Are you self-employed or a business owner?

Are you self-employed or a business owner?

You’re out at a party or function at your kid’s school.  You meet someone new and invariably the question comes up ‘So, what do you do?”

If you’ve just recently started working for yourself, odds are your reply is “Oh, I’m self-employed” or “I’m a freelancer.” And you leave it at that.

If that’s your go-to answer, you’re doing yourself a big disservice.  And in today’s post we’re talking about a shift in mindset that will make a huge difference in the success of your work.

There is a big difference between seeing yourself as being self-employed or seeing yourself as a business owner.

Being self-employed is playing a small game.  It’s devaluing the incredible worth that you bring to your work. It lets you keep erratic office hours and wear your sweats or pajamas to work.  You give yourself subconscious permission to just hang out and do your thing.

When you see yourself as a business owner, even if the business is just you working from a desk in your living room every day, there is a shift that happens.

You stand powerfully in knowing that you don’t just do your work every day, but that you are also responsible for leading this business strategically to grow into all that you envision it to be.  You show up with greater intention each day, knowing that the work you do is not just benefiting your clients or customers today, but is also building towards your future and ongoing success.

You understand that this work that you do is an extension of yourself.  It is its own entity that you are creating.  A powerful force for good in the world.  That’s very different than just being a self-employed person doing your thing.

When you work for yourself, every day you get to choose how you show up.  Are you showing up today being just self-employed? Or are you showing up today fully in your leadership as a business owner?

When you show up as a business owner, what does that look like?  What does it feel like? How does it benefit your business?

If we go back to the example at the beginning of this post, you are out at a party or function at your kid’s school.  You meet someone new and they ask ‘So, what do you do?” Instead of answering “oh, I’m self-employed” you answer differently.  If it were me, I’d answer “I’m a small business coach with Dalar working with people who are ready to start or uplevel their own business to achieve their business goals.”

So, are you self-employed or a business owner?  Share with us how you show up as a business owner each day…and don’t forget to include a link back to your business so we can learn more about you!

Rachel Bolton
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Senior Consultant and Coach

Rachel Bolton is a senior consultant and coach specializing in work with small business and start-ups at Dalar. She works internationally with small business leaders as a mentor and coach, with a focus on assisting small businesses to build a solid foundation for optimal growth from a clear and inspired purpose, strategic vision, and appropriate structure for the business’ development.
Rachel Bolton
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  1. Kristin
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    I think you nailed it with how worthy we see ourselves. Being known as a freelancer gives us an unfair advantage in believing we are successful and worthy depending on how well our freelancing goes. As a business owner we are part of something bigger than ourselves and a freelancer we are the business. As business owners we are able to separate ourselves from our business and the business can become what it needs to be. I was just listening to the audiobook The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and he talks about being an amateur or going pro. The concepts are very similar to what you are talking about here in regards to the mindset. It’s really supporting me in becoming aware of what areas of my business and life I’m acting like a professional or like an amateur. So thank you for this post because I’m clearly attracting this type of thinking in my life!

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