Entrepreneur. It’s a word you hear every day. What exactly does it mean? A simple answer is that an entrepreneur is a person who is his own boss—someone who runs his or her own business—and takes on a great risk to do so.

Before you become an entrepreneur, you have to find the right business that works for you. It must be something you are passionate about; a career you put all heart and soul into. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, it’s more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. In fact, it’s not something you would think twice about. You’ll be so enthusiastic about it you will make it happen.

Of course, you need a game plan. Perhaps you may need to further your education. You also need to figure out your target group or audience, and then sell your idea by networking and marketing.

Do you think you have an entrepreneurial spirit? If so, you might be interested in learning about the four distinct types of entrepreneurship:

1) Small Business
2) Scalable Startup
3) Large Company
4) Social

The following is a summary of the four major types of entrepreneurship.

Small Business Entrepreneurship

Fashion designer running small business entrepreneurship out of apartment
Fashion designer running small business entrepreneurship out of apartment

Someone who delves into small business entrepreneurship is someone who works for his or herself as a sole proprietor, or a small privately owned business—or partnership—with fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. Some examples of a small business entrepreneur include: a freelance developer, a graphic designer, a life coach, a freelance writer, a photographer, a consultant, a personal assistant, or an ecommerce store owner.

Some of the benefits of small business entrepreneurship include: being your own boss; lifestyle advantages such as being able to spend more time with your family; and financial rewards, as you benefit from your own hard work.

The downfalls include: no guaranteed income; the responsibility of overseeing everything that has to be done; and the amount of unpaid time you will put in.

Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship

Venture capitalist meeting with startup entrepreneurship type
Venture capitalist meeting with startup entrepreneurship type

A scalable startup entrepreneurship is a business model which began as a unique idea. Investments come from a venture capitalist who helps grow the business. What makes a company scalable is when the main brand continues to grow over time. Examples include: Amazon, Facebook, and McDonalds. Entrepreneurs who start such companies know from the get-go that their ideas can possibly change the world.

The greatest benefit of a scalable startup is that investors are often ready to put money into them. The downside is trying to convince investors to take the risk and that your concept is not just a pipe dream.

Large Company Entrepreneurship

Team of employees working together at large company entrepreneurship type
Team of employees working together at large company entrepreneurship type

A large company entrepreneurship is the creation of a brand-new business, within an already-established business. It shows growth and creativity within a company. Examples of a large company entrepreneurship include Google, Microsoft, and Samsung.

The advantages to large company entrepreneurship are plentiful—the solid availability of resources, a recognized brand, a strong team, and maximum productivity. Unfortunately, there’s always a job security risk if a new plan fails.

Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur speaking at charity event
Entrepreneur speaking at charity event

Social entrepreneurship can by identified by individuals, groups, or startups, and support solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. Examples of social entrepreneurship include educational programs or foundations to help animals or locals learn sustainable farming methods.

Creating jobs and income streams, as well as being your own boss are the top advantages to social entrepreneurship. But the true value is the positive impact you might have on society.

The downside is you are still facing the same challenges and risks that are universal to all businesses. Plus, with communities and consumers always changing, it’s pertinent that you keep an eye on your market in order not to fall behind.

Embarking on Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Once you’ve made your conscious decision to make it happen, there are countless ways to get started. Take your time and explore your options. Do some deep soul searching. What is it that makes me happy? What interests me? What do I love so much that I’d do it even if I wasn’t getting paid?

Talk to other entrepreneurs; follow their leads. Remember it’s not always an easy path, but without failure there would be no success.

What are your thoughts on the types of entrepreneurship? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.