Is the fifth employee of a startup an entrepreneur?

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Image by hy.leung via Flickr

Recently I met a gentleman that said he was an entrepreneur. After talking for a bit he said he joined a startup as the fifth employee and hadn’t started a company. Does that make him an entrepreneur or an entrepreneurially-minded employee?

Here are some ways I think of the difference between an entrepreneur and entrepreneurially-minded team member:

  • Low or no salary vs a salary slightly below market rate
  • Personal guarantees on the business loan and office space vs no personal guarantees
  • Sweated a payroll period vs not having the stress
  • Co-founder of the business vs an early employee

Of course, entrepreneurs can be early employees in a startup they didn’t co-found. Differentiating between the two doesn’t matter nearly as much as being a valuable team member and helping make the startup a success.

What else? Is the fifth employee of a startup an entrepreneur?

2 thoughts on “Is the fifth employee of a startup an entrepreneur?

  1. Entrepreneur through acquisition. We have acquired 8 employees taking them away from their own startups to focus on a bigger outcome and allowing them to be entrepreneurs without the startup hassles.

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