Are you a "real" entrepreneur if you go 1099?

I asked someone recently why they didn't buy my Going 1099 book and they said that they "really want to be an entrepreneur."

Fair enough.

I don't know exactly how to define entrepreneurship. If you're in Silicon Valley it seems to imply starting some kind of tech company and raising investment money.

Obviously that is far too narrow a scope. People start non-tech entrepreneurial ventures all the time!

But, it doesn't really matter.

What I do know from my own experience is that going 1099 helps you develop entrepreneurial skills.

You will learn how to pitch your services to a program manager.

You will learn how to negotiate rates, fees, and contract terms.

You will learn the mechanics of operating a business (maintaining profitability, cash flow, paying taxes, etc.).

You will learn how to manage business risks.

The list goes on and on.

So is 1099 solo federal sub-contracting the same as inventing a new product and building a company around it?


But, if you do want to do something like that in the future, the entrepreneurial skills you develop as a solo 1099 will only help you in your next entrepreneurial endeavor.


If you have questions feel free to reach out to me directly at I can also add you to my informal mailing list in case I have updates or news or whatever.


I wrote a book about becoming a 1099 solo federal sub-contractor. I cover entrepreneurial skills in the context of getting your first 1099 gig.

You can read more about it here:

Going 1099: How to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money and unlock more free time

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