What an Entrepreneur Isn't - The Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Working for Yourself

What an Entrepreneur Isn't - The Difference Between Entrepreneurship and Working for Yourself
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Working for Yourself

Working for yourself is also known as being self-employed. Someone who is self-employed could also be called a freelancer, an independent worker, an independent agent, or a free agent. These titles all include people who work for themselves. Working for yourself as a self-employed person means you are skilled in a specific trade where you offer your services or you provide a niche product and sell it on your own. For example, you could work for yourself by providing accounting services, web development, writing, medical billing, medical coding, transcription, or virtual assisting. Taxes are also different for self-employed persons. You could also provide gift baskets or other unique products that you make yourself.


Entrepreneurship is much different than working for yourself. As an entrepreneur you are a business owner, a franchise owner, or CEO of your own company. Entrpreneurship duties include managing employees, acquiring resources, seeking venture capitalism, handling finances, planning, time management, human resources, and more. Being an entrepreneur requires special skills and entrepreneurs often sell products rather than offering a service. Many times the products are made in other countries, bought for a wholesale price, and then shipped to the company or directly to the customer. The products could also be from a different company outside of the entrepreneur’s business. This is where the entrepreneur would strike a deal with the manufacturer to sell their products.

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Working for Yourself vs. Entrepreneurship

Working for yourself requires you to be hands on in the daily activities, especially if you are providing skilled services. Entrepreneurship offers many advantages, but it does not require that you are involved in the daily activities. As an entrepreneur you could be traveling to another country to help promote your business or sitting at your desk returning phone calls. The job duties of an entrepreneur vary and are on a larger scale than in working for yourself. When working for yourself you will be immersed in most of the activities that need to be done in order to keep the work coming and manage the work. This includes marketing, promotions, advertising, accounting, administration tasks, and completing the work. Self-employment costs little to nothing to start and that is a plus. However, in entrepreneurship venture funds (investments from other business people) are needed to start and maintain the company. Working for yourself involves less of a risk because you already have most of what you would need to start working: the skills, the knowledge, a computer, internet connection, and an office space. Entrepreneurship involves more of a risk because funds are needed to begin the business and there is usually a building, equipment, staff, and more to invest in. Should the business fail for an entrepreneur they would be out their entire investment. Should someone who works for themselves fail they will probably have to return to a day job.