I first wanted to have my own business when I was 17. I worked at a nursery (plants, not babies) in high school and saw myself having a landscaping business.
I didn’t realize the goal of owning my business until I was 33 (although I did make several attempts and did my own thing part-time a few times along with my wife having her own business for a while). All of those 16 years, I knew it was what I wanted, even though I was a bit afraid of it, and I didn’t know how to pull it off.
I figured everyone was like me, either an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur who hadn’t made the leap yet. I was wrong. Most people aren’t.
I even figured that I could structure my business so that my key employees could have a chance to pursue their own entrepreneurial bents, and it would light their fires, and we would all benefit from this. I tried speaking to them in a way that would stir an entrepreneur to action. They seemed to get excited about the rewards, then set back just doing their daily jobs, nothing more, waiting for me to make it happen for them. They didn’t understand the words I was speaking or just were not up for it. And, to the suffering of my business, I did not understand this.
I don’t know why everyone doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur, but they do not.
An entrepreneur has more in common with an artist, author, composer, or inventor. We all see things that don’t exist yet, then work to bring them to pass. In many cases, we do this “on our own time” for a period before we are rewarded for our work. All of these groups are rewarded for their RESULTS, not their effort or time.
Commission sales people are sort of like this–being rewarded for results, writing their own paycheck, etc., but they don’t envision the structure or the product. They rarely see the big picture, just their little part.
CEO’s run businesses, like many entrepreneurs do. But many CEO’s get there by either being very effective at running someone else’s system or at working the politics to gain advancement or both. Honestly, an entrepreneur may not really be good at either (managing a system or politics). Some are CEO’s of their own business. Some realize that the best thing they can do is get out of the way and hire someone else to do it.
Michael Gerber, in his E-Myth books, talks about the mistake entrepreneurs make of spending their time working IN their businesses when they should be working ON them. The business is their creation, not their employer.
We are different. Actually, kind of a rare breed. Our job is more of envisioning and creating and doing what it takes to make it happen. We are the artists of the business world. (Sadly, not all of us are good artists.)
Celebrate who you are. Not everyone will understand you, but that is ok. You just need to make it your goal to understand those you are surrounded by, so you don’t make false assumptions about what they want, because what they want is most likely is not what you want. They would find your life very uncomfortable, where you are happy within it–stress and all.
To answer the question: If you are an entrepreneur, yes, you are different.