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.
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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.