It's the great debate. Does being self-employed in a replicated business make you an entrepreneur? Or do you need to be an innovator to call yourself an entrepreneur?
Can you be both? Yes!
Here's one definition of an entrepreneur (and one I like):
"Entrepreneurs are intuitive and masters at sensing the right opportunity – they recognize niche markets and business opportunities that others fail to see by continuously searching for new ideas and innovation."
It is not black and white. Many would think this definition applies only to innovators.
But, does being an entrepreneur really boil down to innovation vs. replication? Can you be in a replicated business and still be an innovator?
The answer is, "Yes".
You can be innovative by finding new ways of doing things.
By creating new systems.
By increasing productivity.
By improving living.
You can discover multiple profit sources rather than building your business on a single revenue source. This is innovation.
You can become different and unique in the eyes of your customers.
A replicated business does not need to remain a copycat business. Innovators do not fall into the trap of letting their past or of letting their competitor's actions define their own.
Innovation can be as simple as expanding outside a particular service market.
Or, joint venturing with another entrepreneur to offer a combined service or product that has never been paired before.
An entrepreneur requests,
"What rules can I break?"
"What do my customers know that they do not know?"
"What measurable difference will I make in my marketplace?"
"Can I do something totally new?"
"How can I make this better?"
We believe entrepreneurs' posses the creative spirit; they are often the pioneers in their fields or industry. They are the dreamers.
Entrepreneurs who are leading the way with innovation know this.
But, innovation is not limited to new trends, newventions and the next new gimmick …. it's about looking at things as they are and seeing them as they might be with a nudge here and a twist there. It is really about creating new worlds out of the one in front of your eyes.