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As has always been the case in business, things evolve and change fast, never more so than in today’s world.  Standard business practices across many industries have always followed a fairly similar model, but rapid advances in technology change not only the way we communicate and share information, but also the way we work.  Never are these differences more visible when we compare employees to entrepreneurs. Here we look at 5 examples.

Working Anywhere, Anytime

Standard working practice for employees still usually involves sitting at a desk, commuting an hour each way and living the daily 9-5.  Entrepreneurs meanwhile work flexible hours, whether that’s to fit in with family life or other work commitments and hobbies, and with flexible hours means flexible work location too.  Modern advances in communication and technology allows entrepreneurs to work while on the move, becoming increasingly location independent, providing they have access to reliable WIFI.  We see a prime example of this with today’s ‘digital nomads’ who get to combine what some would say is the best of both worlds – entrepreneurship and travel.

Output Over Process

Employees are often expected to produce work while following company practices and protocol.  The entrepreneur has the freedom to use processes and work methods that work for them as an individual, aiding creativity and helping drive their business into the future.  Instead of the focus being on how a work task is completed the entrepreneur can work when inspired using apps such Evernote and the open source alternative Laverna to help take notes and store ideas, maintaining a high output with efficient use of time.

Using Any Device

Employees are often still at the mercy of company sanctioned phones and laptops.  The entrepreneur has the freedom and ability to use any device and change and tailor it so that it is best suited to the needs of the project in hand.  This flexibility is aided by secure, cloud-based sharing and file storage solutions such as Dropbox. The entrepreneur is able to use any device to share information and ideas, Email is no longer the only effective or efficient way to communicate or collaborate. Emergent technologies and internal collaboration platforms such as Slack replace email in many situations helping entrepreneurs connect and collaborate with those around them.

Instant Learning

Within a business organization, employees have to sign up for training in a specific topic to advance and learn new skills or they need to rely on corporate training programs and manuals. The entrepreneur meanwhile is able to learn from mobile devices and can easily connect with relevant people who share their knowledge remotely.  With the arrival of online learning and teaching marketplaces such as Udemy and Coursera, entrepreneurs are also able to tap into the collective intelligence of the online community, sharing their own skills and learning quickly and effectively from others.

The Death Of The Corporate Ladder

The traditional employee works from the bottom up. Meanwhile entrepreneurs have the ability to build themselves a position within the industry they choose.  Sharing their knowledge and ideas in a more public way, means they are more likely to get recognised for their contributions while building networks around them, which in turn lead to new opportunities. Entrepreneurs are their own boss, and rarely need a typical job description, instead they tend to wear many hats, and can choose projects and people they would like to work with. Platforms such as Asana are playing a big role in allowing entrepreneurs to collaborate or outsource tasks, should their business experience growth.

In summary the mindset and ability to be flexible really sets the entrepreneur apart from the employee.  They are able to push boundaries, reshape patterns and create a business in which they excel, while feeling satisfied, inspired and empowered.