Day after day, I see opportunities targeting small business owners: chances for mentors, networking opportunities, chances to build business. I don’t necessarily recognize those opportunities as relevant to my work, though. It’s not necessarily that I can benefit from whatever is being offered — it’s that I just don’t think of myself as a small business owner.
The terms ‘freelancer’ and ‘small business owner’ should be synonymous, though. Freelance writers face similar issues in tax preparation, networking and generally earning money as any other small business owner, and we should take advantage of any help being offered. Think about these opportunities you might be able to qualify, as long as you bill yourself as a small business owner:
- Loans for disaster relief (The Small Business Administration)
- Mentoring from successful entrepreneurs (SCORE)
- Networking with local businesses who can use your services (Your local Chamber of Commerce)
Recognizing ourselves as small business owners is another step in the direction of taking our work seriously. Many freelance writers seem to subconsciously consider their work a hobby: something they do in addition to a full-time job or staying at home with the kids. But a business, especially one based at home, is a commitment. It will only grow and succeed if you take it seriously, and that translates to the fact that you will only reach your potential success as a freelancer if you are willing to work hard in the process.
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