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The Lowdown on Different Working Identities from Freelancer to Solopreneur to Entrepreneur and Beyond

Updated: 5 days ago

Working identities can encompass a wide range of professional arrangements, each with its own characteristics and considerations. 

We want to give you the basic definitions, but you will note how they can overlap/be stepping stones to one another. Identifying as an Entrepreneur can be daunting, but we believe that with the addition of a personal brand, this is not only your key to professional success, but it's a personal development, whole human thing. Hence, when we created our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, we put the Entrepreneur at the center, preceded by The Freelancer and succeeded by The Mentor. 

Here's a breakdown of the common terms:


Global Statistics in 2020 claim 1.57 BILLION people identify as Freelancers. As of 2024, 75 MILLION people identify as Freelancers in the US alone.

  • Description: An independent contractor offering services to various clients on a project-by-project basis.

  • Where to find them: Upwork, Fiverr, any online marketplace, word of mouth, and some socials with portfolios for the creatives.

  • Pros: Flexibility, variety of work, autonomy.

  • Cons: Inconsistent income, responsibility for finding work, managing own benefits.

  • Common Types of Work/Niches: 

  • Creatives: Writers, Graphic Designers, Videographers - many creatives and those who are media professionals are Freelancers. A longstanding common practice in that industry. 

  • Gig Economy - Your Uber/UberEats driver or anyone running errands for you essentially.

  • Tech - Coders whom you may hire on the other side of the world are considered freelancers.

Become. 's take: Freelancers are our first persona in our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. We look at freelancing as the rookie on the team, and we don't mean that offensively. Often, when you identify as a freelancer (especially in this modern era of traffic jams on the internet because of oversaturation and not enough support), you're going on word of mouth and applying to job ads vs. having confidence in a personal brand to identify yourself as a highly sought after and talented individual with a lucrative and fulfilling business.


Global Statistics in 2020 claimed that 594 million people identify as Entrepreneurs. As of 2024, 31 million people in the United States and 3.5 million people in Canada identify as Entrepreneurs.

  • Description: An individual who builds and manages a business, often involving innovation and significant risk-taking.

  • Pros: Potential for high financial rewards, significant impact, and growth opportunities.

  • Cons: Requires substantial investment of time, money, and effort, high risk of failure.

Become. 's take: Entrepreneurial is an adjective "​​characterized by the taking of financial risks in the hope of profit; enterprising." For some, identifying as this blanketed term can take time. Time to build the confidence and time to engage with the financial components of the word. However, since it is such a broad term, we also can engage with the sectors constantly evolving from this traditional idiom. 

Take the Solopreneur:

  • Description: An individual who runs their own business, often focused on providing services or selling products directly to customers. Also known as an Independent Professional, who is a small business owner. 

  • Pros: More control over work and business direction than a freelancer, potential for higher income.

  • Cons: Still responsible for all aspects of the business, may require broader skill sets than freelancing.

  • Common Types of Work/Niches: Coaches, Consultants, Collaborative Service Providers. People who are often specialists with a targeted niche. 

  • Health + Wellness: chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, personal trainers, etc.

  • Media: Publicists, Agents, Managers - those who support and represent creatives (freelancers often.)

  • Tech (and other industries): Fractional anything - CTOs, CFOs, CMOS

  • *Fractional leadership roles are a newer trend we're also seeing and loving. Solopreneurs strategize for companies that don't want to pay them a salary, and in return, they have the flexibility to work with multiple clients. Brilliant. 

Beyond these terms:

  • Employee: Works for a company under their direction and supervision, receiving a salary and benefits.

  • Consultant: Provides expert advice or services to businesses on a short-term or project basis. It is also seen in the Solopreneur section, but just to give you a little more insight.

  • Contractor: Similar to a freelancer but may have a longer-term agreement with a specific client. - This could be part of a Solopreneur's clientele as well.

It's important to note that these categories can overlap, and the lines may blur in practice. Your best identity depends on your goals, skills, and risk tolerance.

We are preachers for individuality at Become. Therefore, when we push the notion of building a personal brand down our throats, regardless of where we fit in the working world, it's because these working identities often correlate with our unique vantage points on a life well lived. We want you to exude confidence in your professional choices because it feels authentic to you. 

How do you currently identify on your journey?

Ask your question

  • Freelancer

  • Entrepreneur

  • Solopreneur

  • Small Business Owner

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