Self-Employed vs. Business Owner – Which Mindset Will Empower You Most? by @artistsedge

by Debra Russell | Featured Contributor

Many WAHMs and solo-preneurs think of themselves as self-employed.  Why? Because that’s what the IRS calls you.  When you file a Schedule C and your income is 1099 and you are not incorporated or part of a partnership, then you are considered self-employed.

self-employed, business owner, e-mythBut I’m going to take a stand here and say, I don’t care what the IRS calls you.  If you think of yourself as self-employed you are undermining your success!

As I teach in my Business Management for the Creative Mind class, here is my definition of a person who is self-employed:

An employee with lousy pay, terrible benefits, and a maniac for a boss!

Instead, I recommend you think of yourself as a business owner.  It doesn’t matter if the IRS thinks of you that way.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve set up an LLC, S-Corp or whatever.  It doesn’t even matter if you’ve registered a dba!

I want you, in your mind, to think of yourself as the owner of your business.

There are several advantages to thinking of yourself this way:

  • Stop thinking of yourself as the product – you’re the business owner, the product is the product.

When you think of yourself as self-employed, then you are the product!  Your services, skills, and expertise becomes the product (even if you’re selling pies – they’re YOUR pies).

As a result, every job bid, every new concept, every marketing attempt becomes a measure and representation of your personal value.  And your self-esteem and self-worth is now inextricably linked to every failure and success in your business.

As a result, you may find yourself unwilling to take risks, ask for the job, charge what you’re worth – because if the answer is “No” that means you’re not worth it!

If you’re the business owner, and the product is the product, you will be free to test ideas, try things, experiment and discover what will work for your business.  Because every failure is just something that didn’t work.  It’s not a measure of your value.