Recent research suggests that effectuation principles such as flexibility, precommitments, and affordable loss may differ substantially from one another. Responding to the call to clarify the effectuation concept, our study introduces the distinction between promotion‐ and prevention‐focused effectuation principles. It argues that promotion‐focused (prevention‐focused) principles are positively (negatively) associated with a firm's entrepreneurial orientation (EO). It further argues that causation is also promotion‐focused and positively associated with EO. An analysis of 151 Swiss energy small and medium‐sized enterprises supports this account. Thus, our study suggests that some effectuation principles are more similar to causation in their underlying regulatory focus and their relationship with EO than they are to other effectuation principles. We offer several paths for future research on effectuation, causation, and EO that emerge from these findings.