The go-it-alone entrepreneur is neither a free agent nor a franchise owner. This chapter explains why.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FREE AGENTS
When the music stops, the person with no seat is out.
—Rule for the children’s game “Musical Chairs”
What Is a Free Agent?
A great deal has been written about the potential transformation of the workforce into an ever-growing group of free agents. This dynamic is the subject of Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself. But it’s essential to distinguish between a go-it-alone entrepreneur and a free agent. In general, a free agent is a skilled individual who makes a living working for others though a series of short- or long-term assignments. The free agent is never a full-time employee and so has far greater freedom than classic corporate employees, in terms of both leisure time and freedom from corporate politics. In theory, a free agent—as compared to a full-time employee—also achieves both greater personal control over his or her own life and a superior income because of the specialized expertise he or she brings to a specific project.