Erik Severin points us to Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? The essence, I think, is that entrepreneurs think big thoughts and do big things, while small business owners settle, working their way through the day to day.
The distinction I’ve always made is that an entrepreneur is trying to make money while she sleeps, and does it with someone else’s money! That she builds a business bigger than herself, that scales for a long time, that is about processes and markets. A small businessperson, on the other hand, is largely a freelancer with support, someone who understands the natural size of her business and wants to enjoy the craft of doing it every day.
The more I see both, the happier it appears that small business people are. They often make more money, take fewer risks, sleep better and build something for the ages, something they believe in and can polish and be proud of.
Growth for growth’s sake makes less sense every day.
PS please don’t read this as anti-entrepreneur! I’m one, and proud of it. I think I was boosting the small business side more than I was tearing down the entrepreneur side…