Ideation

“The purpose of thinking is to let the ideas die instead of us dying.”

― Alfred North Whitehead

This is perfectly true only if you don’t account for people’s tendency to overdo it.

A lot of us – myself included – tend to overthink, transforming idea-slaughtering into some kind of odd hobby.

While eliminating stupid ideas is fine, and playing with thoughts can be a good mental exercise, it becomes counterproductive if it hinders you in bringing ideas to life. It can slow you down, it can even immobilize you.

It’s a mind-trap you can escape from, only if you are smart enough to understand that doing nothing is far worse than fruiting bad ideas.

Ideas need to be turned into actions!

Because only actions have the power to build a good life.

The Plan

Business is not your life.
It’s just a piece of your life, a good way to generate value in your lifetime.

You won’t be able to make a good plan for your business if it’s not aligned with the plan of your life.

But you can’t plan your life, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish by the end of your life.

If you don’t know what you want to accomplish by the end of your life, you can’t make a long-term plan.

If you don’t have a long-term plan, you can’t make a five-year plan.

If you don’t have a five-year plan, you can’t plan the year.

If you can’t plan the year, you can’t plan the month.

If you can’t plan the month, you can’t plan the week.

If you can’t plan the week, you can’t plan the day.

If you don’t plan the day, you’ll wander aimlessly, confused and stressed.

If you wake up every morning and don’t have a plan, you can only react, not build.

If you can’t build every day towards your goals, you’ll waste the week.

If you waste the weeks, you waste the months.

If you waste the months, you waste the years.

If you waste the years, you waste your life.

If you waste your life, you will die in regret.

Regret without a second chance is hell.

Without a plan, you will go to hell.

Before You Start

Waiting for something special to happen before you start?

The perfect plan, the perfect setup, the perfect logo, the perfect constellation alignment? Are you constantly delaying actions, procrastinating, finding other priorities?  How many things did you put on your “need this to start” list?

Are you telling yourself nice stories to support all the above?

Congratulations! You are one of the billions who do the same every day. And you are going towards a life full of regrets, depression and suffering.

But here is what you need to understand: you can’t just stand there and expect things to get better on their own. You can’t expect others to come drag you out of your misery. You need to move away from suffering and take action in order to initiate change. Action ends suffering!

So, what’s holding you back? Why are you building all those obstacles to block your start?
Why can people like Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates start in a garage and you can’t?

It’s fear. Because if you wouldn’t have been afraid of it, you would have done it already.
And this is actually good.

Because here is the thing: being fearless is stupid – dangerous even – and choosing stuff you’re not afraid of, is lazy and boring. None of those will get you from one of the billions to one of the greats.

It’s overcoming fear what separates the ones from the others.

The bigger the fear, the greater the chance.

Choice

Working towards a potential future, one that we imagine, is what separates us from animals.
 
Animals react – we are able to anticipate and act with intention.
 
It is this super-power that enabled our evolution, and it is the only power that can save us from destroying our future.
 
Be health conscious now and you will have a long healthy life.
Grow a brand now and you will develop a future-proof business.
Protect the environment now to save the planet for our children.
 
It’s not easy.
 
We are going to feel the pain of discipline by doing the right things now,
or we are going to feel the pain of regret later, when it might be too late.
 
It’s a choice.

Design your business

Think of design as intention.
 
‘By design’ we say when something was purposefully crafted and didn’t happen by chance. It’s a way to predict results and to mitigate risks. We design the world around us to be able to control it and generate purpose.

Design is intention. It has purpose.

So should the looks and feels of your business be.

Designing the customer touchpoints of your business should never be left to chance. How you show up is a statement! So is the lack of design. It proves the lack of intention, purpose and knowledge.

If you didn’t bother to get at least a decent logo, business cards and a website, your statement is “I don’t give a fuck”.

Then why should I? If you don’t care about your business, how can I trust you to take care of mine?

