What’s the Difference Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs?

The term, “solopreneur” has become quite popular in recent years. Sometimes it’s used interchangeably with the word “entrepreneur,” but there are distinct differences between the two. The differences may not be readily apparent, however, since some entrepreneurs work alone until their businesses are large enough to need a team.

In general, those who choose solopreneurship over entrepreneurship are usually not interested in building a large business. Many of them start solo businesses with no intention of ever adding employees.

Here are the basic differences:

1.  Entrepreneurs dream of a buyout.
Many entrepreneurs initiate their businesses with heavy outside investment, counting on being acquired by a larger company for millions of dollars in profits. At that point, they’ll pocket significant gains and move on to their next adventure.

2.  Solopreneurs dream of a business they can run by themselves.
Most solopreneurs, in contrast, prefer small businesses they can capitalize and manage on their own. They don’t want to negotiate with outside parties or manage investor expectations. They tend to work in one type of business, becoming expert in that particular industry.

3.  Entrepreneurs focus on their business.
Entrepreneurs frequently choose to be out socializing with colleagues, making connections with potential investors or partners and leaving their team behind to do the actual work. They thrive on the energy and excitement of the start-up and growth phases.

They look to delegate administrative and technical tasks as quickly as possible so they can focus on increasing the value of their businesses to a potential buyer. The work itself is often of less interest, and they may start up multiple unrelated businesses throughout their careers.

4.  Solopreneurs focus on their lifestyle.
On the other hand, solopreneurs tend to be perfectly happy working on the core activities of their businesses. They often start their business primarily because they enjoy the work they do, and they want the relative simplicity of a business with low overhead and no employees. They want a business that’s profitable, but that doesn’t take over their life and keep them up at night.

As you can see, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are quite different in the way they approach their businesses. Though they may appear similar at first glance, these differences determine what’s important to them and the direction they’ll take their businesses.

Which kind of “-preneur” are you? Or if you work with “-preneur” clients, which do you prefer, and why? Let me know in the comments section.

Of course, since I’m The Solopreneur Specialist, I love working with solopreneurs. I help them recognize their most marketable skills and package those skills into a business that is totally unique to them. When they offer clients something no one else can, there’s really no competition; they attract their “ideal clients” naturally!

Let me help you find the unique skill set that only you can offer! Choose a time for a no-obligation chat with me here.

1 Comment

  1. Steve Gatter

    Nicely done Elaine. And may I add that in the beginning, every business idea is a solopreneurial effort. Before “big” we must navigate “small”. Before 100 clients there is getting that first one.


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