The Difference Between A Freelancer & A Founder

danielle devereux
Published in
6 min readJan 27, 2016


I had a very interesting, spontaneous conversation over Zcast this morning with Founder Roy Povarchik, and I wanted to share my personal learnings from our conversation. Hopefully, they can help aspiring Founders/Freelancers.

This morning we discussed the rituals and habits we have in common inspired by this blog post-

What struck me as the biggest difference between his habits and my own, was his daily routine of creating his own content.

I felt a kindred spirit in him and wanted to connect so I Tweeted at him -

To which I surprisingly got this awesome response -

He invited me to use an app I had never heard of before probably because it’s an app that is about a week old? Forgive me if I make any mistakes on its capabilities, but my understanding is it enables you to connect to Twitter and start a live podcast immediately.

Which is exactly what we did.

Both Roy and I juggle running our own businesses with the responsibility of parenthood and spouses. We both also like to start off our daily routines with a beverage- he reaches for a glass of water, while I, on the other hand, down about a gallon of coffee. I will let you all judge whose habit is the better one there.

We discovered that we both admire Tara Brach’s podcast and have fit her into our daily lives.

“Even so, when this automatic habit of controlling takes over, when our whole identity is in the persona of The Controller, we become removed from the qualities of presence, freshness, and spontaneity; we lose the ability to respond from a wiser, more compassionate place.” — Tara Brach

From “Hands Off the Controls”:

Roy listens to her 25-minute meditations and has asked some of his employees to join him in a daily meditation habit which is great for bringing a sense of calm, clarity and focus to their day.

I take a somewhat different approach to daily meditation, I like to listen to dharma talks while on a morning run and when I return home I try and squeeze in a 25-minute meditation.

Tara offers her podcast for free on Itunes. She will help you reach a new level, especially if you’ve been dipping your feet in the water by using the Headspace app. As Roy put it, with Headspace you feel as though you are sitting still and thinking. With Tara, you will feel empowered to take your meditation to the next level. Game changer for us both.

Roy and I have both been in growth marketing since around 2005. We feel old in an industry that is skewing younger and younger. And while we both feel our younger colleagues have the upper hand in their ability to learn and adopt new technologies faster and more innately, we both feel our experience and deep knowledge of the industry is what keeps us competitive.

Roy and I offer a similar set of services to startups- strategy, content marketing, SEO, analytics. The main differentiator between Roy and myself that makes him a Founder and me a freelancer still, is that he has built in his habit of creating content on a daily basis.

I know writing and producing content whether it be images, video or blog posts is the most important factor in building your personal brand and establishing yourself in moving from a freelancer role into that of a founder.

As freelancers, we are skillfully completing tasks that our clients set out before us building growth and revenue for others. In the back of our mind what we need to be focused on is our own growth. What we are learning and how can we share those learnings with friends, followers and prospective clients.

As freelancers, we are taking on “gigs”, “projects” we are not at a job with benefits and security, so we have to build the security into what we are doing. The most empowering way to do this is by creating content. Pick your medium and start today.

As Roy reminded me, build in a daily habit, even if it is a small one at first. Like all things we do daily, it will get better and grow.

I hold myself back with fear that I can’t write 4000 words or I am not a good enough writer, or I don’t have the time. Worst yet, I have even blamed my family. When it comes down to it, the things we want to do, we do, and if we do not, they will haunt us until we MAKE THE TIME to do them. I read an awesome blog post that brings this idea to life better than I have here:

“If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise. Maybe what you want isn’t what you want, you just enjoy wanting. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.”

Why is writing the thing that separates freelancers from founders? Great founders build momentum with every project. They build a body of work and ideas. They create legacy. They share these things and help others learn how to do this for themselves.

If freelancers get into the habit of creating content soon enough they will have a small body of work and learnings to share with others. Before you know it, those gigs will get better, more lucrative and there will be people lining up to hire you. Why? Because your content is working for you while you sleep. Every piece of content you share, assuming its quality, does its own job of filling your funnel and building a base of leads for you to move on from when your last gig is up.

Freelancers have to realize that gigs are just that — gigs. They are projects, experiments that other people have hired you to do for them. They will come to end, most likely within 6 months to a year. To avoid the crushing despair that comes from not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from, start creating and sharing your insights and learnings today, so that in 6 months you can email your waiting list and ask …who’s next?

For more insights on freelancing please join my upcoming Twitter chat hosted by CloudPeeps.

Thursday, January 28th 11AM PST / 1PM EST #peepchat

Special thanks to Roy Povarchik for bringing spontaneity to life.

Please read the companion piece to this post on Roy’s blog.

If you are curious to learn more about my work visit me here, and follow me on Twitter.

Apologies to the English language. I banged this out in 20 minutes.

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