Future-Proof Business

Teaching the principles of Future-Proof Businesses in the middle of a global pandemic is like describing the most delicious, decadent chocolate cake recipe to drooling hunger strikers.

But the timing isn’t really wrong – I’d bet you are paying attention now. More than ever, actually. Because if your business is in lockdown, almost dead, craving for the tiniest crumb… of revenue,  you probably have abundant time for self-reflection and for finding out what you could have done better and how to avoid it for the future.

So if you are stubborn enough to stay in business even in the strangest times, here’s a concise list of the ingredients you will need for the cake… I mean Future-Proof Business:

Know your WHY!

Your WHY is the foundation for everything else. It’s your motivation, your energy and the source for all your core values. It needs to be so high that everyone can see what you stand for and so sturdy that no calamity could touch it. A clear WHY gives you the choice to select and adapt your HOW. And there isn’t really a better way to survive and be future-proof than adapting and evolving.
Look for Simon Sinek if you want to seriously drill this into your head. He wrote the book on the subject and delivered the most famous Ted-talk ever.

Build a Brand!

It should be a no-brainer, but just in case, let me tell you how the cookie crumbles. A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s behavior, promises, looks and services/products.

It’s about their feelings and your reputation.

You have to make sure it’s coherent and reflects your core values – see how you already need your WHY? The Brand – if properly constructed – is there to remind everyone what you stand for. It’s how you are perceived by the world. Do it right and you will have followers. Stay consistent and you will have support even when the world seems to turn upside-down.
How to build a brand is a huge topic and you shouldn’t leave it to chance, but rather seek help or at least teach yourself. Turning vision into strategy is an art. Stick around and I promise I will drill the subject in your head.
Nevertheless, a remarkable brand is a must for any future-proof business.

Become a leader and develop a personal brand!

I really can’t separate these two because together they form a strong team and a big difference in how tall you stand in the darkest times. It’s also not the “paid influencer that sells you crap” kind of personal brand.
I mean the real deal leadership, trustworthy people, that special breed people like and look up to. The ones that seem to be able to make anything happen. I’m sure you know a few, but here is a short selection of the finest: Tony Robbins, Richard Bronson, Elon Musk. They have proven consistently what they stand for, what they are capable of.
I don’t say you have to build rockets and go to Mars to be a leader. You can be a pillar of your community, a rock in the waves for your team, or stand out like a shining beacon in the sadness of mediocrity.
I argue that carrying for others and consistently showing up, earns trust. The kind of trust that gives leader-owned businesses an edge over their competition, even when the economy shivers. You buy from people you trust, right?

Diversify!

As in ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Here is where the WHY comes again to save your ass. Now enough about anatomy. Let’s better use a global pandemic lockdown example.

If your WHY is high and clear enough – something like ‘delivering tasty food to the world’ – you get a lot of flexibility to play with. So if you start this outstanding mission by opening a small pizza shop in your neighborhood – and have to close doors because of some new Corona 5.3 type of virus – having this overarching WHY, gives you the flexibility to go online, to cater, to deliver coffee every morning, to make birthday-cakes if you feel like it, or to invent some new trend-setting food, like the Croissant-Muffins called Crussins. And if you are really committed, you could make the Star Trek Replicator become a reality and save humanity from hunger too. Because your promise is ‘delivering tasty food to the world’ not ‘making pizza for my neighborhood’. If you are just the pizza-shop down the corner, you’ll get raised eyebrows if you suddenly deliver chocolate cakes.

Here is a tip on how to diversify: look for the kill-switches of your current business – simulate scenarios, be a pessimist for a while – and come up with ideas that don’t have the same kill-switch. Branch out, but be coherent with your WHY, your message, your brand, your reputation and people will buy goodies from you even if they don’t have mozzarella and pepperoni topping.

Predict the future!

