When I was stuck in the corporate world many years ago, I dreamed of escape to the freedom of running my own small business. Eventually I plucked up the courage to leave and started my own small business, with the goal of training and inspiring people. In order to run my business, I taught myself how to do VAT, keep my books, do my accounts and keep stock of products. While I was free of the pressures of a boss and organisational structures and politics, but I still didn't feel very free and I even felt a little disappointed. I felt a slave to my business, and had left the corporate world to work for love, but seemed to end up working for money, and working for my business, rather than my business working for me.

Today I see there is a big difference between the small business owner that I was then, and the inspired entrepreneur I have become today. I realise I had the heart and soul of an inspired entrepreneurs, but was trying to squeeze myself into the straightjacket of being a small business owner. Below I am sharing what I have identified as being the ten main differences between being a small business owner and an inspired entrepreneur.

Difference one - Inspired entrepreneurs follow their inner calling

Inspired entrepreneurs have found the work they were born for, and are following their particular and unique calling. There is a great fit between what they do and who they are, and feel they are constantly drawn forward to become the person they were born to be

Difference two - Inspired entrepreneurs create a business that supports their own talents, passions and lifestyle

Inspired entrepreneurs create businesses that supports them and their lifestyle and don't sacrifice their lifestyle to their businesses. Many small business owners sacrifice their own needs in order to be successful. Inspired entrepreneurs know their business can be a vehicle for discovering and expressing their own unique gifts and talents.

Difference three - Inspired entrepreneurs have a higher purpose than just making money

Inspired entrepreneurs love making money and are very willing to make money, but that is not the sole purpose of their business. They didn't set up a business to become an expert on tax and bookkeeping. Inspired entrepreneurs are motivated to create and contribute and that much of the conventional stuff needs to be done well, but is for the maintenance of the business, but not the purpose of the business.

Difference four - Inspired entrepreneurs are always evolving their business

Inspired entrepreneurs love working on their business as well loving to work in their business. Small business owners tend just to work in their business, doing what needs doing to make the business work. Inspired entrepreneurs intrinsically love what they do, but also love stepping back and thinking creatively about their business, how it can be more fun, inspiring, profitable and effective.

Difference five - Inspired entrepreneurs love growing themselves

Inspired entrepreneurs love learning and growing themselves through running their business. They know that running their own business is the best personal growth seminar on the planet, becoming a mirror to highlight both their strengths and their weaknesses. They are curious about what they can become and love discovering what they capable of. They are less interested in being competitive and more interested in realizing their own potential.

Difference six - Inspired entrepreneurs are fueled by inspiration rather than motivation

Motivation is often about getting pumped up by some external force, whilst inspiration is about being lit by a fire within that can burn forever. Inspired entrepreneurs don't need to pumped up, but they know they need to regularly kindle and rekindle their flame of inspiration, by going to their own wells of inspiration and inspiring themselves.

Difference seven - Inspired entrepreneurs love understanding how they find and attract their ideal clients

Inspired entrepreneurs are endlessly curious about how to attract and serve their clients better. They love serving and contributing, and believe that what they do makes a difference. They enjoy getting the word out about what they do, and getting people to act, but only in ways that are grounded in honesty and integrity. They are willing to give up being anonymous.

Difference eight - Inspired entrepreneurs work in inspired, smart and strategic ways

Inspired entrepreneurs know that hard work alone is no guarantee of success. They don't confuse being busy with being strategic. They have shed the prevailing belief of the protestant work ethic and know that success doesn't come from pain, struggle and sacrifice, but instead know it comes from brilliant ideas, well implemented. They know that "time out" to generate new ideas and think strategically is often more valuable than another hour at their desk.

Difference nine - Inspired entrepreneurs navigate their life by using joy as their compass

Small businesses tend to be more mechanical and repetitive, whilst inspired entrepreneurs navigate their business and life through a sense of joy, inspiration and aliveness. They also have a sense of destiny and rightness about what they do, knowing that their particular talents are being used to the maximum and that they and their business evolve through a sense of ongoing revelation about their next steps. They hate being bored and are always asking, "How can I inspire myself next?"

Difference ten - Inspired entrepreneurs value their heart and their thinking

Inspired entrepreneurs know that they bring the love and the money together by marrying their inspired heart together with their brilliant entrepreneurial thinking. They become potent by using one to support the other and not have them be enemies. They use great business strategies to support their inspired ideas.

So start inspiring yourself and setting your sights higher by become an inspired entrepreneur rather than a small business owner. It is one of the best ways on the planet of being happy, inspired and fulfilled, and making the contribution you were born to make.

Nick has created a free 8 part transformational e-course "Secrets of an Inspired Entrepreneur" (value £79.99) You can sign up now by going to http://www.inspired-entrepreneur.com right now. Nick Williams is one of the world’s experts on inspiration at work and is passionate about helping create a new kind of entrepreneur. He is the best selling author of five books including The Work We Were Born To Do.

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