Freelancer or Entrepreneur: Which are You?

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Are you an entrepreneur? A freelancer? Maybe both?!

When you search up the word “entrepreneur,” what definition comes up? For me, an entrepreneur is ” a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so.”

A freelancer, on the other hand, is simply defined as a self-employed person who sells services to multiple employers, as opposed to working regularly for a single company.

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The reason I bring this up is because we at OdeCloud — a company partly built on the premise of providing a network of freelance NetSuite experts — recently conducted a survey with our community, revealing that 3 out of 4 people we previously considered “freelancers” actually prefer to be known as entrepreneurs.

This personally intrigued me because the definitions of both words may sound incredibly different, but considering there’s enough similarity between the two, I firmly believe neither should be thought to be mutually exclusive.

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OdeCloud community member Ryan Longenecker is one individual who consistently obscures the lines between being an entrepreneur and a freelancer.

As the owner of Collective Mind Technologies, Ryan utilizes his expertise in Apple products, NetSuite administration, and audio and video production to complete various freelance gigs. He is also the owner of Home Sleeves, a company that produces custom sleeves that are made to fit over an Apple HomePod.

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Serving the Greater Denver area in Colorado, Ryan and his wife Lindsay are privy to entrepreneurial events such as Denver Startup Week, during which they very much market themselves as entrepreneurs.

But when I asked Ryan about whether he considers himself more of an entrepreneur or a freelancer, he explained that depending on the context, the fact is he’s a bit of both, and he doesn’t really see a need to specifically identify himself as either one.

“I’d say it’s a blurry line. I run a small business — so it’s me and my wife — and we definitely do a lot of freelancing,” Ryan said. “So I would definitely consider myself a freelancer in a sense, but it is all under the business; and as far as starting our own business, we both consider ourselves entrepreneurs, as well.

“I think we’re a little bit of both. I don’t have anything against either of the terms. I think it just depends on what context and where we’re talking about our business, and kind of what we’re doing.”

Ryan runs a small business that works much like a freelance agency. Much of his work is freelance, but he does so through a company he owns.

For me, I may not run an LLC, but I put a great deal of effort into marketing my own brand as a business. Personally, I think that while we may not yet explicitly consider a personal “brand” as a concrete “enterprise,” there’s no doubt the two go hand in hand, and I can sort of see why some full-time freelancers would prefer to be considered as full-time entrepreneurs.

But what about YOU?

Do you consider yourself more of an entrepreneur, or do you relate your work to more of that of a freelancer? Message us directly or leave a comment below to tell us what you think!

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