creative entrepreneurship
Work and Money

Where's The Line Between Hustle And Entrepreneurship?

Photo Credit: Valeria Ushakova/Pexels


A quick search online about whether or not living the hustle life is entrepreneurship may leave you feeling like all of your hard work means nothing. Investopedia defines entrepreneurship as starting your own business and taking on the risks and rewards that come with that. Under that definition, anything that requires a risk of money and your time would be entrepreneurial then, right?

There's More to the Hustle Lifestyle Than Meets the Eye

While there are plenty of people out there selling makeup and clothing made by others, there are just as many people hustling to make a buck selling their own creations. To me, the hustle is about having multiple irons in the fire and has nothing at all to do with direct sales companies. I am a hustling entrepreneur.

I started hustling and going into business for myself before the internet was a big player in the world. I became an Avon Lady in my early 20s, something that did require an investment from me that I wouldn't get back if I wasn't successful (and I wasn't). I've handcrafted soaps, candles, floral arrangements, and clothing to sell at craft fairs and small businesses that allow consignments. In addition, I've sold my art and self-published books.

Some of my hustles required no money upfront to get going, just hope that I would make some for the time I put in. But I was working for myself, so that made me an entrepreneur, right?

Does Naming Your Business Make You an Entrepreneur?

The line between entrepreneurship and hustling is pretty blurry. If you go strictly by the concept that you have to risk money to be an entrepreneur, then launching a business with no startup costs wouldn't be entrepreneurial, right? Perhaps you start your business while you're still at your day job to cushion the blow if things don't work out. But it's still a risk.

I've gone through at least a dozen business names and ideas in the past decade alone. I've never gone so far as to get an LLC, mainly because my businesses tend to be fleeting. As a creative person, my ideas are constantly growing and changing, and with those changes come new business ideas and new business names.

So, What Makes One a Successful Entrepreneur?

Success is most definitely in the eye of the beholder. I see myself as a successful entrepreneurial hustler — juggling my career as a writer, along with my collage art and photographer side business, while making time to do oracle readings at events and private parties.

I'll never be wealthy enough or successful enough to be on the cover of Forbes magazine, but that isn't my goal. I simply want to do all of the things I love and make a living from them.

Success in any job, whether you're the boss or not, comes from the individual. If you feel like you're a successful entrepreneur, a successful cashier, or a successful bank teller — you are! Perhaps you see yourself as a success because of the size of your bank account, but there's a chance you see yourself that way because you're good at what you do and you enjoy it. For example, I am a successful entrepreneur because I get to do things I enjoy while making money and setting my own schedule.

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