I know crystal globes don’t work, that’s a mutant ability… duh! One that you need to evolve and take control of. But some future tendencies don’t even require mutant powers. I mean, anyone can foresee how electric cars will change the world. Then, you should always observe and quantify trends. Not like you have to be trendy all the time if your business doesn’t require it, but rather make out the direction, triangulating trends if you’re a geek. What do those trends have in common? Where could that lead us? What will they change? Who will be affected?
You don’t want to miss the next disrupting technology like the car, the airplane or the internet, for example. Two reasons I give you for this: first, you could miss huge opportunities, and second, your business could be wiped out by new technologies or trends. So, if future-proof is your thing, keep an open eye on the world.

Be able to sustain!

This is a huge topic for me and it’s all about the long-term. You are not the opportunist kind of “make a quick buck”, “hit-and-run”, “after me, the flood” type, I hope. If by any chance, hit the X in the right-top corner, because my wisdom is not for you.

You can look at any action through the lens of sustainability: if you’re not healthy and able to deliver the energy, you can’t sustain your journey, if you’re not a leader, you can’t sustain a team, if you don’t make profit, you won’t sustain anything in the long-run. See how you need to check all the points above if you want to be able to sustain your business? 

But if you spend a deep thought on sustainability, you also have to consider the environment. You can’t call your business future-proof and in no way sustainable if you fuck up the planet and the generations to come! It could be as “small” as improperly discharging waste and thus harming your community, or as big as extracting and selling the limited resources of the planet  – both would count as long-term unsustainable in my book and therefore not clearly future-proof.

And finally…

We’ve covered the main ones but I feel like ranting a bit more on the overall meaning of business. First, do me a favor. If “It’s just business” ever surfaced your lovely mind, please slap your face right now! That is one of the stupidest things to say if you actually care about the future of your business.

Business is made by people for people. Slap yourself again so you don’t forget it.

Because there are three kind of people YOU HAVE TO CARE for, if you ever want to future-proof your business: the people who pay for your services and products, the people on your team, and the people who started the whole endeavor –  I mean you. Care about the people you serve/sell to, and they will care back, help your team grow, and they will help you grow.

As for you, I think it’s obvious: it all starts and ends with you! That’s why you really need to take care of yourself. You need to be a raw model, passionate, healthy, energetic and full of joy. It’s the only way to build a future-proof business.
  
Feel free to hit me with your questions if you think your business isn’t as future-proof as it should and subscribe to my newsletter if you enjoy my fancy way of putting things in perspective. It’s free and the whole package comes with a no-BS-future-proof guarantee.

Positioning against stress

How do you make decisions? And how can positioning fight stress?


We are wired to make decisions by comparing stuff. It’s how our brain works.

Comparing details and finding differences is what we constantly do, sometimes without even noticing. But you will notice tension and stress rising if you fail to find something that will help you make up your mind.


Similarly, finding yourself in front of too many choices, is confusing and stressful. Mainly because, if nothing stands out, you’ll have way too many details to compare before reaching a conclusion.

For that reason, behavioral scientist and smart marketers alike will advise limiting price options to three while making the middle one stand out. It satisfies decision-making (and ego), while providing the obvious and easy choice. It’s relaxing and rewarding.


Now think about your business. Order an audit if you are biased. How many options do your customers have? Are you one of many, offering the same or similar product? Can you differentiate yourself from competition? Are you clearly communicating those differences?

In other words, are you making it easy for your customer to choose?


The set of actions that will allow customers to tell at a glance that you are the obvious choice, is called positioning.

Yes, it’s not only a buzzword, it’s a great success insuring strategy. And, along financial benefits for your business, it will also ease your customers’ decision-making.

One way or the other, positioning is a fantastic way to reduce stress.

Why do startups fail

“Eight of out 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months” was the myth spread by Forbes in 2013.

