Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?

If you are one or the other – then you need to know the difference, because the people who will read your CV certainly do.

The easiest way to distinguish the two is probably to think long term. A freelancer is someone who always intends to work alone, part of the gig-economy, self-employed, who will get involved in projects with a deadline. When one is hiring a freelancer, they expect them to have a limited set of skills that are focused to solving a certain issue. For example, you might want to hire a freelancer to design your logo, or develop your YouTube channel. Companies often hire IT related freelancers, especially if they know a programming language that their in-house staff don’t.

The great benefit of hiring a freelancer is that as an individual/company you have no commitment to them and you can finish their contract at your discretion. Freelancers are often cheaper than hiring someone full time, there are no taxes to pay and you are getting exactly the skills that you want. However, the big negative is that there are no guarantees that the freelancer will be good until you try them and there is no one you can complain to if they are not delivering what the business requested.

An entrepreneur is someone who is planning to or has a business. They can also be self-employed, but their company is likely to be limited and registered. Their aim is to grow the number of people and the scope of the services that the company provides.

The benefit of dealing with a company is that it’s reputation and accountability is likely to be greater than that of a freelancer. Furthermore, there might be some tax advantages (e.g. VAT) and access to a greater pool of skills.

So, when you are at an interview – be very careful which one you say you are. If you are freelancer, you are likely to be asked very technical questions. If you are an entrepreneur – you are likely to be asked about the challenges you’ve faced building your business and about your visions.

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