VBO vs Entrepreneur
VBOs are radically different from entrepreneurs.
Deciding to strike it out on your own and start a business seems like a very entrepreneurial thing to do. In fact, once you start telling others about your plan, they’ll likely assume that you’re going to be an entrepreneur and some may begin filling your head with cautionary tales from their own failed ventures. Or, advice from their successes.
The truth is VBOs, or virtual business owners, are fundamentally different from entrepreneurs. Becoming a VBO definitely requires a sort of entrepreneurial mindset. That entrepreneurial spirit, that need to strike out on your own and make your own way unites the two, but they really are a different breed and both require a different approach. They’re both business owners and are responsible for their own way of creating revenue, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The VBO approach is entirely distinct; It comes down to our three core tenets as virtual business owners: VBOs have no employees, no office space and no outside investment - or shareholders to answer to. Let’s look at the key differences between entrepreneurs and VBOs more closely.
One important distinction between the two has to do with employees. A virtual business owner doesn’t have any employees. Virtual business owners may choose to contract with another VBO who can fill in skill gaps on larger projects. On the other hand, entrepreneurs usually hire employees to fill those gaps, meaning a big part of their earnings go to payroll, insurance, taxes, overhead, etc... Except in contract arrangements, VBOs generally don’t have to worry about paying anyone else. They also avoid all of the legal ramifications that come along with hiring employees.
2. Office Space
Because VBOs don’t have employees, they have no need for office space and other crippling financial overhead. They can work from home, on the road, and pretty much anywhere else they want to because they do their work remotely, or virtually (the ‘V’ in VBO is for ‘virtual’, after all). So you could think of a VBO as just a different type of entrepreneur, one that has a large financial reward possibility without the risk. However, entrepreneurs do have employees, prompting them to sign expensive long-term leases. Then there are the desks, computers, copiers, permits, taxes, not to mention the utilities and insurance. VBOs don’t have to spend on any of that.
As you just read, being an entrepreneur can get very expensive very quickly. They usually have to turn to investors to get their business off the ground, and even then most businesses will operate without turning a profit for months or years. While having an investor may help an entrepreneur achieve success, it comes at the cost of freedom. Investors have a significant financial stake in your business, and for them, it all comes down to the bottom dollar. As an entrepreneur, you trade a boss for an investor. As a VBO, you’re in complete control of your business. Becoming an entrepreneur seems to have been an idea born out of the need to have complete freedom, but that dream has been slowly suffocated by increasingly demanding regulations and (sometimes) useless government bureaucracy.
A virtual business owner tests their business alongside their job for months before they become a VBO Pro, only then do they begin dedicating their full attention to their online business. A VBO only leaves their job once their online business outperforms it, or the opportunity cost becomes too great. This practice virtually eliminates all risk for the VBO. To the contrary, entrepreneurs face high risk from day one. More than 90% of startups fail, and most young entrepreneurs will start (and fail at) eight or nine businesses before finding one that succeeds. VBOs have a success rate of 90% after they make the transition from job to business owner. Again, this isn't to say that virtual business owners aren't entrepreneurs in their own right, it's just a different kind of entrepreneurialism.
5. Quality of Life
The VBO lifestyle is about more than just business success. It’s about achieving a life with freedom and flexibility that allows you time for family, friends and the things that you love. The work-life balance is central to being a VBO. Entrepreneurs work under a lot of stress and put in 70-80 hours weekly with the hopes that their efforts pay off. VBOs don’t have as much on their plate, so they can focus their energy on landing clients and getting paid. Being a VBO is a lot more efficient than being an entrepreneur. You’ll still have to put in the work, but as long as you work smart, you’ll be able to enjoy a prosperous, passion-filled, well-balanced life as a VBO.