Don’t let this journalistic marble scare you. It’s not that bad. Jet, the real numbers still show you have to do your homework. So lets start right now:

Half of new businesses fail during the first five years, of which 30% in the first two years, … seem to be the accepted rough numbers across multiple institutions and media. For me, that is still a lot of failure waiting to happen. It’s what I want to help you with and what I have done for so many years. It’s what my advisory firm does.

Combining my experience with a lot of research, I compiled the most serious causes that can shatter your chances of success:

1. Lack of Brand Platform and Strategy.

The Brand Platform is where it all starts. It sets the values on which the whole business will operate: why you do it, who’s problems you are going to solve and how you approach everything. Brand building, positioning, value proposition, target audience, corporate identity and communications are all materializations of the Brand Platform. Getting this wrong is like starting in the wrong direction.

As a side effect, and if done right, the Brand Platform can serve as proof of concept because it forces you to know your customers and your market extremely well. Therefore, it significantly reduces the risk of failure.

I’ll only touch briefly on positioning here although it is a huge strategy decision that can lift or bury your business pretty easy.

Positioning is the art of putting yourself in that sweet spot where your product or service is unique enough to largely cut down on competition while still maintaining a niche rich enough to sustain your business. You don’t want to be a commodity fighting for a place in price comparison charts and you don’t want to be so focused that only a handful people will buy your products. In this article I touch a bit on that sweet spot: Competition Audit.

For all the reasons above, you need to settle on your Brand Platform upfront. Unfortunately, too many startups ignore this part completely. It’s the perfect setup for short-term failure.

2. Wrong market evaluation / business model.

Or in other words “Presumption is the mother of all fuck-ups”.

It’s not enough to establish the core values through your Brand Platform and to understand your audience’s needs. You also want to find out if it can sustain your business. Can your customers afford it and is are they willing to buy? It’s a matter of numbers, not suppositions.

There is a lot of other stuff you could get wrong here: number of customers that really need your product, their capabilities, scalability, competition in your niche, pricing of your products and timing just to name the big ones.

Another set of presumptions often made when evaluating the market is about customer acquisition. How easy it is to acquire new customers and how much this action will cost, needs to face the total value the customer is returning.

Technically speaking, that is the CAC/LTV rule (cost of acquiring the customer/lifetime value of customer) and it’s pretty evident: CAC needs to be less than LTV for a profitable business model.

You also wouldn’t want to ignore the time needed to recover the cost of acquiring your customers. Put that against your capital and you already have a better chance to estimate how the few next years will look like.

3. Product problems.

You can make the best market evaluation and identify the best product or service to satisfy the need of your customers, but you also have to deliver. If your product doesn’t meet the needs of your customers, if it is faulty, badly supported or any other product related issue, you can’t be expecting a lot of success are you?

If you are smart and can dig up the resources, it’s a great practice to test your product in advance at a smaller scale, collect the reviews and improve. This is not always possible but correcting mistakes in a quick manner is essential. You could even win a few points in your customer’s eyes if executed properly.

If you did a good job setting the values of your company and understanding what your customers expect, your product should be fine. Then, it’s only a mater of fine-tuning.

4. Deficient management.

It all boils down to leadership in my eyes. Being a good leader means having happy employees. Happy employees make happy customers. It’s that simple.

Jet I see the opposite all the time: miserable company culture, inadequate payment, lack of communication, stress, hate and unfair competition among employees. Nothing can thrive in such an environment.

Leadership is something you should figure out if you aspire to be an entrepreneur. I give you a hint: it’s a lot about compassion. Otherwise, you should be smart enough to step aside and hire someone that does it for you.

The more technical side of management is how well organized you are and how efficient you are at administering the company’s resources. Time management belongs here, too. Management is something you can learn. If that is not your thing, again, find someone who can.

It’s a matter of self awareness. Don’t let your own ego destroy your business.

5. Poor Communication.

You should have figured out what you need to communicate in the first phase, as you built the Brand Platform. But the values of your Brand only give direction and set the tone, the voice of your communication. How efficient the message can be delivered, is a matter of technique and tactics.

