Only recently have I come to realize the subtle yet huge differences of what it means to be an entrepreneur vs a business person. And please, don't take my words as final. These are simply my observations; not finite truths.
I started this business as a side hustle to make money. I never intended to actually learn about business. I definitely didn't want to care about business and I never in a million years thought I would actually STUDY business. Well, 3.5 years later that is exactly what I find myself doing. Studying, researching and analyzing business.
Here are the top 3 things I have learned about what it means to run a business and what it means to be an entrepreneur/business person.
1.) There is a difference! A business person is someone who buys into a business, and does not start it from the ground up. These are the flippers. The ones that buy something trendy and cheap and flip it for more money. A multiplier.
Where as an entrepreneur builds something out of nothing or creates. They have a vision of creativity to build a business, a product and/or a brand. Kind of a business artist in a way. They are often deeply creative and innovative.
Why does this difference matter? It doesn't. There's no one that has more value than the other. I simply bring it up because I didn't realize the difference of the two. And part of the reason is because I didn't have a strong vision for my own business. As I grow my vision for Petra de Luna I realize I am transitioning from a business person to an entrepreneur. I used to flip things for cash, but since I have started creating my own products & designing textiles I am finding there is higher level I want to take my business. I am now interested in building a name brand. A scalable business that has opportunity for growth with a strong foundation for the future.
2.) Long Term Business vs Cash Cow
There is a big difference in this one. Some people want to make the most money possible on a month to month basis. There is nothing wrong with this. You have to sit down and see what it is you want your business to do for you. That is what I would call a cash cow business. It's simply there to make you as much money as possible in the now. Great. If that is what you want.
However, if you are actually trying to build a business; a brand or a scalable future for your business, cash cowing that business is likely not the way to go. What do I mean? Well, when you are growing a business to build a brand you often leave money on the table in the short term for long term growth. Reinvesting money back into the business for the first 3-5 years isn't just likely for this; it is mandatory. There is often no extra cash to go around. There is no consistency and very little reward in the short term. It's all about the long term vision. Having a plan, creating easy to use systems with low costs & overhead. This is the only way I know how to create a scalable, and eventually a very profitable and thriving business.
I am 3 years into learning business and only now reaching a place where I am entering into the entrepreneurship world. I have found it suits me better than being a business person. Why? Because flipping products was exhausting. Without me there was no money flow. But as I learn how to build a scalable business. I find the amount of work doesn't necessarily increase, but the profits do. I am implementing systems in place so I don't have to be present constantly for efficiency or income growth. I am constantly studying how to build the strongest foundation to create less risk/problems later on. I study scalability and how to allow for rapid, constant growth. I study marketing. I study finance. I take accounting classes. I hire financial services and marketers to help teach me. I have a business mentor that knows more about building clientele and business than I do. She pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me do things necessary to create the vision I hold for my business.
I am excited about what lies ahead for Petra de Luna Shop. I am doing my best to give it the best chance at becoming a minority, female owned business powerhouse. I don't exactly know how or have all the answers, but I am not supposed to. I am not there yet.
If there's one thing to take away from this post; it's this: sit down and write out what you want for your business. Is it extra cash flow monthly? Do you desire to build a business? A brand? An economy that houses employees and impacts their lives? There is no wrong answer. You simply have to find out what it is you want.
Health & happiness,