Freelancer or Entrepreneur?
How do you know if and when you're ready to make the leap?
Freelancer or Entrepreneur
First of all, let’s define the two. A freelancer (or independent contractor) is someone who likes to provide a service for which s/he gets paid. An entrepreneur is someone who likes to build a business model around that which will earn a profit.
This is a very important distinction to make. There are some of you who would like to branch out into the world of entrepreneurs, or feel like you have to in order to make ends meet (or keep up with demand). Others call themselves entrepreneurs but are still really only selling one thing: a service for which they are going to personally do and get paid for doing so.
If you’re on the fence about whether to branch out into a full-fledged business model or not, here are some questions you can ask yourself to help guide your decision-making.
Are you prepared to spend as much time on business-related tasks as you do on your actual work?
If not, are you prepared to hire someone else to do those tasks for you?
Are you willing to learn new skills and branch out in ways you have yet to fathom?
Are you comfortable having employees who do the work in a different way than you might do it?
Are you comfortable having employees who are smarter than you?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above, you’re not ready to branch out.
But what if I have more work than I can handle?
If you have more work than you can handle, but you’ve said no to any of the above questions, you don’t need to worry! You need to network. Either share the wealth with other fellow freelancers, or hire a management company to help keep you on track. You’re still ultimately working for yourself, you’re just working smarter, not harder.
What if I’ve started down the entrepreneur route already and have decided it’s not for me?
Good for you for trying something new! We don’t know what we don’t like/want until we’ve tried it, right? Find someone else who might want it more than you do and pass it on. Or slowly reduce your clientele until you can handle whatever is left, all by yourself.
There is no right or wrong course for you, and only you know which will serve your needs and interests best.