Firstly, you need to understand that attention is an asset. Where is the attention of your customer? Is it on social media, on television or on billboards? That’s where you need to be. Even if you don’t like it. And if you don’t show up in those places, how would your audience even know you exist?

By the way, a website, even a great one, is not going to be enough for most businesses in 2020 and the trend shows it’s getting worse. That shouldn’t mean, you don’t need a website or that it doesn’t have to be built well. It is still one of the most important touchpoints for any business, not only for startups. One that should communicate the values of your company.

6. Displeasing Touchpoints.

Touchpoints actually belong to communication but the situations where they are mismanaged and where customers are treated inappropriately are so common, that I want to hammer it separately.

Take support centers and guarantees for example. Those are touchpoints where your customer comes “begging” for help and is so often let down. If you want to stay in business, you can’t afford the bad experiences your customers have to go through. You will lose them for good. And what is worse, they will also tell others about it.

Now, imagine the opposite: delivering such a great experience, that your customers will convince others to join.

A more abstract approach to touchpoints and therefore to communication, is to look at every business-client interaction as a good opportunity to communicate your values. It’s those small things, but they add up to your brand.

Take your Logo for example. Does it look amateurish? Is it communicating your values and can be easily remembered or does it communicate you don’t care?

How about packaging? Did you just consider price or did you invest some thought on how it will be opened. Did your stupid molded plastic packaging just cut my finger?!? Fuck you, cheep company!

7. Persistence and patience.

If you figured the previous points out and business is still slow, it’s usually a matter of persistence and patience.

To a certain degree, you could beat time with a beefy marketing budget and by brilliantly covering all the above points. Especially communication. That would move the needle faster. Otherwise, be prepared to invest some time and perseverance.

On the other hand, business doesn’t have a finish line. You can’t arrive at the “I’m the best” finish line and end the race. There will always be someone assessing your weaknesses trying to surpass you. This is a race that never ends and you constantly need to improve in order to stay ahead. Then, you just need to outlast everyone.

There can be other causes that could contribute to a business failure. Some, you could say are industry specific. Sometimes luck plays a role, although, you should to be prepared for at least some unfortunate situations.

Other than luck, it’s all in your hands. You can’t blame others for failing. It’s just knowledge and the way you apply it. I guarantee you: if you score high on all the points above, you are going to be in business for a long time.

Competition audit

You can’t ignore competition. It has the power to destroy or boost your business, depending on how well you understand its position in your market. The way to start understanding it, regardless if you are a startup or a seasoned entrepreneur, is through an audit.
 
The competition audit is one of the best tools to help you assess your business and the environment in which you operate. Whether you do it yourself or bring in an expert, here is what you should learn from it.
 
Firstly, how many competitors do you have? Knowing that there are many or just a few is not enough. You need a number. Make it as precise as possible.
 
If for no other reason, this is a precise way of learning how your niche evolves in time. If your niche is a goldmine, you might find, upon repeated auditing, that the numbers are flying up. Is that a concern? Sure, if it doubled in a year.
Or, on the other extreme, you dominate the market, so that half of your competitors give up. I’d sure want to see the numbers if that was the case.
 
Knowing the extent of your competition will also help classify the feasibility of your niche and how efficient your positioning is.

Too many competitors, might indicate that others see the business potential too. That’s good, it’s not just your wishful thinking. 

It also shows that you are targeting a large pool of customers. Once you know this, you can simply narrow your focus by targeting a more specific audience. This balancing act is a great way to thin out your competition, to specialize and to become the expert in your market.

If the number is very low, you might ask yourself if the niche you are in, is viable. Is the business idea any good? Are you being to specific in defining your ideal customer? Fine-tuning your focus is a great way to go from survival to success. You want to get this right!

David C. Baker has a must-read article on this. He even came up with a formula.

