Here’s how Seth Godin explains it:
Freelancers get paid for their work. If you’re a freelance copywriter, you get paid when you work. Entrepreneurs use other people’s money to build a business bigger than themselves so that they can get paid when they sleep.
Seth did have a point.
Freelancing is an essential step in the entrepreneur’s journey. You have to learn how to find clients, talk to them and get them to pay you. You have to learn how to develop skills and ideas and test them in the marketplace. And freelancing is great, because for all intents and purposes, you can get started immediately.
The truth is that almost anything can make money. But first, you have to change your mindset. You must start viewing your skills and experiences as bankable, valuable resources with paying for. You (yes, you) can help someone with skills and knowledge that you already have. The easiest way to do this is by freelancing. Freelancing is only halfway there. It’s a necessary bridge to get you away from your day job and into independent living. On the other side of that bridge is full-fledged entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs depend on systems, automation and, eventually, employees that work without their direct involvement.
The key question is: “If I take myself out of the equation, does the business still work?”
If the answer is “Yes,” you are an entrepreneur. If you can create enough momentum in your business that you’ll still make money, regardless of what you do on a day-to-day basis, you are an entrepreneur. And a badass.