When I set out to work for myself just a year out of college, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew that I had some skills (writing, communicating, helping people and ideas get seen, known and heard), and I wanted to shape a career around those skills.
Last night, I was nerding out on the American Express 2018 State of Women-owned Businesses report, and it gave language to something I’ve experienced but hadn’t quite articulated that way.
The report talks about three kinds of entrepreneurs: NECESSITY entrepreneurs (need to start a business for income), OPPORTUNITY entrepreneurs (target a market opportunity) and FLEXIBILITY entrepreneurs (want to control when and where they work).
We hear a lot about the flexibility entrepreneurs in these internet streets, but not so much about the other two types.
When I started working for myself, I think I was a combination of all three. I needed to make a job. I saw an opportunity: many nonprofits didn’t have the resources to bring on full-time staff, but they needed good writers to get their work out into the world. I also wanted the flexibility of being able to work from wherever so that I could finally get out of my hometown and see the world.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As I’ve gone on to have a career as an attorney and education policy consultant, knowing how to work for myself has been a tool in my back pocket that I can pull out whenever necessity, opportunity or a desire for flexibility comes up.
I love that.
It makes me feel safe. I can choose to have the stability of work and still be able to take on consulting clients as capacity allows.⠀⠀
It makes it easier to say no. It keeps me from staying in situations that aren’t a great fit. I can spot opportunities in my community and have the business tools to do something about it. And there’s effectively no ceiling for my income.
Which kind of entrepreneur are you? Necessity, opportunity or flexibility? A combo of all three? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a message. Leave a comment and let me know.