Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

by Krantcents · 26 comments

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Are entrepreneurs born or made?  There are so many college classes teaching entrepreneurship, I thought I would ask the question.  See I grew up in an entrepreneur incubator!  Both my parents had thriving businesses and did not have the benefit of any college classes in entrepreneurship.  I think if you interviewed them, they would tell you they didn’t know where they got the skills.  They just followed their instincts and went for it.

Education/Experience

If you do not get the skills from education, you are left with experience.  In my parent’s case, they both grew up in entrepreneurial families.  Their parents either had a retail store, selling skills or manufacturing skills.  My father went to Paris to become a tailor.  He immigrated to the United States and eventually opened a ladies coat factory.  My mother followed him ten (10) years later to marry him and opened a retail store within a year after coming to the United States.  They never thought about failure.

Confidence

They did not spend a lot of time thinking or planning these businesses, instead they assessed the risks and did it anyway.  Yes, they were risk takers, but they knew that they were doing because of experience.  Not personal experience, but experience within the family.  Their parents were business owners too.  Another reason to raise the question is entrepreneurs born or made?  They told me there was so much opportunity in those days because of all the immigrants.

Timing

Demand was strong for products and services!  My father started his business right after World War I when the country was growing and we soon entered The Roaring Twenties.  My mother started her retail store at the worst possible time right after the birth of my older brother and during The Great Depression.  Some may say it was bad timing, but others would say it was the best time to start a business.  The business flourished because it was supported by the neighborhood and the business lasted about twenty-five (25) years.

Risks

Tolerance for risk is a key element for entrepreneurship!  Opportunities occur often if you are aware of them.  Your tolerance for risk determines what opportunities you are willing to take.  Personality traits such as determination, perseverance, and passion usually get you through the difficulties.  Are these learned or natural skills?  Can you learn to be a risk taker?  I think success encourages risk taking.  The more success you have taking risks the more you are willing to take risks.

Discipline/Determination

Many people are concerned about failing which in many cases stops you from trying.  Failure was not an option for my parents!  Before social media, you had old fashioned networking through friends and relatives.  There were a lot of people helping my parents succeed, but it was their hard work and determination that made them successful.  Work ethics or soft skills trump your fears!  They literally worked seven (7) days a week to make these businesses successful.

Passion

Passion is an overused word when it comes to entrepreneurship.  Do you really need to love your work to put in the extra hours?  I think you must enjoy what you are doing in order to be good at it.  You have to be willing to do whatever is necessary to make your business successful.  Success will ignite passion and who doesn’t like success?   My parents were successful!  Did they love what they did?  I know that enjoyed success and certainly parts of their business.  Did I love my businesses?  I enjoyed may parts of my businesses, but nothing is 100%

Final Thoughts

We can debate this, but most entrepreneurs have some of the basic characteristics or they won’t succeed in business.  Some of the most important are Discipline, determination, confidence and risk taker.  If you are missing these basic traits, you probably do not want to have your own business anyway.  Can you learn the other traits or skills?  I think you can learn accounting or how to cook!  You can also partner with people who have the missing skills or experience.  Consulting with professionals can bridge some gaps too. No matter what type of entrepreneur you are, you will be aware that cashflow is critical to your business. Get it right the first time with this handy guide to business finance from Hitachi Capital UK (PLC). If you really feel that your company has a true potential to grow enter the Inspired Cashflow competition to get access to business funding free of charge for 12 months.  Are entrepreneurs born or made?

Photo by:  dpstyles

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