Recently, I’ve had a peek “behind-the-scenes” of a number of very large businesses, and very successful entrepreneurs… and investors.
The difference between entrepreneur and investor is an important one…
Entrepreneur: someone who works their tail off, risks everything, and either makes a bloody fortune or goes bankrupt.
Investor: someone who takes a calculated risk, with capital they can afford to lose, in exchange for an enormous potential payoff… and who does virtually none of the work.
By their very nature, Entrepreneurs tend to see things in terms of possibility (why things will work out). If Entrepreneurs didn't see the world fundamentally this way, they'd never be willing to “dare greatly”. There would be no America, no airplanes, no railroads, no iPad.
And by their very nature, Investors tend to see things in terms of obstacles (why things will not work out, why an investment will not pay off). If Investors didn't see the world fundamentally this way, there would be no system of checks and balances to keep Entrepreneurs from risking all their chips on a crazy roll of the dice that could mean losing everything. There would be no cash reserves, no emergency fund, no fortunes built on the principle of compound interest.
Neither of these approaches is the “right” approach; we all need both kinds of thinking in our businesses and our lives. Nobody is exclusively one type or the other.
And yes, there are those who have are very balanced between the two.
Yet for most of us, we tend more toward one end of this scale or the other.
It is important to know which is your dominant style, or natural tendency, and to be intentionally informed by the opposite approach.
This way, if you are an Entrepreneur, you might be prevented from taking a risk that's just… well, too risky.
And if you're an Investor, having an Entrepreneur on your “personal board of advisors” will help you avoid playing it so safe that you miss out on potential breakthrough windfalls.
Are you more of an Entrepreneur or an Investor, and how does that show up in your life?