Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Are you an entrepreneur or have you built yourself a job?

entrepreneur mindset

Do you have the mindset of an entrepreneur? If you would like to find out, this post is just for you.

It’s important to know which mindset you have, so you can follow the business path best suited to you and what you want to achieve.

Business owner does not equal entrepreneur

Just for clarity, it’s important to know that not all business owners are entrepreneurs. In my experience, the majority of small business owners are not. They have usually built themselves a job, rather than a business.

The entrepreneur mindset

There are lots of things, which combine to form an entrepreneurial mindset. However, maybe the single best way to determine if you have an entrepreneurial mindset or not, is to answer the following question as honestly as you can:

Is my hunger for success BIGGER than my fear of failure?

Entrepreneurs in business

If you are an entrepreneur, driven by a hunger for success, these may apply to you:

  • You will do what’s required, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • You will prepare for success and expect success.
  • You will take the necessary risks, rather than opt for the safety of doing nothing.
  • You will embrace change and see it as the only way to grow.

Non entrepreneur business owners

If you are a non entrepreneur business owner, these may apply to you:

  • You sometimes avoid doing what your business needs, if it falls outside your comfort zone. I call this, ‘doing 100% of the easy stuff‘.
  • You run a ‘me too’ business. Most of the small businesses in any industry are extremely similar. Their owners fear standing out and seek the safety of following the flock.
  • You find your working days are long, stressful and exhausting – rather than short, challenging and invigorating.

Right or wrong?

You may find it odd when I say that it doesn’t matter at all, which group you are in. Being an entrepreneur comes with no guarantee of success and being a non entrepreneur is certainly no guarantee of failure. I work with some non entrepreneur business owners, who earn a fortune doing work they love.


  • Non entrepreneurs who have built rewarding jobs that they love, have developed strategies that perfectly match their attitudes to risk and security.
  • Those non entrepreneurs who make least progress are usually trying to follow a way of working, built for people with a totally different mindset. Most are unaware there’s an alternative.

The key is to determine if you are happy with your current mindset and the path you have taken. If not, you can change either, so that you achieve your business and lifestyle goals.

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  1. I can see a bit of both for me Jim. I’m going through a “doing too much” phase at the moment and need to cut down so I do slip into the “job” section here and there. I will take risks though and embrace change.

    • In my experience, Ian, it’s all about finding the best balance for you.

      Many of the non entrepreneurs I work with, embrace certain entrepreneurial elements, whilst avoiding others. When that balance is right for them, it’s amazing what they achieve.

      Thanks for the feedback, sir.

  2. I never see myself as an entrepreneur and just do what I love for a living.

    The big challenge for me since I started my business is that everything is geared toward busiesspeope with the entrepreneurial bent.

    Until reading this I assumed there was something wrong with me. It’s reassuring to know not every business owner loves to live by the seat of their pants.

    Cheers Jim.

  3. WOW Jim, you have done it again.

    I read one of your posts and it has given me a kick up the bum again.

    I’m doing too many hours at the moment without any bigger growth. We have recently employed 2 folk so I can concentrate more on the growth of the company whilst we have the right people in place to do the work.

    Jim, thanks again.


    • Hi, Steven. Sometimes a gentle prod is useful, to keep us on track.

      Thanks for the comment and let me know how you get on.

  4. Jim, thanks for a great post. The issue of the entrepreneurial mindset has been an important topic recently for me in my work. Your post brings good discussion to what makes up that mindset.

    One thing that you address is that it is OK to be a business owner who does not want to be an entrepreneur. That has been a difficult topic as I work with baby boomers looking for encore careers. The reality is that many want to be self employed, period. Though I know it is OK, I find I have a bias toward those with the passion of being the entrepreneurs. Seeing what you have written inspires me to be more clear about that in my mind.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that there may be entrepreneurs who don’t want to be business owners. The mindset of the passion may be present but the goal may be to apply the innovation through a different platform.

    Thanks for stimulating some good reflection.


    • Hi, Shallie – always great to see you on the blog.

      I think it’s important to work with what we have, our strengths. Rather than see people as either an entrepreneur or not, I think there are shades of entrepreneurship. I’ve found that by matching people to a business model that suits them, pulling in the best from each area, they achieve more and enjoy it more.

      Thanks for the feedback and for expanding on the post.

      • Jim, certainly you are right. We must meet people where they are to be able to support them. And of course, they ultimately determine what success means to them.

        Thanks again for another in a long list of wonderful posts. Shallie

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