The Difference Between an Entrepreneur and a Businessperson Is This

Blog posted On January 21, 2019

People sometimes ask me what I think is the defining characteristic of an entrepreneur. What they really want to know, I believe, is the one quality that distinguishes a true entrepreneur from any other business­person. I've thought about that quite a bit myself, and I've decided, if I had to narrow it down to one trait, it would be the ability to see things differently. A true entrepreneur is able to look at a situation and identify an opportunity, or a solution to a problem, or a path around an obstacle that, for some reason, everyone else has missed.

This came to mind recently when I met an entrepreneur named Linda Pagan. She's a milliner. That is, she makes and sells hats. Her store, located in New York City on Thompson Street in the SoHo district of Manhattan, is called simply the Hat Shop NYC. My wife, Elaine, and I were walking in the neighborhood when we happened upon the shop and decided to go in. Elaine wanted a hat to wear to the Inc. 5000 conference, and she picked one out. She also noticed the interesting hatboxes the store had and asked if her hat came with a box.