Business Builders, Sole-Proprietors, & Self-Employed Entrepreneurs: Here's The Dirty Truth


If you are reading this, you’re probably at a turning point in your life. You’re searching for answers, hoping to make money, and do it with as little pain as possible. I have been there, and it took me over thirty years to really figure this out. I was confused, stressed, overeating, and feeling like a loser after watching a few college kids jump out on their owns, start a business, and sell that business for millions of dollars. I began to feel a little down and out as I looked at my coaching practice, my coaching business, and thought, there’s no way I could sell this. And it wasn’t that I loved my coaching practice so much that I could never sell, which was true – I had built an amazing lifestyle business, but heck…, at that very moment, without me working and serving clients there was no business to sell.


I had become the star of my own reality show, and it’s very possible you’re on the road to doing something similar.

I had become the best and the only employee my company had. I started to wonder: am I an Entrepreneur, am I a Small Business Owner, am I a Sole Proprietor, or am I simply a Self-Employed Guru with an amazing Coaching practice?

And well, here is what I discovered. I call it The Dirty Truth about Entrepreneurship.


And the truth is that, while everyone wants to be an Entrepreneur, not all Entrepreneurs are equal, and not everyone who claims to be an Entrepreneur is actually an Entrepreneur.


Entrepreneurs come in many varieties and flavors. Specifically, there is…

  • The Self-Employed Entrepreneur

  • The Independent Contractor Entrepreneur

  • The Sole Proprietor Entrepreneur

  • The Small Business Owner, and

  • The Business Builder - who is probably the nearest to being what most people think of when they think of an Entrepreneur. Business Building Entrepreneurs are the ones who often take a huge risk to build businesses and provide products or services to fill a perceived void in the marketplace in hopes of receiving huge financial rewards and monetary gain. Those were the college kids who prompted me to ask the question – am I an Entrepreneur?


You see, growing up, I was taught the art of self-determination and not accepting handouts from the government. I was taught that you always want to perfect your skills and knowledge, so you never have to work for anyone else or go around begging for a job.

I was indoctrinated into the world of business ownership and destined to be an entrepreneur, so I thought.


It wasn’t until my early forties that I discovered there’s a huge difference between business building entrepreneurs, business owners, self-employed individuals, sole-proprietors, and independent contractors.


It’s somewhat nuanced, but understanding these differences can help you avoid future frustrations, disappointments, and burnout, as you judge yourself in comparison to others while building your business.


Yes, I know we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but here’s the truth – we do. We always look around and compare ourselves to others – that’s why you’re reading this article, and that’s why I am here to help. Although I may appear to be just an awesome Coach on a mission to help one million men and women like you, discover themselves, gain financial freedom and independence and make the rest of their life the best of their life, there’s more to it.


Here’s a fact: Anyone can call themselves an entrepreneur and many will, but not all entrepreneurs are equal. Not all entrepreneurs are destined to become business owners. Not all business owners are entrepreneurs and not everyone who has a great business idea has the skills or knowledge to lead themselves or anyone else effectively.

The key to your success is knowing what type of entrepreneur you want to be, knowing your role, and growing to fulfill your role, and then playing that role effectively. That means you must ask yourself…,


#1. What is an Entrepreneur?

#2. Am I an Entrepreneur?

#3. What type of Entrepreneur Am I?

#4. Am I a Sole Proprietor?

#5. Am I an Independent Contractor?

#6. Am I a Business Owner? OR

#7. Am I a Self-Employed Entrepreneur, OR am I simply an Aspiring Entrepreneur who could benefit from a 12 or 24-month one-on-one coaching program that could help me figure this out, and #MakeTheRestOfMyLifeTheBestOfMyLife?


Okay, let’s answer those questions really quickly.


#1. What is an Entrepreneur?


An Entrepreneur is an individual who takes a risk to build businesses and provide products or services to fill a perceived void in the market, in hopes of receiving huge financial rewards and monetary gain.


#2. Am I an Entrepreneur?


