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Self-Employed Or Entrepreneur

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
1 min read

I thought I was an entrepreneur. But I am actually self-employed.

There is a difference between those two. And knowing the difference is just a start.

How I started

During the dot-com bubble in 2000, it was easy to raise funds. As long as your company’s name had a dot-com, people will fund it.

When the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in 2001, suddenly the money stopped. And because the company isn’t making enough money, we burned through the cash we had pretty quickly.

Despite several attempts to create a sustainable business, we failed and I was fired. Once I was out on the streets, I had to find a way to make money really quickly.

Relying on what I knew, which was advising small businesses on creating business plans, I started a consulting practice doing just that. I thought I had started a business. But what I really did was to create a job for myself. A job that only I can do. A job that only I would want to do.

Being self-employed is not the same as an entrepreneur

Most consultants who worked for themselves are really just self-employed.

When they go on vacation, they are not getting paid (unless they work during their vacations).

When they are sick and cannot show up for their assignments, they do not get paid.

They had to choose between going to their kid’s recital or missing an important client’s meeting.

So what really happens is that the money stops the moment they stop working.

That suck. Big time.

Leveraging your talent and technology

It used to be that being a specialist in one narrow field is not sustainable. However, things have changed. With the Internet, now every niche could be profitable. Because the power of the Internet is able to help you find the thousands of people who are interested in what you have to say.

And that alone could provide you with the ability to support yourself and even your family.

How are you leveraging your talent and technology to take your business and lifestyle to the next level?

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.