Defining “entrepreneur” is almost as hard as defining “small business.” I’ve seen (and been a part of) some raging debates about what an entrepreneur is or is not. To me, an entrepreneur is a business owner. Whether or not you agree with that, perhaps this breakdown of the three kinds of entrepreneurs will be useful to you as you think about entrepreneurship.
- The Lifestyle Entrepreneur is running a small business to provide a living for his or her family. These entrepreneurs have passion, financial goals, and a lifestyle that are satisfied when the business is successful.
- The Legacy Entrepreneur is building something impactful for the long-term. These entrepreneurs are building a business that will last beyond their lifetimes, hopefully being passed down or sold to a new entrepreneur that will continue building the business to impact the community served by the business.
- The Investor-backed Entrepreneur is building a business to be sold or liquidated through an IPO or other future financing events. These entrepreneurs are in a fast-growth, capitalistic game to serve employees, customers, and investors, providing a return on investment for everyone involved in the business.
Of course, some entrepreneurs (like me) are a blend of all three. But most entrepreneurs fit pretty neatly into one or maybe two of the categories. At Infusionsoft, we mostly serve the first type, but many of our customers fit into the second type. We have very few in the third category. One of the driving forces behind Infusionsoft is to “empower entrepreneurs.” It’s our first core value. We love entrepreneurship, and we salute entrepreneurs of all types for the value they create and the courage they show every day.
SBS Idea of the Day: What type of entrepreneur are you? Getting clear on that is surprisingly useful to entrepreneurs.