Fill in the blanks describing yourself.

“I am a ___ ___.”

You said “freelance writer,” didn’t you?

A year ago I would have said the same thing. However, I’ve adopted a new outlook on my career that has transformed my life as a freelance writer.

The two simple words that changed everything: business owner.

Say it once with me. I am a business owner.

Are Freelance Writers Really Business Owners?

I know what you’re thinking. How can you be a business owner if you don’t own a business? The truth is that if you’re a freelance writer, you already have a business even if you don’t realize it. The U.S. Small Business Administration says:

[A sole proprietorship] is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and you, the owner. You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.

Does this sound like you? It should.

As long as you’re working for clients on a contract basis (and not employed by them), you run your own business as a sole proprietor.

How Does This Idea Help You?

Now that you’re a business owner as opposed to a freelance writer, you’re going to notice a few changes in your life.

1.   You’ll increase your rates.

No business would charge $10 per hour for quality content, so why would your business charge that? You’re a business, not a charity. When I changed my ideals, this rate increase made sense to me, and I immediately landed clients willing to pay me more.

2.  You’ll no longer receive blank stares.

When people ask what you do for business and you say you’re freelance writer, you probably hear something like, “No, what do you do to make money?”

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could say, “I run my own web-based content writing business” and watch their jaws drop?

Even though I’d been freelance writing for three years before adopting this mentality, people suddenly started congratulating me on my business when I began calling myself a business owner.

3. You’ll create a strong online presence.

For a long time, I never gave much thought to having a writer website or engaging on social networks. What good was it to me when I could find clients on my own? When I started thinking of myself as a business, I realized that no business goes without a website, and I’ve created a stronger online presence because of it.

4. It will boost your confidence and happiness.

Did you know that 77 percent of small business owners are happier than the average worker? I suspect this is because you control your environment. When I started thinking of myself as a business owner and realized that I controlled my rates, clients, and projects, I suddenly felt capable and worthy of so much more.

You are a business owner, and you better believe it!

Still having a difficult time getting in the mindset of a “business owner?” Share your concerns in the comment section.

This post was originally published at The Writing Realm, Alicia's now-retired blog for writers.

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