Knowing your niche and your business environment is great, but you get even more value out of your competition audit by using it to evaluate yourself. Think of your competition as if it was your own free of charge team. A team that already tested the target audience for you. It already made decisions and reacted to their needs. How did they do?

Speaking of team, are you considering how their advertising is also helping you? Think about it.

Learning the good stuff your competitors do, is a great way to learn what your own customers prefer. You might need to implement the findings in your own business or find ways to improve on those points.

Learning the mistakes your competitors do or did is even better and can help you avoid failure. To better illustrate that, let’s say you find out that the support your competitors offer is terrible. There is your opportunity: offer flawless support and make it your competitive advantage. Your customers will repay you with fidelity.
 
By deeply evaluating a thorough competition audit, you instantly recognize the strong players. Who is really serious about their future? Who are the ones that truly care about their customers? Which are the ones that invest in brand? Those are your worthy rivals. Know them well. They will be around for a while.
 
So you see, just by reframing how you look at competition changes everything. Don’t waste time and resources trying to beat the competition. They are your team. They are there to help you get better.

And getting better every day is what this is all about.

Employee or self-employed?

Are you happily employed? You better skip this post then. I’m about to argue against employment.

Let’s say you have some average job and you go to work every day. The entrepreneur, your boss, will have to sell your work for more. There is no other way. He/she will have to pay you as little as possible and sell it for as much as possible.

Clearly, the entrepreneur has to pay for a lot of stuff, like rent, materials, marketing, maybe a nice secretary or a staff chief… to help you work better.

On top of all those (justified) expenses comes the profit. The top 500 companies made $2.15 trillion profit last year (source: Fortune – https://fortune.com/global500/2019/). That is two million one hundred fifty thousand millions or 2 150 000 million if you prefer digits.

“Profits are better than wages.
“Profit can make you filthy rich. Wages don’t.”
– Jim Rohn

How much the entrepreneur can throw on top of your work depends on the business. It’s usually going to be sold for more than double. Anyhow, you’re not getting paid what your work is actually worth to the buyer. Your work has to cover company expenses too. How efficient are those managed? Could you do better?

Maybe you are pushing for a raise? How is it going? For most entrepreneurs, considering you can’t work more, raising your salary means less profit or having to raise prices. When it comes to raising, they rather fight employees over clients.

As an employee, you rent out your time. The time you can rent out is limited. So is the hourly rate. Thus, your earnings will always be limited.

“Hourly billing is nuts” – Jonathan Stark.

But it gets worse. Most jobs extend way beyond working hours. The daily commute, unfinished work you might take home, the exhaustion and the stress are all there AFTER work. And how is that for your life and family?

If you have higher aspirations, you might find it extremely hard to work on achieving them. You would need to invest at least some time and energy. After work! At work, your boss will try to squeeze everything out of you. Do you feel empty after work? Happy to just lay down? Good luck on your dreams. How about some depression instead?

At work, you can’t decide how your time is used. How about your free time? Need a day off or planning a vacation? You will need to ask for permission. You don’t get to decide. In fact, you don’t get to decide much or at all. Someone else sets the rules.

Surrendering to a job is letting others decide your future. Financial security is the argument used.

So, how secure is your job? And for how long? As you age, does this security increase? Does the company prefer older employees over younger ones? Is the entrepreneur making the right decisions or risking bankruptcy? Is technology, like AI, influencing your industry? Are layoffs necessary in order to keep shareholders happy? How is the market trending? And how about a financial crash? Again?

Maybe you have some ideas on how to prevent some of the above. If you read this blog, you should. Good luck getting them across.

I could go on and on adding poor health insurance, risky retirement plans, the worst colleagues and a nightmare boss into the mix. You could argue that self-employment also involves risk. Sure, it does. Risk is everywhere. Crossing the street is risky. It’s up to you to compare the risks and decide your life.
I’m here to raise awareness on your ‘good job’ and on your future. Also here to mitigate some of that risk, if you might dare the plunge.

