Are you born an entrepreneur?

It’s widely believed that entrepreneurs are born, rather than made, and that the character traits common to all successful entrepreneurs are somehow genetic predispositions.  Some of the most renowned entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson and Alan Sugar left school as soon as they were able, immediately got their noses to the grindstone and began to make their way in the world.  But is that not just a coincidence?  After all, leaving school at 16 is hardly a character trait.  Are entrepreneurs really the product of nature or nurture?

Given the fact that entrepreneurs come from all walks of life; all socio-economic circumstances; with an enormous diversity of character and personality, skills, and industry backgrounds it’s difficult to imagine that there is some hard-wired tendency towards successful entrepreneurship.  That said, there are certainly several ingrained character traits essential to entrepreneurial success.

What do you need?

Firstly, an entrepreneur must be incredibly hard working and whilst it IS possible that people can be born lazy or otherwise, one would think that this is predominantly a quality resulting from upbringing.  However, maybe it could be argued that genetics play a part in the environment providing that upbringing?  The same is true for tenacity and determination, along with the ability to learn from occasional failures and self-confidence.

Ambition, a dogged refusal to give up, and the burning desire to pursue a dream tend to be part of one’s character in the first place, but once again, these aspects of personality do need to be tended and encouraged in order to develop into more than just pie-in-the-sky.  Having the common-sense financial savvy required to succeed is almost certainly part of one’s psyche – indeed, right from early years education there are clearly natural mathematicians and equally natural arty types – but this too could be probably also be developed in time and with plenty of practical experience.

Most entrepreneurs have a natural flair and knack for sales, whether it’s selling themselves, their ideas or their actual products and although one can, to some degree, be trained to sell, only the innate and instinctive salespeople will truly excel, and build a team which shares the same level of belief and determination.

So, it’s apparent that many of the entrepreneur’s individual personality qualities are probably born rather than made, upbringing and education contribute too – perhaps the answer is that entrepreneurs are a result of nature AND nurture, with a huge chunk of experience.