Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?
This is a decision that must be made early on in your career. The longer you spend in a state of limbo between the two, the longer you’ll take to being on the path you’re really looking for.
So what is the distinction between them? Too many people simply see a person who works, gets paid and assume that the only distinction between an entrepreneur and a freelancer is the title itself. While on the surface they may sound similar, the difference is what they aspire to create.
While a freelance simply does work for money, an entrepreneur builds a company that is bigger than him or herself. When the freelancer takes a break from working, the pay stops as well. When a freelancer creates or consults they are limited by the constraints of their own abilities. An entrepreneur however, can create a business that is capable of can continuing without them and can achieve results beyond their individual abilities.
One important distinction is to understand your role within the company. Many freelancers attempt to build businesses but are so concerned with doing the work themselves that they don’t leave enough time to stand back and look at the bigger picture. Entrepreneurs need to be able to delegate, expand, correct and manage from a distance in a way that freelancers cannot.
By thinking of yourself as a freelancer, you’re not only holding yourself back from becoming a true entrepreneur, you’re holding the company that you’re creating back from experiencing real leadership.
Seth Godin addresses this in his series, “Startup School,” with a great question. He says that entrepreneurs should be able to ask, “How can I make it so that every person that works for me is better at their job than I am?” For entrepreneurs, it’s not about doing a job and getting paid, it’s about creating something bigger than yourself and knowing how to adjust and manage that thing for the good of all involved.