You may not know this, but there’s a huge difference between a freelancer and a business owner. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other (it depends on what you want), I personally traded in my freelancer hat for that of a business owner.
This came after years of dealing with the feast or famine cycle, having less than desirable clients and not knowing how to plan my finances. The worst part is I see many freelancers who need to start thinking like business owners so they can earn more money and have more peace of mind.
5 Ways Freelancers Can Start Thinking Like Business Owners
Advantages of Thinking Like a Business Owner
There are several advantages to thinking like a business owner. In my experience, freelancers get stuck in a hamster wheel where they are still kind of treated like an employee. Additionally, there are far more financial headaches involved in freelancing because the model itself doesn’t allow for scalability.
When you start thinking like a business owner, you start designing your business in a different way. One that focuses on profits, not just whether or not you can land the next gig.
Now, this isn’t to say that freelancing is terrible. I started my career as a freelancer and still do it (it’s like getting paid to promote myself), but I do feel like the model is flawed. This is especially true if you want to build more freedom and scalability into your life.
How Freelancers Can Start Thinking Like Business Owners
Business owners value two things: there time and their money. From my experience, this is what seems to separate them from freelancers the most. Freelancers are still operating as if they are getting hired for a skill whereas business owners operate from a place of fair exchange of value.
Here are some of the ways freelancers can start thinking this way.
Know how you want to spend your time.
By knowing how you want to spend your time, you’ll know how to earn money. For example, I’m putting a high value on my personal life right now. This means I’ve become ruthless with my boundaries (both time boundaries and monetary ones). It also means I’ve spent the last year creating more scalability in my business.
Realize YOU are the business owner, not your client.
I recently coached a client through something interesting. She kept entering sales calls as if she was being interviewed for a job. This, naturally, wasn’t really working out for her in her business. She had low sales and lots of headaches. Prospects could also sense the desperation.
I taught her that she’s not the one being interviewed. In fact, as a business owner, she is the one doing the interviewing to see if she will even let this prospect into her business. From that point forward, she entered sales conversations with far more confidence.
Have a vision.
Another way in which freelancers can start thinking like business owners is to have a vision. Business owners are usually working toward something bigger – like reaching more people or changing lives. They have a vision for themselves and their businesses which is why they invest in themselves and their businesses.
Depending on what you want out of your life, you may want to consider transitioning from freelancer to business owner. The good news is this all starts in the mind first. From there, you can make the necessary changes in your business.