Lately, I had a conversation about the difference between entrepreneur and entrepreneurial mindset. In my mind, one can not take it as the same thing. One thing is the entrepreneurial mindset, but the different thing is to be an entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur must have an entrepreneurial mindset, but an entrepreneurial mindset can be normal for ordinary people who work for someone else.

PS! Before I start explaining my thoughts on this topic, I want you to know that this is just my opinion on that topic, developed in following different world leaders. You might disagree on this with me, and this is fine. The cool thing would be if you shared your opinion on this. Do you agree or not? What are your arguments?

Who is an entrepreneur?

In my eyes, not everybody who has started a company or is officially the owner of a legal firm is an entrepreneur. For me, an entrepreneur has built up a system that can work without the need of this entrepreneur to participate. The entrepreneur who built the system is like an investment that brings money in monthly, yearly, or whatever periods, passively or when the entrepreneur is ready to exit (for example, sell the company). One is an entrepreneur when he or she has got to the place when he/she has total business freedom. The business does not need him or her anymore – the system can work without the entrepreneur, and the entrepreneur can do whatever they like for as long as he/she wants.

Some leaders say that you must have built up a system with 500+ employees to be an entrepreneur. Again in my eyes, your system doesn’t have to be that big. In today’s world, I think it is ok to have two persons in your team as long as the system you (as an entrepreneur) have built up works without you. So if you wish, you could be on a family vacation ins some tropical island for a year, without any concern about your business. That is business freedom, and you, as the system owner, are the entrepreneur.

My conversation partner argued that a great business CEO could be an entrepreneur, and I understand the arguments. CEO can build up a great system with perfect employees, but the difference is that when the CEO decides to quit his job, he loses his income, and the system he/she built up belongs to the entrepreneurs who are the owners of the company. The CEO now has to start over. In this case, the CEO has an entrepreneurial mindset.

What is an entrepreneurial mindset?

Not everybody who owns a legal firm is an entrepreneur. A person who has quit his job to work on his terms is not necessarily an entrepreneur. If he made the company work on his terms, they are a freelancer with an entrepreneurial mindset. If you have created a company and you have team members (or don’t), but your business would die without you, then you are just providing a job for yourself. I am at this stage of entrepreneurship right now. And these people have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Everybody who has a daily job and works for someone else (wage worker) can have an entrepreneurial mindset, but every entrepreneur must have an entrepreneurial mindset.

The words that describe entrepreneurial mindset are independence, decisiveness, sense of responsibility, and management capability.

Are you an entrepreneur or just having an entrepreneurial mindset?