When you hear the word entrepreneur, what comes to mind? Chances are the images run the gamut, from people as famous as Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates to people as familiar as the owner of your favorite local restaurant. You may be thinking about icons like singer/songwriter Taylor Swift, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, or even your own local realtor. All of these people are entrepreneurs. But do you consider yourself one of them? No matter what kind of business you’ve started or are thinking about starting, considering yourself an entrepreneur is essential.

There are people who have “wobbies,” work-related hobbies, and there those who dabble in something to make a little extra money. Alongside them are serious entrepreneurs running successful full-time or side businesses. Often women present themselves as the former although their intentions might be the latter.

If you own your own business, not matter what the current level, consider how you are presenting it. Even if you’re in the early stages of your career goal, making every effort to present yourself as a serious professional will help you grow. Perhaps you have grand plans of a large, full-scale operation that may one day be your full-time work and passion. A side business can be a viable path to get there and one that you can do in smaller steps while maintaining the security of your main job.

The way you present yourself and frame your business makes a difference. If you’ve been thinking of your business as your “hobby,” or “something you do on the side”, stop and start thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur instead. Consider the following examples:

  • Melissa takes wedding photos
  • Melissa is a professional photographer
  • Dana does the books for Dr. Clark
  • Dana is an accountant who manages the payroll and expenses for a local business
  • Chris sells skin care
  • Chris owns a skin care business

If you were looking to hire a professional, which one would you want to hire? Consider how you think and speak about your business, no matter what level you are currently at. Your efforts deserve it!