Freelancers Are Entrepreneurs

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This week, I want to chat about entrepreneurship as it pertains to freelancing.

It Started with a Tweet

A single tweet… a lot of opinions.

I tweeted this week simply that “Freelancers are entrepreneurs”

I got a huge swath of responses

Here are just a few of the responses:

  • Yes! At the same time ready to face ups and downs.
  • Yes they are, I have just started freelancing and this couldn’t be more true
  • More like intrapreneurs since they aren’t risking their own cash.
  • Building a website for a customer (freelancer) vs building a startup to solve a tough problem (entrepreneur)…they seem to be in different leagues.
  • Seth Godin dosen’t think so

What’s In a Name

There was also some anger directed at me / the tweet – saying that freelancers are definitively NOT entrepreneurs.

It got me thinking: how do these people define entrepreneurship?

For me, it means someone who builds a system that delivers value to a customer (and charges for it). That’s really it. In the case of freelancing, an individual plays every part in the system that isn’t automated by technology. In a big tech co or enterprise, each role is played by a single employee. But otherwise, the scope of work is the same.

It’s funny that the same people who think freelancers aren’t entrepreneurs laud “tech inventors” as the “real” entrepreneurs… cause when you break it down into its parts, you have to build the same systems to deliver the same end result (a solution to your customers).

I also found it funny that some people took the comment as an affront – that if freelancers are entrepreneurs, it somehow bastardizes the concept.

I’ll be honest: I don’t get the anger. What do you think?

Thanks for Reading! 

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