People start their own business for a variety of reasons – to develop their ideas, spread their creative wings, get more personal satisfaction, earn more money, have more freedom and spend more time with families. Whatever your reason for deciding to be a business owner, you can choose to be a freelancer (which is what most small business people are) or you can be an entrepreneur.
What’s the difference between the two?
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur works to build a business bigger than him, attract venture capitalists, and maybe even launch an IPO. Basically, the entrepreneur dreams of transforming his small business into a conglomerate, one that will eventually become a powerhouse in his industry. Entrepreneurs pursue lives of extremity — extreme ideas and expectations, extreme workloads — impelled by their dreams and passions. His or her dream is to make it big – really big! And for this dream, the entrepreneur is willing to accept significant financial risks and challenges.
You are on track to be an entrepreneur if you’re on a mission and if you are looking to build an organization. They want to be big and grow quickly. A key characteristic of entrepreneurs is their dream of becoming wealthy. They don’t mind owning a smaller chunk of business that he or she built, even compromising some form of control, or whatever it takes to make the business grow really big. Entrepreneurs are willing to make decisions that will threaten their wealth and their reputations. They understand that entrepreneurship is about risk.
What is a Freelancer?
A freelancer, on the other hand, is looking for the freedom and profit that come from being on your own. However, they do not want to operate a large organization. Instead, they build smaller-size businesses in which they are more comfortable. The freelancer values the independence in running the business. The idea of being his or her own boss is more important: this type of a business owner would rather own a big part of a small company than a small piece in a big company. Seeking investors is not a priority of the freelancer as he or she is unwilling to relinquish control of his company. The freelancer would rather grow the business slowly, without the headaches that come from building a significant venture.
You are a freelancer if you are interested in a better lifestyle, control over your time, and not too much risk. You call the shots and you have the power, not some investors who may be interested only in the returns of their money and not the welfare of your business. You work for people who need you, and you’ll view your business as a series of engagements with clients. That doesn’t mean you have to work out of an attic or your garage. You can have your own office, and employ two or five employees. If you run a small manufacturing outfit creating hand-made pillows and bed sheets but have no dreams of beating Martha Stewart, then you’re a freelancer. If you want to have a small public relations agency with a few clients and some great publicity campaigns, you’re also a freelancer. Why? Because your product is you. You’ve found yourself a great job, with more control than most employees and a lot more hassles!
So which one are you: an entrepreneur or a freelancer? Knowing which of these two you want to be will make your choices a whole lot easier!
Recommended Books for an Entrepreneur or Freelancer:
- The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle
- The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs
- The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams – On Your Terms
- The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll.
- Entrepreneur’s Toolkit: Tools and Techniques to Launch and Grow Your New Business (Harvard Business Essentials)
- The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship