I was at my biweekly networking breakfast meeting this morning, and one of my colleagues said something very intriguing. He had been speaking to one of his own business friends a few weeks ago and had a flash of insight during their conversation – as the owner of a real estate company, he is not really self-employed. He is actually self-managed.

If you don’t pay yourself (and I don’t know many who do), then you are not self-employed. You’re really employed by the market. My colleague noted that this is actually quite refreshing, because the market is pure – not subject to the whims and odd behaviour of individuals, like certain former bosses, but driven by what’s useful to a very large group of consumers and users.

I like this idea. I’m responsible for myself in terms of managing my time, finances, projects, and marketing but my success or failure depends upon how well I supply what’s needed by the market.

Adaptability is important, and being small is my advantage.  If what I’m offering becomes unpopular or unneeded by the market, I have the flexibility to refocus my efforts. I’m not under the thumb of a large company that doesn’t have the freedom to move quickly when the market turns on them.