Entrepreneur is a personality trait
Startup founder, business owner, inventor, executive… those are titles and roles someone can become. And they’re distinctly different things someone can become.
Entrepreneur means you constantly see gaps in the market and move your own resources to create new opportunities. It’s a tendency you have, or don’t.
And it’s not better nor worse, per se, to be entrepreneurial; it’s just a distinction of a personality. It’s like saying you’re introverted or love an adrenaline rush.
In fact, while entrepreneurs can be good startup founders and non-entrepreneurs can be good startup founders, there is a lot of study and work being done with regard to how entrepreneurial people have a high rate of depression and other mental health issues:
- The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship
- As an Entrepreneur Do you Ever Struggle to Make New Friends and Keep Them?
- Entrepreneurs on How to Deal with Anxiety and Depression on the Job
Note that last article: “…on the Job”
A great many entrepreneurial people work full time jobs.
Some don’t work at all; my wife is very entrepreneurial and she is a stay-at-home mom raising our kids.
The word was coined by Jean Baptiste-Say to distinguish the type of people different from business owners and capitalists. People who just can’t help but always take on the risks of addressing inefficiencies in the market.
Here’s a halfway decent distinction that I find helps clarify how “entrepreneur” says nothing about someone being better nor worse in the work they do:
- Michael Dell. Net Worth: $37.6 billion. Founder of Dell Computers. AMAZING business person and brilliant founder.
- Elon Musk. Net Worth: $19.3 billion. Founder of SpaceX AND Tesla AND Neuralink AND The Boring Company AND OpenAI AND PayPal
There has to be some way of explaining the difference between them, no?
Clearly both incredible business owners and startup founders. Successful CEOs. Those are the things they became.
The difference is what “entrepreneur” means. Elon Musk is an entrepreneur. That doesn’t detract anything at all from Michael Dell. In fact, we’ve even seen in Musk, perhaps, how being entrepreneurial can be an incredible burden on mental health.
Be who you are. The world thrives in diversity. Entrepreneurship is merely one trait among many that makes innovation work.