Are you a freelancer or an entrepreneur?
It’s not simply semantics, your answer changes everything.
Freelancers get paid when they work. We’re not focused on scale… and we’re not tiny versions of real entrepreneurs. Freelancers do the work for clients who need them.
Hiring employees to scale when you’re a freelancer can be a bit of a trap, because you are likely to give up the very thing you set out to do in the first place.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are organized for growth. The job of the entrepreneur isn’t to do the work, it’s to build a company that does the work. Mary Barra doesn’t make cars at GM. She organizes so that GM makes cars.
And, it turns out that there are two kinds of entrepreneurs: Funded and Bootstrappers.
Funded entrepreneurs are the ones you hear about all the time. They use other people’s money to fuel their growth, and one day, they have to pay that money back, either by going public, selling, or distributing the profits.
And Bootstrappers? Bootstrappers build a business using their customers’ money. Bootstrapping is a special case, an intentional choice, the chance to serve your customers so well that they eagerly fund your growth.
I’ve been a funded entrepreneur, and I’m fortunate it worked out well.
And I’ve also been a bootstrapper, more often than not, and sometimes that’s worked as well.
Today, I’m often doing the work of a freelancer (no one writes these posts and those books but me).
Which means, if you work on your own, you’ve got three choices, and we’ve built two Akimbo workshops that might help.
Today, we’re launching the first session of the Freelancers Workshop. It’s an intensive interactive workshop with about ten lessons… you can finish it in just a few weeks if you want to, but you don’t need to worry about falling behind. Mostly, you will meet and engage with freelancers from around the world who will help you accomplish your goals (and vice versa).
The Freelancers Workshop is focused on just one thing: Helping you get better clients. Because better clients are the only way for a freelancer to find the support and respect and income you seek.
And, also today (because I want you to make the choice!) we’re relaunching the famed Bootstrapper’s Workshop. To date, thousands of people have experienced this deep dive into making deliberate choices about how to be an entrepreneur without scraping together money from investors and banks.
I’ve been talking about the freelancer/bootstrap/entrepreneur trichotomy for years. Here’s what I hear most often:
“Thank you for giving me permission to be a freelancer. It’s as though a weight was lifted, and I’m doing the best work of my career.”
“I’m so glad that I don’t have to obsess about valuations, bro fundraising culture and the rest of it. Our business continues to thrive, because we’re proud to be bootstrappers.”
Resources: More than 23,000 people have taken my Freelance course on Udemy. You can get it here for 10% off.
And nearly a million people have read the Bootstrapper’s Bible. Here’s a free copy.
The new workshops take these ideas and run with them. They connect you to others on the same path, using the proven Akimbo methods to help you go way beyond text or video and dive deep into how it works and why.