Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?
There was a time when I called myself a “freelance graphic designer” and had that as the title of this site. I wrote plenty of articles about how to get freelance design work, etc. While this certainly provided me with lots of business from Google (some good; some bad), I changed so that this site could be an authority on design and marketing and I began thinking of myself as a business owner, first and foremost.
What’s the difference?
For me, these are the fundamental differences between a freelancer and a business owner:
- Freelancers hire themselves out to perform certain tasks; business owners are building something bigger than that – bigger than themselves.
- Freelancers say “I do this” and “I do that”; business owners say “we do this” and “we do that”.
- Freelancers get paid per hour for the work that they do; business owners can get paid in their sleep.
What I think
I didn’t want people arriving on this site thinking, “this guy’s just a freelance graphic designer, that’s what he wants to be, I’ll only learn about what he does and nothing else”. I didn’t want to be limited in this way.
To me, the “freelancer” is still a sort of employee – still marching to the rhythm of the client’s beat!
Does it matter?
At the time, when I changed the title of this website from “Freelance Graphic Designer London” to “Rob Cubbon | Design and Marketing”, of course nothing changed. It made no difference.
I was still creating websites for clients, doing ad hoc design work for clients and advising clients on how they should market and promote their products and services. I was also still creating and selling my own products passively, outsourcing and building something that will be, I hope, bigger than me.
So, initially, there’s nothing in a name change. It’s just a label.
However, over time, I hope it will make a big difference to my brand. And I think it has already made a difference to the type of client that contacts me.
What do you think?
Do you label yourself? Do you think of yourself as a business, an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a designer? If you had to put a label on yourself, what would it be?
Now I’ve got that Jay-Z line in my head:
I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!