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I am an entrepreneur” …

I am a co-founder” …

I have a startup“…

I loved to say these words. I loved to secretely and modestly brag about my status. I loved to described my idea and being admired for having the balls to making the jump. Oh yes, I loved it!

Let’s be honest, how many out there are ready to take this decision. Leaving a “normal” job for the uncertain waters of entrepreneurship. Jumping into a less than a 5% success rate story versus a stable monthly income. Gambling with an unsecure future that might destroy anything you have built until now.

Entrepreneurs are special beasts. 

If you have been there, you know that entrepreneurs have a special status-quo. You are risk taker, independent and brave. Everyone will recognize you that and you know it!

With the increasing availability of capital on the market, many more than usual want to be an entrepreneurs but few are actually one.

I was there and I wasn’t an entrepreneur. At least, not in the real meaning of it.

With startup accelerators and events (and tons of books), we are surrounded by mentors, experts and whatever else is out there. We seek answers; we seek guidance. We read books or blogs on how to best do something. We would love to have someone pointing us in the right direction, telling us the perfect process.

Is this real entrepreneurship? I say no.

I still remember the beginning of my journey. I was ready to start my own business. I quit my job and dreamt out loud. I thought I was ready, but I was not. Risks were not all taken in consideration and I didn’t buy them all. I looked for answers and help everywhere so that I would have someone telling me where to go, what to do, so that if something wouldn’t work out, it would have not been my fault.

I believe it’s natural, we all tend to find excuses for our own mistakes and perhaps sometimes it is someone else’s mistake. But we are entrepreneurs and we should be the only one responsible for our future.

If we are waiting to be guided, we are employees, we are not entrepreneuers. Here below are 8 differences between employees and entrepreneurs.

1. Lead vs. Follow.

Entrepreneurs are the one who leads the way and direct employees on activities. Usually, employees receive directions on a daily basis and act on these.

Founders needs to set their own objectives to be successful and reach the unreachable.

2. Security vs. Risk.

Income is something that employees feel very close to. They feel the responsibility to pay the bills and that’s why they choose to have a “normal” job. Entrepreneurs know the risk in what they are doing. Usually they tend to be less worried about expenses and know they will figure out something. They are more worried about the company success than anything else.

3. Reactive vs. Proactive.

Working as an employee allows you to be reactive to tough situation. You don’t need to think 10 steps ahead and worry about the unthinkable. Entrepreneurs need to be ready and are not afraid of taking responsibilities. They know that everyone will look at them and will hold them accountable for mistakes.

4. Do vs. Listen. 

Startup founders need to listen to their employees to provide the best working environment. They tend not to do things as their role is take care of people working for them. Employees instead need to do stuff and be focused on achieving what’s needed.

5. Specialist vs. Generalist.

If you work as an employee there is a need to become a specialist in your area. This will give you a edge in the market of employable people.

Entrepreneurs, however, need to know everything, not necessarily in details. There is a need to have a general knowledge about several topics because only in this way they can guide employees through the every day work.

6. Follow vs. Break Rules. 

To achieve greatness an entrepreneur needs to disrupt the market. There are no rules in the way, everything is possible.

To achieve success, however, you need people to follow your orders. There is a need for employees to follow the rules set by the founders.

7. Tasks vs. Plans

Employees are generally asked to take care of specific tasks that are relevant only to their area. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, need to take in consideration the whole picture.

8. Failure vs. Success. 

Failure is part of the entrepreneurs’ journey towards success. They are not scared of failing. They need to fail to learn how to succeed. Failure equals learning for entrepreneurs. Employees would rather not fail as it might mean losing job or their status.

 

If you are really considering to move away from employment, you need to be honest with yourself. Think about those 8 points and take in consideration what you want. It is often difficult to understand this in advance, but to be successful you have to be self-conscious.

Don’t be another wantreprenuer… Change your mindset and achieve greatness! 

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Originally from Italy, Luca lived in 3 different continents in the last 10 years, working mainly in business development in the ad tech space. While being employed by day, by night he tries to make the startup world a better one by providing an anonymous review platform for entrepreneurs about startup accelerators, events and competitions.

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