The difference


freelancer vs self-employed


If I’m completely honest, I thought that the words ‘Freelancer’ and ‘Self-employed’ are the same thing for a long time. Even after I started working for myself. 


I will be explaining, the way I understand it, in this post. I also want to tell you that it’s okay not to know. It’s okay to take a leap and learn as you go. No-one woke up with all the knowledge in the world on day 1. 


Don’t let that stop you from following your dreams. 


Let’s jump right into it then. 


After some research into whether there is any legal difference, there is not much of a difference at all. It’s more about perception and how you view/want to view yourself.


Self-employed is more of a status. Just like employed or unemployed. So freelancer is self-employed too. How do I differentiate it? 


I started calling myself  freelancer when I started because I was basing my business on the fact that I am selling my services and getting one-off clients. Freelancers can also have regular clients. So instead of working for someone full time, you might just be working on a certain project or for a certain amount of hours a week. 


Which, in all honesty, means that instead of having one full-time boss, you have many who usually all demand flexibility and importance, and who do not take into account that they are not your only client. 


Later on, I stopped using the word ‘freelancer’ and just stuck with ‘self-employed’. It seems a bit vaguer, but to me, a person who is self-employed is someone who has their own business offering products and services, whether that is their own or someone else. As opposed to working on projects for someone else. 


Switching to that term came when I realised that I wanted to create some passive income in my business with my own products and services. The stress of constantly looking for new clients and basically never having a break, unless you have regular clients, is just something I want to avoid. 


There is also another term that is widely used – ENTREPRENEUR. That is someone who designs, launches and runs a new business. To me, entrepreneurs enjoy the process of starting a new business from scratch and often start many businesses in their life. 


For me, it’s all just labels we all get stuck in. Yes, they make it easier to explain to people what I do (I haven’t figured out any other way to). Yet! On the other hand, I don’t like how labels put us in a certain group automatically and oftentimes, the group is perceived in the wrong way. I personally like to get to know people rather than asking them for their job titles and putting them in a mental pile. 


When people ask me what I do, I have a different answer every time, because I am still finding myself and figuring out the best way to describe myself in a way people understand. In today’s world, it’s normal to create a completely new job title and I love it. 


Again, it’s absolutely okay to figure everything out as you go! It’s just a label. As long as you enjoy your life and do what you love, nothing else matters.


I would love to hear your thoughts about what the terms ‘freelancer’, ‘self-employed’ or ‘entrepreneur’ mean to you, and how you perceive the differences. Please send me a message or comment on Instagram or Facebook @makeityouradventure.

If you want to read about how I went self-employed. Read my previous blog post here.


With Love