Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Business Owners

From Seth Godin’s blog a few months ago, a thought-provoking post about three types of people: freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

“The goal of a freelancer is to have a steady job with no boss, to do great work, to gradually increase demand so that the hourly wage goes up and the quality of gigs goes up too,” he explains.

“The goal of the entrepreneur is to sell out for a lot of money, or to build a long-term profit machine that is steady, stable and not particularly risky to run.” Entrepreneurs want to make money in their sleep. They think in terms of monetization and scalability.

The business owner, on the other hand, “is the boss, but it’s a job, a place that is stable and profitable.” (Godin has clearly  never worked in a local church.) The boss doesn’t mind responsibility for other employees or organizational operations.

I think I might add a fourth category: employee. The goal of an employee is to find a relatively stable place within an existing system. This person is happy to be part of an existing structure, without the responsibility for the entire organization.

I wonder whether each of us has a predisposition to one of these types, which then affects how (or if) we lead.

Which one do you most identify with?

(FWIW, I think I am a freelancer.)


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