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The Kamila Gornia Show: Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Leadership with Heart Behind Hustle

Jul 31, 2017

This conversation is about the difference between calling what you do a business versus calling it a company. And this is more important to you think.

I don't think I ever hear anybody talk about this, and it has been on my mind for a little while. I talk about my business as a business, but I also talk about it as a company. I use both of these terms interchangeably very often.

Most of the time we use the word business, especially based on what I see on Facebook. But, I have been using the term company very frequently as well, and I do consider my business to be a company.

I wanted to bring this to your attention beyond the legal aspect since there’s a legal way to look at what a business or a company is. I want to look at it in terms of the distinction of perspective and intent of what each word means.

The definition of business is a person's regular occupation, profession, or trade. The synonyms for business are work, occupation, profession, career, employment, job, and position. It's interesting because we very often use the word business when it comes to our LLC or S Corp. On the flip side, the definition for company is a commercial business. The synonyms for company are firm, business, corporation, establishment, agency, institution, organization, and enterprise.

The word business shows up in the definition of company as well, so it makes sense that people use them interchangeably.

I noticed that very rarely do coaches, consultants, course creators and other thought leaders use the word company. It seems to me that maybe there is something in terms of company versus business that describes how serious you are about your growth and worth.

I have been thinking about this ever since I saw a live stream about two years ago. It was a Periscope of Amber Aziza who owns ASquared Coach. She frequently refers to her business as a company, and I found that to be fascinating. It was the first time that I saw a coach - specifically a female coach - talk about what she does as having a company.

From my understanding, she has a 7-figure business. It got me asking, do you start calling your business a company when it hits 7-figures, or is it 6-figures? Or, do you start talking about your business as a company whenever you want?

Based on what I've seen, a business can be pretty much anything. Even from the definition I shared, a business is a person's regular occupation. It can be you doing design as a freelancer, or an MLM like selling wraps, creams, or essential oils, or it could be a blog. It’s anything that could be a profession, even a side hustle.

Something that’s going to add to the confusion is that I was talking to one of my clients recently and she works with career women. These are women that are working in high-level corporations as executives and things like that. A lot of these women resonate with the word or the phrase “women in business.” That was very surprising to me because as an entrepreneur I thought “women in business” means entrepreneur women.

There was a whole lot of confusion that was floating around my mind about this topic. I thought, “Okay, well hold on a second, because I belong to some of these women in business groups. How many of these are actually entrepreneurs? How many of them have their own businesses?”

It’s very common that I have someone email me about their MLM and those are not my ideal clients necessarily. All the power to you, but that’s not who I generally work with. So I have thought, how can I actually talk to the right people and why is it so difficult to actually target them?

Apparently business can mean so many different things, and that’s when I started to look at it in this way.

The word company, on the other hand, is something that I have been describing my business as more and more over the past year. It took me a lot in terms of mindset to be able to claim my self-worth.

I see a company as being more official, and in terms of intent, it shows that you have created something that is your own and is on the path to becoming a legacy. A company is yours, yet it’s bigger than you.

You might have a team, and it could be employees, or it could be contractors, it doesn't matter. You have a bigger vision for how you’re growing this big entity. You're executing on this big vision and doing the work to fulfill this business plan. You see your company as a support, not just for you, but for others around you as well. The people that you hire or the people that you plan on hiring, and the people that you work with.

There’s another big differentiating aspect that I see in terms of business versus company. A business requires YOU in order to run, and a company doesn't necessarily require the same demands.

A company is something that can run on its own, though it doesn't necessarily mean that your company can run on its own right now. It’s important to have that intention and do the work to set a foundation. After that, your business can become a company that can support not just you and your lifestyle, but also the people that you hire.

I want to have people that work for me full-time, and I know that even though my company is branded under my name, it’s still bigger than just me.

I have a larger vision for how I see my business growing. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to do this, and it’s completely ok if you're not quite ready to claim your business as a company. Maybe you don't care either way. I just want to open up the conversation to hear what your thoughts are.

As a leader, we want to make sure that we are being intentional about what we’re creating.

If the vision you have for your life and your business is that you are a CEO and have this legacy, then maybe start to claim that. It could be a little tweak where you call your business a company once in a while. I think this is particularly the case when you go to networking events where you don't necessarily have online entrepreneurs in the crowd. You know that if you say “Oh, I'm a Coach,” or “I’m a Marketing Strategist,” they're like “What?”

They don't understand what that means a lot of times. I very often say “I have a marketing education company,” or a “marketing coaching company,” whenever I meet someone that isn't from the online entrepreneur world.

I wanted to discuss this topic because I think this is something that might make you think differently. I’m curious to hear what you think! Send me a message and let me know what your thoughts are on this and if you agree.

What is it that you want to create with your business and what kind of life do you want to have? Being clear on this is going to support you in the future. That’s something to keep in mind and think about for this Hustle Monday. I hope that this is helpful for you in some way, shape, or form. I’ll talk to you soon in another episode!