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  • Writer's pictureRachel Ougier Simonin

Navigating differences between employees and entrepreneurs





The paths of an entrepreneur and an employee may seem worlds apart, but there are surprising similarities and stark contrasts between the two.


As I have experienced both roles, I see value in bridging the gap between these two distinct career paths.


The Branded Employee Versus the Building Entrepreneur

An employee enjoys the benefits of working for a well-established company with a strong brand. This brand recognition opens doors and provides a sense of stability and credibility. As an entrepreneur, however, you're starting from scratch. Every interaction is an opportunity to establish your reputation and build trust.


As an employee, you expect people to meet with you or find natural that they come to you.

As an entrepreneur, you are grateful when people meet with you.


Expertise versus all-in-one

Employees have the luxury of relying on a team of experts, each with their specialized knowledge. From sales and marketing to finance and operations, there's always someone to turn to for guidance and support.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are jacks-of-all-trades, juggling multiple roles and learning on the fly. Head of Sales, CFO, Head of People & Culture, Head of Operations, CIO - is all the same person! And that is everyday a challenge outside of your comfort zone, learning all the time.


As an employee, you are hired for your expertise (and you should get it right!).

As an entrepreneur, you have potential plus the capability to learn and change (as you will get it wrong!)


Politics & Power Games Versus Collaborative Relationships

The corporate world often involves navigating office politics and power dynamics. Some employees thrive in this environment, maneuvering their way to success.

For entrepreneurs, however, success depends on cultivating strong relationships with partners, customers, and team members. Collaboration and mutual respect are the cornerstones of entrepreneurial endeavors.


As an employee, working on your own won't get you fired, though you most likely won't make a career either if you are not a team player.

As an entrepreneur, working on your own will lead to bankruptcy - as the only way to succeed is to fit within an ecosystem.


Individual Contribution Versus Ecosystem Integration

While one aspect of employee's performance is to evaluate individual contributions, an entrepreneur's success is intricately linked to the broader ecosystem they operate within. Building win-win partnerships, fostering customer loyalty, and creating a cohesive team are essential for an entrepreneur to thrive.


The Quest for Autonomy Versus the Safety of Dependence

Entrepreneurs crave autonomy and the freedom to shape their own destiny. They relish the ability to make decisions and steer their company towards their vision.

Employees, on the other hand, value the stability and predictability of a secure job. They enjoy the comfort of knowing their role and the contributions they make are valued.


In conclusion: go for the role that suits you!

While both entrepreneurship and employment offer rewarding paths, they suit different personalities and career aspirations.

Entrepreneurs are at ease with challenges, taking risks and handling uncertainties of building their own ventures; while employees find fulfillment in the stability and support of a structured environment. The key is to identify the role that aligns with your values, skills, and motivations.


While the worlds of entrepreneurship and employment may appear distinct, each offers its unique rewards and challenges. By understanding the pros and cons of each path, individuals can make informed decisions about their professional journeys. Ultimately, the most fulfilling career is the one that allows you to build upon what you are good at and like doing!

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