I’m Not Really Much of an Entrepreneur, Am I?

About two years ago, Ryan Paugh approached me about becoming one of the founding members of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

At the time, I had just left behind a permalance gig to focus on building my career coaching practice. Still, I was also juggling a number of writing and copyediting assignments, and singing at funerals for money. I considered myself more of a freelancer than an entrepreneur.

Despite this, I joined the YEC and tried not to compare myself to the other, more awesome members, such as the CEO of DISQUS, the founder and CEO of Klout, the CEO of Hootsuite, the co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo, and the founder of Threadless. I slowly grew into my entrepreneur identity. I created a more cohesive online platform, and brainstormed ways in which I could build out the Word Nerd brand.

Another year passed and I was interviewed by a reporter for the Atlantic, who was doing up an article on solopreneurship.

“Do you consider yourself a solopreneur?” he asked me.

“Absolutely,” I said.

Still, not a month had ever gone by in which I hadn’t experienced Impostor Syndrome.

This year has been one of introspection for me. One of confusion. One of frustration. Just three months ago,  I wrote about how my depression was affecting my work, and then about how I wanted to change course… but was worried it would be seen as a sign of failure.

I’m still flailing, and feel as if I’m moving ever-farther-away from that entrepreneur/solopreneur marker.

But it no longer bothers me as it did before. It no longer feels as if I’m trying to wriggle into a pair of skinny jeans that’s half a size too small (man, I hate that).

Now, I’m just doing my thing. And trying to do more of the things that interest me, even if they don’t pay all that much. (Believe me: a post on literary writing vs. money-making writing is in your near future.)

So I’m paying the bills by managing social media for some clients. Writing web copy for others. Ghostwriting a full-on book for yet another client. Developing an info-product with a fellow writer. Coaching beginning freelance writers.

But I’m also doing research for my own book. Developing long-shot queries for stories that have nothing to do with sex. And starting a yoga teacher training program next month.

Once again, my career could possibly be described as “unfocused” (a charge my own, traitorous husband once used to level at me).

But now? I don’t give a damn.

Do you consider yourself a freelancer or an entrepreneur? Do you think they’re two different things?


  1. Hi Steph,

    I think I am a writer and not an entreprenur, though I do happen to have a business degree. But in my defense, I aced all the classes that required writing. Organizational Theory and HRM were definitely my favorites.

    I guess I can’t consider myself an entrepreneur because if I enjoy (writing) something, I keep doing it even if I don’t make money out of it. And I do refuse to do writing that I don’t like. So freelancer/writer/dreamer. Definitely not an entrepreneur. 🙂

  2. I’m a working writer and I realized last year that I am not unflakely and unfocused, but that I draw inspiration and creativity from a variety of areas. Just because some people only have one or two things going on doesn’t mean that’s the path for everyone.

    The more I expand my horizons, the more successful I’ve become. I have more writing clients now than I did when I just tried to only write. It’s like a floodgate opened.

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