Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur, a business owner, a freelancer, a solopreneur, a mompreneur?
Did you ever think that people might define how they see you by how you refer to yourself?
Years ago, I remember telling someone about my business and when they found out I worked alone and from home, they said “oh you’re a freelancer.” I was offended.
I said “no, I am a business owner”.
To me it didn’t matter where I worked or that it was a business of one, I never saw myself as a freelancer. And don’t even think about calling me a mompreneur! Are there dadpreneurs? Women are selling themselves short by using this “title”. I’m an entrepreneur and a mother. No need to combine these words. They describe two unique dimensions of my life and I can be both separately.
I started my business at the age of 27 and from the beginning I knew I would have to present a strong, powerful image in order to be taken seriously. I even straightened my curly blond hair because I thought it would make me look more professional. (side note: I only embraced my curls 2 years ago…and now I OWN them. Like a boss.) I had something to prove to myself and the world and downplaying my skills and talents by how I defined myself would be selling myself short.
So how do I define myself? The reality is, I’ve always considered myself both an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I’ve taken risks, tried new things and I’m not afraid to fail. But, I’ve never ‘bet the farm’, my risks were always manageable. And I’ve stayed true to my dream of building a business and living a life that pushed past the status quo. This is a huge driver for me and I’m on the path to building something big.
Do I always think of myself as a big thinker or visionary? No. I often get caught in the day to day ‘to-do lists’ and tasks. But, I’m making a conscious effort to have time for ‘thinking and visioning’.
You know the expression “dress for the job you want”? Think about referring to how you define yourself in the same way. Be aspirational. Be bold. It will garner greater respect from family, friends, colleagues and clients.
Now let’s take this a step further and talk about the title you give yourself in your business. Are you the founder, owner, consultant, coach, advisor, expert, president or CEO – or something clever I haven’t listed?
The reality is that titles are free, so you can call yourself whatever you want (unless there are regulations within your industry). Find the words that fit you, your brand and your personality. And remember, don’t sell yourself short.
I’d love to hear how you define yourself and why you chose the words you did so please comment below!