I’m here to teach you how to become a successful entrepreneur. A better one, than the one you are working for.

Short-term vs. long-term business

There are essentially two ways of doing business: short term and long term.
Most don’t think about this. I bet there are in the short-term game.

Capitalizing on opportunities isn’t entirely wrong. Jet, it’s a good way to fail in the long run if you are not aware of its finite life cycle.

Take trends, for example. You could earn a pretty penny out of today’s trend, but be aware, the opposite might be preferred next year. If your organization is not built to handle disrupting direction changes, you might quickly fail and even face bankruptcy.

Trendy for profit might also drive you to become immoral. It’s like playing the wolf in sheepskin. You might get a few sheep this way, but how long can you do this? Could you pretend to be a sheep for the rest of your life if required? And what if sheep would learn your smell? What if you couldn’t fool them anymore? What if sheep go extinct? And if pigs are trendy next year, would you become a pig?

If you’re not into animal examples, take the one Simon Sinek uses: Railroad tycoons. The once biggest companies faced extinction like dinosaurs as airplanes and automobiles came to life. They positioned their business as railway companies instead of transportation companies and perished fighting airplanes instead of owning them!

Long-term thinking is a condition to avoid extinction.

It allows you to position your business above trends and to transform trends in opportunities without being a fraud. You even get to set new trends. It comes with appreciation, followers and a solid, successful future.

Long-term business is achieved by building a brand. Great brands are led by outstanding leaders who are driven by high purpose, not profit. Great leaders are also fantastic human beings. Fantastic human beings can build a better world.

See how it all connects? Now, you have to decide. Quick profit or great legacy?

Lucky plans

If you don’t plan your life, others will.

Acquiring skills can be a good plan for your life. At least if you also have a good plan on how to use them.

Maybe you are lucky and don’t need a plan.

With a bit of luck, a set of good skills will get you a job.
A job is not your plan. It’s how you contribute to someone else’s plan.

If you’re lucky, they included you in their plans: a job you don’t hate, a decent salary and a stable employment until you retire. If you’re lucky, it’s a long-term stable plan, without layoffs, cutoffs or similar life-changing events.

If those plans also align with your personal life, you can call yourself very lucky.

If you’re really, really lucky, you work for a great leader.

Great leaders care for you, listen to your needs and help you grow. Great leaders go beyond having a good plan, they serve a cause.

If you’re so damn lucky, it will be a cause that will give your life meaning so you can live a purposeful and happy life.

How lucky are you?

Freelancer vs Entrepreneur – a Definition

There is a lot of confusion around the two terms and a lot of people use them wrongly.

What is a Freelancer?

Originally the word Freelancer described a “medieval mercenary warrior” or “free-lance” who’s lance was not sworn to a lord or master. Are you free and carry a lance? You are a freelancer. And don’t worry, other weapons will do, as long as you know how to use them.

Today we mostly refer to professionals who are self-employed and are working alone. Sometimes they are called independent contractors. For your grandma, it could mean unemployed and come with a negative connotation. This is changing as we speak.

What is an Entrepreneur?

Seth Godin’s take on this: A freelancer is available for hire. Entrepreneurs hire other people to do the job.

Wikipedia has a rather long definition for Entrepreneurship. Here is a piece that clearly sets it apart from Freelancing: “…the entrepreneurial process requires the organization of people and resources.”

The take-away: They scale differently.

Freelancers usually scale by having better clients, so they have to become experts in their niche. Entrepreneurs also need to know what their doing, but don’t need to become experts in their field of business. They can hire in order to grow the business, and they can hire experts to dominate the field.

Why is the definition important?

It defines your strategy. It defines your actions. If you understand the difference, you are going to change your evolution. As a freelancer you should invest a lot in yourself, as an entrepreneur you should primarily invest in others. You need to make a choice.

What is your choice?