Why I Prefer to Work with Entrepreneurs: I’m Their Kinda Guy!

Not many people can stand working with entrepreneurs. Many of them are disorganized, distracted, fall victim to the “shiny object syndrome”, and typically bite off more than they can chew. This can lead many who work with and under entrepreneurs to stress out, freak out, and ultimately drop out.

Not me. I love working with entrepreneurs!

Over the past five years, I have worked in close quarters with several entrepreneurs, some of whom did not realize they were entrepreneurs. These were the people that had the ideas and the passion, the vision for where they wanted to go and end goal they wanted to achieve.

It’s been a lot of fun, and a lot of work.

I thought I’d share why I love and continue working alongside entrepreneurs.

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3 Most Important Techniques I’ve Learned on WordPress (So Far)

Moving toward being a developer has forced me to learn some technical skills and techniques I did not know six months ago. There are plenty of things I have learned in the last six months that I had no clue about. WordPress, to use the words of Augustin, is

“shallow enough for a child to wade in, but deep enough for an elephant to swim in.”

You get the idea.

With this in mind, there have been three key skills or techniques I’ve learned that have greatly helped my development and sanity as I try to figure a lot of this out.

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Entrepreneur or Freelancer: Are you a businessman or a business, man?

When starting down the path of business, there can be some confusion, even identity crisis. How do you self-identify now that you are working for yourself, or selling your product or service to a general market? How do you accurately speak about what you do?

In a weekend away with some folks starting up businesses, Seth Godin encouraged these folks to know whether they were a freelancer or entrepreneur. “Knowing which you are is essential to your next steps in business”, said Godin.

Why?

To sum it up, freelancers and entrepreneurs must functions differently and in various capacities in their respective ventures. To mix up what you are doing will not only confuse you, but also confuse your customers.

Freelancer: Service Around What You Yourself Can Offer

The best way to test the waters of a new business is to freelance a bit. Freelancing is all you, that is, you are the one responsible for everything and making things happen. You business is tied directly to your skills and your ability to deliver on your promised service.

Freelancing is typically only based around services, not products. You provide this service at an hourly or project rate (though, in this case, you are still the one putting in the hours on the project, so it is an hourly rate of what you think a project might cost you).

It is easy to see that freelancing is highly personal as well. When your clients give you feedback, they are talking ti you about your work. In this sense, freelance work is not scalable, and is typically not based around products (though the services you offer can be productized).

Entrepreneur: Scalable Product or Service

You enter the realm of entrepreneurship when you are dealing with a product or service of which you can be scaled out. The product or service you provide does not require you to do the work all the time, and indeed, others can and should be brought in to do that work.

It is at this point in which you business moves beyond being dependent on the time you can put in it and begins to work past your available hours. This is a good thing, indeed, it is the reason you have a business at all. You are beginning to have a business which works without you controlling everything.

You can bring in others to do the work you were doing. Ideally, they should be able to do the work better than you can. Michael Gerber talks about this process in his book “The E-Myth” (Revisited), and actually encourages entrepreneurs to grow their business in a way it can be “franchised”. This is to say that systems are created and can be handed off to other people with the proper skills set to do the job well.

This is how businesses grow.

So, what are you, a freelancer or entrepreneur.

Please note: one is NOT better than the other!

However, it is essential to know whether you are a freelancer or entrepreneur in order to function properly in your business.

 

Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman

Take the Shortcut: Find a Mentor and Apprentice Yourself

When I committed to getting on the Genesis Developer list, I hadn’t even bought the Genesis Framework. Granted I had worked with one client on a project involving the Genesis Framework, but that was hardly enough to say time spent with the framework to know anything about it. If there was an issue, I relied heavily on the developers of the child theme we were using. I didn’t have access to the Genesis community forums, tutorials, or code snippets from those who had gone before. 

Needless to say, I was a little lost. I needed direction. I needed to know what to do next and what not to do. Both of these would be extremely important. Focused work keeps me from getting distracted, and I know what I need to avoid.

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Resources for SEO and Keyword Research

(This post is the result of a question from James. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll see what resources I can send your way).

This post compiles everything I know about SEO and Keyword Research. It is summed up in the resources below that I used to learn and implement a few things along the way. Disclosure: I have NOT made millions on SEO and Keyword research (which is why this article is free:-)!).

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Just in Time Learning: Trimming the Fat and Focusing to Move Forward Quickly

Having clients pay you to learn a new skill is a very difficult art.

In trying to stay 20 Hours Ahead, you will often bite off more than you can chew. The reason is simple: in the grand scheme of things, you know very little. If you are on the road from freelancer to entrepreneur and small business owner, there are many opportunities to grow in different directions. However, if you have your goal in mind, you should continue moving towards that goal as quickly as possible.

Momentum is your friend.

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