It can be quite difficult to clearly explain the difference between a business and an entrepreneurial attitude, but, as this is something I have been reflecting on a lot recently, I would like to share my draft outcome with you.

In my opinion what distinguishes a Businessman from an Entrepreneur is the mental model (way of thinking): a Businessman is more an ‘Analytical Thinker’ while an Entrepreneur is more a ‘Possibility Thinkers’.

This means that, for example, a Business man main focus is not on innovation, but more on making sure a company is making profit. Entrepreneurship on the contrary focus on generating new value, and this value could be social, emotional, aesthetic and/or financial.

I will write another post on the concept of value as it is a quite complex topic. What counts for now is that Value for an entrepreneur is not necessarily profit, but can also be something less tangible but considered more rewarding for the person running a business.

Also, whilst a Businessman  focus more on small improvements of an existing situation, an Entrepreneur tries to imagine how things may be in the future  and work toward making that idea a reality (this attitude, by pushing the boundaries of what we know, entail higher risks but also higher rewards when successful).

To simplify, the main focus for a Businessman is:

  • Administration of business
  • Search for truth, Short-term
  • Logical, Linear, Utility, Incremental
  • Features
  • Facts, Verbal, Measure
  • Minimal Risks, Predictable
  • Smaller Rewards
  • Profit

While, on the contrary, the main focus for an Entrepreneur is:

  • Invention of business
  • Search for what is interesting, intuitive, long-term
  • Holistic, Significance, Meaning, Leap forward
  • Benefits
  • Emotion, Visual Thinking
  • Risk, Uncertainty,
  • Potentially High Rewards
  • Value