Freelancer or Entrepreneur. Which one to choose?

A freelancer is someone who earns money by working on specific projects for different clients while an entrepreneur is someone who earns money by starting a business.

As Seth Godin describes it “a freelancer is someone who gets paid for her work. She charges by the hour or perhaps by the project…. Freelancing is the single easiest way to start a new business.

“Entrepreneurs use money to build a business bigger than themselves. Entrepreneurs focus on growth and on scaling the systems that they build.

The goal of a freelancer is to have a steady job with no boss, to gradually increase demand so that the hourly wage goes up and so does the quality of work.

The goal of the entrepreneur is to sell out for a lot of money or to build a long-term profit machine that is steady, stable, and not particularly risky to run. The entrepreneur builds an organization that creates change.”

As a freelancer, there is a limit to how much you can grow your client base, the rate you charge, and the number of hours a day that you work. It isn’t scalable. As a freelancer, you are limited because you are essentially exchanging time for money.

Whether you are a freelancer, or an entrepreneur isn’t the issue as you can be either. The question then becomes, which one do you want to be?

If you’re happy being a freelancer, then stay there. You will be able to concentrate on doing the work you love to do and increase your charge-out rate over time. If you’re an entrepreneur then develop the systems for your business so that it operates effectively with or without you.

While they both have similarities you cannot freelance your way to entrepreneurship without some changes.

  • Income Goals

How much do you want to earn? If you want a seven-figure income, then freelancing won’t get you there because your work hours are limited. But if a low six-figure income is what you’re looking for, then freelancing is the way to go.

  • It Takes Time

As a freelancer, you start to earn money immediately. With entrepreneurship, you’re in for the long haul. It takes time to get a business up and running earning great profits with positive cashflows.

  • Build a Team

An entrepreneur will often start their business as a juggler, doing everything from marketing to human resources to accounting. However, this can only be sustained for so long and a team will need to be built to continue the growth of the business.

Whether you choose to be a freelancer or entrepreneur will depend on your circumstances and level of commitment to the process. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint race, requiring a lot of energy and resilience. It takes courage and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. However, what you learn about business and yourself by going through the process is well worth the effort.

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