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Entrepreneur or Freelancer: Which Are You?

It might seem like a minor distinction, but understanding the difference between being a freelancer and being an entrepreneur is a pretty big deal. Thinking your one but acting like the other can lead to a lot of stress and a lot of frustration. Sometimes it can be enough to make you throw in the towel all together. So whether you’ve been at this a long time or you’re just jumping into being your own boss, take a second to consider who you are — a freelancer? Or an entrepreneur?

Seth Godin lays it out nicely:

A freelancer is someone who gets paid when they work.

An entrepreneur builds a business bigger than themselves.

If you’ve built your business on your ability to design, say, websites then you are thinking like a freelancer. You are working like a freelancer. And you are getting paid like a freelancer. Now that’s all well and good until you start thinking about hiring people to help you out. Maybe they could work cheaply and you could pocket the difference. The problem is that nobody can design as well as you can, and because your business has been built on your ability to design, you’re going to have an impossible time finding anyone better than you. You’ll be stuck in between being a freelancer and an entrepreneur. You’ll stretch yourself too thin, and most likely end up doing all the work yourself anyway.

To truly function as an entrepreneur, you have to be interested in building a business bigger than yourself. You have to be interested in growing, and potentially selling, your business. Which means that every person you hire should be better at their job than you are. You should be able to step away and your company continues to function like a champ.

Seth Godin uses Starbucks as an example. Howard Shultz didn’t know how to make amazing coffee. Howard Shultz knew how to scale a coffee business like it had never been scaled before. He thought like an entrepreneur, not a freelancer.

So what are you more interested in — doing the work or growing the business? Making great coffee or scaling a coffee business? Decide now and save yourself years of frustration. And of course there is no reason you can’t move between the two at different times in your life, just so long as you are aware of who you are in each moment.

Introducing Blinksale for iOS

The first iteration of Blinksale for iOS is now available on the App Store, and it’s free for anyone with a Blinksale account (even free trial folks). Go get it!

There are big plans in motion, and this app release is really just the beginning. We’ve focused on getting the core functionality of Blinksale out there and plan to roll out more and more features on a regular basis.

We made this for you, and we hope you love it.

Thank you!

The Blinksale Team

Calling All Blinksale API Users

Calling All Blinksale API Users! We want to hear about some cool ways Blinksale users are using the API.

What have you built? Have you integrated it with a shopping cart? Have you made your life significantly easier?

If you have built something with the API, please email Patrick at patrick at blinksale dot com with subject “Blinksale API” and give us a brief description (including links and screen shots if you can!) of what you have done.

Thanks, and thanks for using Blinksale!

Sending invoices with Blinksale vs. Word Processors

When in casual conversation with our friends who send invoices, we often find that the response to “What do you send your invoices with?” is “Usually just a Pages or Word doc. Maybe an Excel spreadsheet.”

(cringe)

At the end of the day, if you are sending Word docs and you love it, that’s great. The first rule is finding a system you know you’ll stick with and you know you’ll love.

However, here are some advantages to using a system like Blinksale over just creating the invoices themselves in Word.

1. All of your information in one place.

- Word docs are files, and unless you have a superhuman ability to always put the right file in the right place, these can be lost very easily.

- Your contacts’ basic information (at least their name and email) are in Blinksale once you have sent them an invoice.

2. The flow of creating an invoice is so easy.

- Need to send a similar invoice to the last invoice you sent? Easy, Blinksale allows you to duplicate, and then edit.

- Can’t remember what invoice number you sent last? Easy, Blinksale shows you your last invoice number right in the screen you are creating a new invoice in.

3. Accessible anywhere.

- Are you in a mall and a client calls your mobile number in a frantic state asking for your most recent invoice to reconcile their books for the month? Hop on your phone (or into the Apple store), login, and send. If you don’t have access everywhere, you’ll be at a loss in those rare but important situations.

What are your favorite reasons to use cloud computing softwares like Blinksale?

Scheduled Maintenance

Blinksale will briefly be unavailable due to a scheduled maintenance from Engine Yard and AWS on Tuesday, September 30, between 09:00:00 GMT (1am PST) and 15:00:00 GMT (8am PST).

During this period, our database master instance will be rebooted, making the main application unavailable for only a few minutes.

If you have any questions in the meantime, let us know: support@blinksale.com

Update

We decided to perform a proactive maintenance on Monday, to avoid a longer downtime on Tuesday. The Blinksale webapp was unavailable for 15 minutes, starting at 21:25 GMT (1:25pm PST). During this period, we promoted our database slave to master, and provisioned a new database slave replica.

To understand more about why this maintenance was required, check out these two links: