Entrepreneur Vs. Freelancer: What’s the Difference?

25 million Americans are entrepreneurs; another 57 million are freelancers. Technology makes self employment easier than ever.

A search can give you access to resources such as templates, market research, and access to funding your business. Social media provides valuable networking opportunities as do apps such as Meetup.

You can set up your own business as an entrepreneur or a freelancer, depending on what you want out of your business. There are many similarities between the two options.

  • You create your own brand
  • Finding funding for your business
  • Research and development of products or services

But, what’s different between an entrepreneur and a freelancer? It comes down to how you run your business.

Difference Between Entrepreneur & Freelancer

Entrepreneurs and freelancers both come under the heading of self-employed. They both require your time, money, creativity, and effort. These two groups differ in how they run their business though.

Entrepreneurs act as employers. They create a business that can live on when they’re ready to move on. An entrepreneur builds a business they can sell.

Freelancers on the other hand provide services to multiple companies rather than working for one employee. They get paid for the work they provide. If a freelancer quits doing the work involved, the business dies.

To look at this simply, think of the branding of an entrepreneur and a freelancer. An entrepreneur creates a business brand, a freelancer creates a personal brand.

Skills vs. Ideas

Another important distinction between entrepreneurs and freelancers involves the underlying concepts you sell.

An entrepreneur works with ideas. They have a vision for providing products and build a business by finding skilled people to work with them. An entrepreneur is selling that vision to potential customers and employees.

A freelancer sells their skills. They use knowledge to provide specialized services including

  • Photography
  • Writing
  • Bookkeeping

Freelancers are personally involved in providing the content or services offered.

What is Your Job?

The work you do in your business determines whether you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer.

An entrepreneur acts as a manager. They hire employees to do the work and focus on building their business. An entrepreneur only gets paid if they build the business effectively.

A freelancers is hands-on with the projects involved in the business. If the work gets done, it’s done by the freelancer. Your paid by another business for the work done by your own hands.

What Do You Expect From the Business?

The ultimate goal of an entrepreneur is to create a business they can sell one day. An entrepreneur builds a business that provides a profit without the need to stay involved in every aspect. They create a business that can run without them then and in the future.

The freelancer is looking for jobs that provide a steady income. They have no desire to work outside their skill set. The freelancer seeks clients that want their services and allow them to work for themselves. In the end, the business lasts as long as they want.

Entrepreneur or Freelancer?

There are pros and cons involved with all self-employment options. What you choose to do depends on what you want out of the business and what type of control you want.

Are you curious about your self employment options? Check out the top freelance and entrepreneur options.


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