• Lindi Engelbrecht

Entrepreneur, Self-employed or something in between

Slowly, Slowly catch the monkey

"If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together" - African Proverb 

If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together - African Proverb

This weekly blog is specifically geared toward professionals, entrepreneurs or something in between.  I recognise (believe me!) that there is so much more to building your career than the skills and qualifications, more to growing your business than the services/product that you offer.  And a lot of it is intangible, but can still have a major impact on your success.

Create the career you want?

It's no secret that the world of work has changed, and we're shifting toward an ever more entrepreneurial, work-from-wherever-you-want economy.  That can be a liberating force, and many professionals dream of becoming independent, whether by starting their own businesses, becoming consultants or freelancers, or developing a sideline.

Here is one lesson (use it don't use it, but I do hope it's helpful).....of what I wish I knew then, what I know now.

Entrepreneur or self-employed? 

This is something I know on a deep personal level.  As an entrepreneur myself for the last 10 years, I have experienced the valleys and the mountaintops (I can write a book about it......and I'm sure most of you can as well), of running my own business.  However as I reflect on the last couple of years, I dare ask myself, did I actually make the transition from professional to entrepreneur, or did I actually just create a job for myself - this journey of reflection, can feel like a punch in the gut! But, by the way, I can now say with the utmost certainty that the latter is most definitely the harder road to embark on.  Now some of you might be thinking what's the difference , which trust me, I also also asked myself 2 years ago, as hard as the answer to that question was to discover, I'm so glad I did.

School fees.........

Working on my business vs. Working in my business

Working in the business - This for me was a light bulb moment, when I realised that working in my business meant that without me the business doesn't exist, because if I'm not producing, the business is not making money (I created a job for myself).  Yes I had freedom to take a day off, Yes I had the freedom to go on a month holiday, without being policed, however at what cost.....becoming a slave to the month-end-debit-order-dread.

Working on the business - This meant, that if I empower employees to work in the business with me, it frees me up to give direction, strategise, market and focussing on developing relationships with new clients -which ultimately grows the business.  Yes I had less freedom to take a day off, Yes I had less freedom to go on a month holiday, instead only 2 weeks, however, there is still a cost, but the freedom is priceless in the long run.

In this context, I want to state that I think that I consider either choice a valid one, but one that should be a specific choice, nonetheless.  

I'm still on the journey of discovery, and still making allot of mistakes, however, might we help each other to not make the same mistakes. 

Please comment, share your experiences and the lessons you've learned along your journey as an entrepreneur.