One of my favorites websites that I like to check out is Freelanceswitch. I check it out several times a week. The site is full of useful information for people who are trying to make it on their own as freelancers.
On the web, especially in the areas of web development, graphic design and blogging, those who are trying to make a living off of their skills are referred to as freelancers. In the world of business, people who are trying to make a living in small business are often called entrepreneurs. What’s the real difference? Wikipedia defines a freelancer as a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer and an entrepreneur as a person who has possession over a company, enterprise, or venture, and assumes significant accountability for the inherent risks and the outcome. Before looking up the definitions I didn’t know which category I’d fall in to. Right now, a decent amount of my income comes from speaking engagements and one off consulting gigs…that kinda sounds like freelancing. On the other hand, I have a company and am assuming the risks of the venture (no steady income, no benefits, possibility of flopping, etc). While I love the total freedom that freelancing provides, I’m hoping in a couple months (after I’m done with my dissertation) I can leave the freelance work behind for something more steady. The freelance work tends to be a little bit of a feast or famine, and while I’m fine with the risk, it’s probably not the best setup for the sole breadwinner of a family.