Bootstrapping means starting a business without external investors or debt finance. Seth Godin has written a book about this. Over at ChangeThis is a version available as ebook, The Bootstrapper’s Bible. I have re-read my copy and in the book is a great explanation of entrepreneur and freelancer.

A freelancer sells her talents. While she may have a few employees, basically she is doing a job without a boss, not running a business. Layout artists, writers, consultants, film editors, landscapers, architects, translators and musicians are all freelancers. There is no exit strategy. There is no huge pot of gold. Just the pleasure and satisfaction of making your own hours and being your own boss.

An entrepreneur is trying to build something bigger than herself. She takes calculated risks and focuses on growth. An entrepreneur is willing to receive little pay, work long hours and take on great risk in exchange for the freedom to make something big, something that has real market value.

The entrepreneur is comfortable raising money, hiring and firing, renting more office space than she needs right now. The entrepreneur must dream big and persuade others to share her dream.

The freelancer on the other hand can focus on craft. She can most easily build her business by doing great work, consistently.

According to these definitions I as coach am a freelancer, I am selling my talents.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.