An Entrepreneur or A Freelancer? What is better to choose?
Creating your own business is an exciting opportunity. The hype is so real and we have felt it too, oh yes. If you are an entrepreneur or a freelancer, there is the excitement you get when you are in total control of your career achievements.
Every day we meet people who are choosing the entrepreneurial path, leaving their previously paid jobs and embarking on this new but unknown adventure. Yet, how can you know what kind of self-employment suits you best?
Were you born to be an entrepreneur, or is it freelancing that lies in your heart? Let’s figure that out.
But first, we must state that entrepreneurship and freelancing are two separate, yet not so different paths.
What does it mean to be a freelancer?
A freelancer is a self-employed professional offering some kind of services to individuals or companies. Usually, they get paid by the project or a retainer for a fixed period. Most freelancers work with multiple clients at the same time. But the freedom they experience is having the possibility to choose the project which they consider fits their abilities and skills while refusing the others.
Furthermore, almost all freelancers do not depend on their location to work. They can work from wherever they like, their home, their working space or even when travelling. You probably already know, but there are many examples of successful freelancing careers in the field of content writing, web design, photography, marketing, translation, coaching or assisting and much more.
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur represents a person that starts, develops, and manages a business. In short terms, entrepreneurship is the building of a new business, from scratch, starting small like a bakery or growing a business into a large corporation (eg “Dangote”). Each entrepreneurial mind is different in skillset, scope and size, and we are pretty sure that you can name at least five successful entrepreneurs you know by heart, no matter the industry they operate.
Entrepreneurship or Freelancing?
This is the big question. As we already mentioned, these two paths are not that different after all. They intersect in many ways starting from the point that they represent types of self-employment. You need courage and creativity for both. And if you prefer a comfortable paid job starting from 9 till 5, then both of these options are not for you.
However, although very similar at first sight, of course, there are some important differences, that will determine for sure the path you would like to take.
So, what kind of person are you? An entrepreneur or a freelancer?
It is important to ask yourself these questions first: Have you imagined your ideal working environment? How does it appear to you? Do you work happily on a laptop at any time from anywhere you like? Or maybe you see yourself leading a team of like-minded people and working on new and challenging projects, constantly scaling your business?
You can find out a lot from here. Usually, the freelancers are the ones that work alone and generate an income that is steady and gradually increased.
And on the opposite side of this, most of the time entrepreneurs work together with other people so that they can grow as much as possible. Here, the individual is not what matters, the business is bigger than that, and usually, the long-term goals are already set (although at some points they may lead to selling the company later).
Another point and different question. Ask yourself, what is your goal here, do you want to earn the same amount of money as your previous salary? How much do you want to earn, do you want to reach the six-figure income? Are you going even beyond to multi-millionaire (in dollars)?
If your answer here is to be a millionaire (in US dollars oh), then freelancing may not be the path for you. According to the statistic, 3.3 million freelancers are earning six-figure incomes. However, none of them is making a million per year.
If you think this is satisfying for you, then choose to freelance to lead a comfortable and lucrative lifestyle.
Then comes the multi-millionaire lifestyle. For this, you need to create a long-term profit machine that scales constantly. So if you are a dreamer, and your dreams are big, then go with entrepreneurship.
Some more questions ahead. What kind of personality are you, an introvert or an extrovert? Do you want to take risks or do you always take the safe and slow way? How much does it take for you to get bored or are you a person that likes to focus on one task for hours?
We can say that freelancing is usually a solitary calling most of the time, having little social interaction (it also depends on your industry. Never a dull moment for a makeup artist freelancer). Since you are the solo-performer, you are responsible for your marketing, sales, admin, invoicing, and more.
A successful freelancer will possess discipline, focus, motivation and the ability to work alone for long hours as main characteristics.
On the other hand, a person that is an entrepreneur needs to get out and constantly be in touch with other people to meet customers and partners, experts or regulators. Prepare for long talks on your phone, many meetings and also many places to visit. This pace is fast, unpredictable and varying all of the time.
Do you already know which path sounds more appealing to you? Let’s mention a few more points.
For some people, you can tell from a very early age whether they are natural leaders, inspiring and guiding other people to victory or they are quietly getting things done and walking their way ahead.
Here, the skills set is essential. Freelancing is a one-to-one job, you communicate and work directly with your client so the type of leadership required here is guiding the clients to the best solution they need.
When talking about entrepreneurship, on the other hand, leadership capability is crucial since you build the team and collaborate on different projects with different people. Someone needs to have a goal set and lead the way there!
Is it possible to be both, an entrepreneur and a freelancer?
Of course! However, it is preferable not to combine freelancing and entrepreneurship but to maintain them as separate businesses. In freelancing, you would invest in your own time and labor, while as an entrepreneur, you would like to put systems in place that allow you to work on other things. The solution? Have a side hustle. You can maintain your freelancing business while developing an enterprise at the same time.
Which is the better choice?
To sum up, both entrepreneurship and freelancing offer career fulfilment and great income for skilled and hard-working professionals. Meaning you can have a financially stable and comfortable life with both of them.
So how can you decide? Well, the right answer whether to be a freelancer or an entrepreneur lies in your personality. You need to think deeply about who you are and know what you desire in a career and life in general.
The right choice is up to you and what works best for you.
Trust me it is a tough decision and whichever choice you make, it will be a struggle at the beginning as well as throughout with good and bad days. The key thing is to keep celebrating your small wins and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
We are always open for conversation and continuously supporting entrepreneurs and freelancers with advice by sharing our experiences. If you feel you need advice for whatever business activity you plan to pursue or are working on, feel free to reach us, we would be happy to meet at any time!
Stay safe until next time!