Freelancer or entrepreneur? Making the mindset shift
Contributed by Julia L F Goldstein, the founder of JLFG Communications, which helps businesses share their world-changing ideas through clear and concise content. She is also the award-winning author of Material Value: More Sustainable, Less Wasteful Manufacturing of Everything from Cell Phones to Cleaning Products.
During an online business workshop in December 2020, the presenter asked me whether our venture was a hobby or a business. Here’s the difference: A hobby or side hustle involves a discretionary investment of time and money. With a business, the owner is all-in and committed to making it a success.
I felt dismayed at the idea that my company wasn’t a “real” business. But I could change my perspective and my goals. After 25 years of self-employment, I felt ready to make the shift from freelancer to entrepreneur.
What’s in a title?
Conference and webinar registration forms ask for name, email address, company and job title. The first two are easy. For self-employed professional service providers, the last two might make you question your role.
Maybe your business name is just your name and perhaps your credentials—Nancy Smith, CPA. Or perhaps you created a fictitious company name when you registered your business. If you didn’t, should you do so?
When I moved to Washington State in 2014, I initially registered my business as Julia L F Goldstein Communications. I recently shortened it to JLFG Communications. It sounds more professional and fits better on web pages, especially on mobile devices.
As for job title, that could be the services you offer—writer, accountant, graphic designer. That choice puts you squarely in the freelance category. I usually list my title as owner, which feels more entrepreneurial.