Startup CEO or Entrepreneur?

This is something I’ve been grappling with for years… 

Am I a startup CEO or an entrepreneur?

In my head I’m an entrepreneur… but when staring at our monthly payroll and other commitments… I am definitely a CEO!

What’s the difference between an entrepreneur and a CEO?

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business by investing a lot of time and assuming the financial risk required to make a profit.  She or he has a vision and sees an opportunity in the marketplace.

A CEO takes responsibility for the success of the entire organization.  The CEO makes tough decisions based on the company’s needs, values, and goals… the buck stops there!

The big issue…

There are people who can be both CEO and an entrepreneur at the same time.  They’re typically people who’ve had lengthy corporate and business experience in the real world, prior to starting their online business.

The cold hard truth is that most entrepreneurs simply do not possess the necessary skills to be the CEO of their own startup.

Where is this going?

Two years into my first startup I had to fire someone.   It wasn’t easy… but it’s amazing how good you can get at firing people when the success of the entire company is at stake.

As the business grew I quickly got very good at making tough decisions.  I was able put my personal feelings aside in order to hire and fire according to the company’s needs.

Have you fired someone for the greater good of your business or startup? 

Share your story below.


  1. Ezra says

    I own a chain of restaurants and have to fire people all the time. I also go out of my way to publicly and financially reward employees that are doing a good job. The combination of the two is a large part of how I’ve grown to 6 locations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *