You have heard it all the time, entrepreneurs are those game-changing leaders who will revolutionize the way we live. Yet, the more we try and understand the way they work, the way they execute their ‘big idea’ we see a closing gap between a businessman and an entrepreneur. Practically speaking, isn’t Ratan Tata who runs the Tata Group, the business conglomerate making just as much difference in an Indian’s life as is PayTM’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma? Then why is Ratan Tata not considered as much of an entrepreneur as is PayTM’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma?
In this article, we find out what makes a businessman an entrepreneur. Have you got what it takes to be one?
While a simple act of buying low and selling high would be enough to qualify you as a businessman being an entrepreneur is much tougher. An entrepreneur brings in a new process, a new production technique or a new product altogether which literally makes and breaks existing markets and can effectively topple entire segments off the market. When Elon Musk founded PayPal, he revolutionized the online payments industry and forced the existing players, Visa and Mastercard to become more competitive and upgrade their technologies and payment gateways. This not only lead to cheaper prices for the consumers but eventually paved the way into the world of effortless online transactions and digital payments with PayTM, RuPay, and even cryptocurrencies, to an extent being born as a result of that.
While looking at loads of money being raked in by your idea is a good motivator, profits are the only thing on your radar. Think of it this way, some of the largest money makers are those companies who are in the business of oil extraction, mining, real estate, trading etc. These are massive enterprises who are working in sectors that are tens of years old if not hundreds or even thousands. They have a really good business model in place after years of experimentation and experience in their fields, so it’s obvious that they are at the place they are today. The people who entered this field entered solely to make money out of it and clearly, the Ambani family, the Rothschild family and the Koch brothers are doing a good job. What they lack when compared to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg however, is innovation. They cannot claim to have literally created a new market, a new product or a new system out of nowhere and then, become its leaders. Bill Gates singlehandedly made home PCs possible with Windows. Mark Zuckerberg revolutionized the way we connect with Facebook. Elon Musk, the greatest entrepreneur of our times, is responsible for so many breakthrough technologies ranging from online transactions to exploring the space! The thrill of building something new, the dream of changing lives an a way that no one was able to do ever before the ability to shatter existing beliefs and lifestyles is what drives an entrepreneur.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed” — Michael Jordan
When you fail, you essentially find one way which does not work, and you are now one step closer to finding a way that does work. This is how an entrepreneur looks at his work. Failure is also a success because you got to learn from it and with this attitude, you will eventually find success. A businessman, on the other hand, will carefully plan out and evaluate if it is profitable to execute a new plan. A look at any random mutual funds aggregator will let you know how investments are classified according to their risks and returns. Whether or not to enter into something new is only dictated by these risk and returns numbers. Failure is not an option. A businessman needs a clear path to profit, of course, they do fail once in a while but they are strong believers of never keeping all your eggs in the same basket, and thus they diversify. So even if they do lose, they only lose a part of their investment and in the big picture, the failure was nothing but a large wave, otherwise, it’s still smooth sailing.