Anyone is capable of becoming an entrepreneur, but not all entrepreneurs are equal or cut out for the same endeavors. A Myers-Briggs personality assessment can work wonders in helping you determine your entrepreneurial type. The website HumanMetrics.com offers a great 6-minute Entrepreneur Quiz. I’ve used it in the past with clients, but what I’ve discovered is that the best Myers-Briggs-based personality assessments always encourage you to discuss your results with a certified practitioner like myself. The Myers-Briggs Foundation recommends working with a certified professional. Here’s a link to my favorite MBTI assessment. You can download this pdf form, follow the directions, and use the interactive links to schedule a debrief with me or my team, if you’re interested.


#3. What type of Entrepreneur Am I?


That’s a great question.


And if you’re asking that question you’re probably wondering: Am I a Sole Proprietor, an Independent Contractor, a Business Owner, a Self-Employed Entrepreneur, or an Aspiring Entrepreneur who could benefit from a 12 or 24-month one-on-one coaching program that could help me figure this out, and #MakeTheRestOfMyLifeTheBestOfMyLife.


Okay, we’ll answer those questions in order.


#4. Am I a Sole Proprietor?


A sole proprietor is typically a self-employed individual: a hustler, a go-getter, a moneymaker. It’s an individual who looks out at the world and says hey, I need some money. I can work for myself, and I don’t want to be bothered with the taxes and the fees and the bureaucracy associated with incorporating a business right now. They just want to get started.


As entrepreneurs, Sole Proprietors typically identify a problem they can solve, fix, or repair. In the beginning, they typically do this with minimal help and support. They then find customers in need of the solution they provide. They sell the solution and typically expend their time, energy, and expertise in exchange for money.


Sole Proprietors can hire and fire employees, buy assets, and build a reputable brand. However, they enjoy little to no protection from being wiped out; sued, having their personal reputation and credit ruined, and losing everything they own if things go wrong.


This is possibly the riskiest way to start a business. And although sole-props operate under the name and authority of the business owner, they are entitled to register a “DBA” (Doing Business As) or a fictitious name that gives the illusion of being an entity separate from the business owner.


This is the easiest way to get started in business, but you should consult a CPA and Legal Authority.


The Small Business Administration provides free counseling.


#5. Am I an Independent Contractor?


An independent contractor can be a self-employed individual or legal entity contracted to perform work for another individual or organization. They differ from employees in that, to a certain extent, they own their own schedule, often provide their own tools, transportation, management, human resources, logistics, taxes, and social security payments. They may work beside the employees of the organizations they are contracted to support, but they are not entitled to employee benefits or time off.


Many professionals such as doctors, lawyers, writers, therapists, actors, gig-workers, and those who provide independent services can be classified as an independent contractor.

Independent contractors might start out as entrepreneurs, but they must quickly transition into the roles of being self-employed contractors, leaders, or business owners once a contractor is accepted.


In essence, once they accept a contract they’re no longer in the business of entrepreneurship.


#6. Am I a Business Owner?


That is a great question, but I want you to remember, a business owner may or may not be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense.


Many business owners start out as entrepreneurs. They start out as individuals who take risks and build businesses and provide products or services to fill a perceived void or need in the marketplace, in hopes of receiving huge financial rewards and monetary gain. However, as with all successful entrepreneurial endeavors, at some point, the owner or ownership must transition from being an entrepreneur to a leader or managing director, or an owner of an ongoing business that seeks to please its customers and maintain profitability to grow and stay in business.


Businesses don’t need entrepreneurs to thrive and survive. They need leaders, team players, managers, directors, and employees who think and operate differently than entrepreneurs.

Usually, when a business gets to this point – the place where it no longer needs an entrepreneur, the entrepreneur must make a decision. He must either adapt and change or choose to sell and move on to the next endeavor.


The Ultimate #ThinkAndGrowRich Coaching Program: https://bit.ly/ThinkAndGrowRichCoaching

This is the place where those college kids decided to sell.


You see, they were in the business of entrepreneurship. They were actually in the business of building scalable businesses around common problems and shortfalls in the market. They never intended to work in the business for the rest of their lives.


They never intended to build a business and turn it over to their kids. Their primary goal was to get the business up and running, earn a profit, sell for an additional profit, and move on. I revisited the kids’ story six years later and noticed, they had started and sold two more businesses while I was steadily growing my Coaching practice and receiving calls to coach and speak to men from around the world.


Entrepreneurship for them had become a way of life. They are what some people might call serial entrepreneurs.


If you’d like to see a list of The World's Top 10 Serial Entrepreneurs, click here.