Showdown 6: Independence

March 29, 2007

Posted in Small Business.

This is part six of a series exploring factors in self-employment and traditional employment. For more about this series, read the opening article.


Your freedom in what you do and how you do it

Self Boss
Pros Cons Pros Cons
  • Few outside influences on your methods
  • Flexibility means you can try and change course easily
  • Entrepreneurship is all about creating new things
  • Clients often make demands on your methodology, and it can be hard to say no
  • Investing in new methods or technologies often means money and time that you may not have
  • May not have mentors to assist you in exploring new ways
  • Resources to try new things without risking as much
  • Difficult to get buy-in for “risky” ideas
  • “Let’s just do what we’ve always done”


If you’re an independent contractor, it’s pretty obvious who wins the independence battle. But for small businesses in a more traditional sense, independence is challenged by resources and circumstances. However, many (too many) businesses seek stability and fear risky changes. Stability is just another word for inertia. Big businesses are particularly concerned about this. But as Seth Godin says, “safe is risky.” Adapting to change is one of the smartest things a business can do, and small businesses have a major advantage. With little history and low impact on the organization, changing on the fly isn’t a calculated decision for most small enterprises – it’s what they do.

Winner: Self-Employment