There have been a few articles telling you if you are or aren’t an entrepreneur based on whether you also have a full time job. Basically if you have a full-time job and your own venture is a side hustle then the authors have deemed you are not an entrepreneur. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised that the people writing these articles do not have full-time jobs working for someone.
I could explain how having two jobs, one that is not vaguely rewarding, is harder. I could argue that sometimes success is the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time. I could argue that some self made, up by the bootstraps modern day Horatio Algers inherited big, successful businesses or their family and friends have bankrolled them and despite their assurances, life isn’t quite a meritocracy.
Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, didn’t make much from his writing. He worked for 19 years as a customs official. But he kept on writing up to his death. Some of his writing was so unpopular few copies were printed, and a copy of one of his books was found in the NY Public Library 50 years later with pages in a state that showed it had never been read. His first book was enthusiastically received. He could have written more just like it in a formulaic fashion, but he didn’t. He made a choice that he preferred to write how he wanted to, and would earn money through a job to support his family.
Adolphe William Bouguereau, the French painter, painted Orestes Pursued by the Furies, in 1862. It’s an amazing, terrifying painting. Bouguereau said after it was harshly criticized “I soon found that the horrible, the
frenzied, the heroic does not pay.” Most of his work after that painting is of baby angels, women and children and other pleasant, bright scenes. He decided to change what he painted to be better received by critics and the paying public.
“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”