entrepreneurs share qualities with each other. And if you look at the Green and Blue columns you’ll find some of those previous keywords in their too – Innovative for example. Our previous workshop participants put the keyword Innovative in the Entrepreneurial set of our diagram, and here we find it in the Green column. We also found that building community was part of the Business Owner circle, yet here we find it in the Blue column.
So what’s the point of this quiz?
It shows us that typical personality traits often traditionally associated with an Entrepreneur or Business Owner mindset, are actually split across all four personality colours. So whether you identify yourself as Green or Orange or Gold or Blue, or a mixture, you still have the ability and characteristics to start your own business. Business ownership isn’t restricted to one personality type.
The other thing this quiz helps us do, is identify where we can improve our natural mindset to take into account additional qualities which will benefit us on our self-employment journey. For example: if we are naturally a Doer and so score highly in Orange, maybe we should figure out how to enhance our Blue characteristics or become more Feeling.
A practical example of this, in business terms, is that while our Orange helps us move forward dynamically with our business idea, adding a little Blue would help us develop a team where everyone is committed to the ideals of the business.
All these colour personality types contribute to the overall success of business ownership.
To learn more about how to use the True Colors quiz in different contexts, go to: https://truecolorsintl.com/the-four-color-personalities/
Now that we’ve considered business and entrepreneurial personality traits in detail, let’s switch our attention to the roles our business owner needs to perform to run our businesses successfully.
See you in the next video!