I went to the Seth Godin Linchpin Tour on Thursday at the John Hancock Hall in Boston. It was informative but I am glad I only paid the student rate which was $20 for the half-day. Others paid $500 for the full day event; I can't say it would of been worth it for that price.
One topic that stuck with me, however, was when Seth explained the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur. A freelancer is someone who makes money while they work. They contract out their individual labor in return for compensation. My gig right now is freelancing, I will be paid for each writing project I do.
An entrepreneur is someone who facilitates economic transactions. For instance, if I hired writers and and had them produce the writing projects while I monitored the business as a whole, this would be entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs, he said, make money in their sleep because the value is in the business they create. Entrepreneurs create organizations bigger than themselves.
This topic is discussed in detail in The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. He talks about how people believe that because they have a particular skill, they can automatically turn it into a business. The most common example is the baker who makes amazing pies. She assumes she can start up a bakery, but it's just not the same thing. The owner often gets too overhwelmed in baking the pies that he forgets his position as the entrepreneur: Someone who keeps tabs on the business from a broader perspective. Entreprenuers don't bake pies, they hire people to bake pies.
"Entre" is French for "between" because entrepreneurs are the liason between resources and selling goods and services.
I eventually want to move into the entrepreneurial arena as someone who facilitates commercial transactions. I can't think of a more rewarding life than being an entrepreneur. Putting people to work, mobilizing resources to satisfy a market demand, and creating an organization bigger than myself is a life dream.
To get there, as Seth Godin puts it, you must "ship." To ship means to do something: To put your ideas in action and execute a vision. Well, I better keep shipping.