Are Entrepreneurs Born or Raised That Way?
by Arina Smith Entrepreneurship 17 October 2018
Are entrepreneurs nurtured or is it just nature?
This is a debate that has raised for a long time. The conclusion is it’s a bit of both. We spoke to entrepreneur and consultant Sam Ovens to find out what he thinks about the nature vs. nurture debate.
The Study that Backs It:
One of the oft-repeated studies is that by Scott Shane. He found that identical twins have more entrepreneurial tendencies than those who’re fraternal. It’s an interesting study, but it only provides a correlation, as opposed to a connection.
Sam says that he believes even if some people are born with a natural talent for entrepreneurship, a lot of nurturing has to go into it.
It’s All About Independence:
Entrepreneurs have to have an independent mind by nature. It’s one of the key characteristics of becoming an entrepreneur. These are the people who don’t want to work the 9-5 routine to pad someone else’s paycheck. They want to succeed on their own terms.That doesn’t mean they aren’t team players, according to Sam, but they’re independent by nature.
But What About the Success of Entrepreneurs?
Another university study said that successful people may be born with the potential to be successful, but most of the studies into whether entrepreneurs are born don’t measure how successful these entrepreneurs are.
This is an important point Sam feels that people often miss. Some people may be born to be entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t mean they’re born to be successful entrepreneurs. The process for entrepreneurial success is largely the same. It’s trial and error and you need the tools to succeed.
One example Sam uses is: Would Michael Phelps have won so many gold medals if he didn’t have access to the advanced training methods of the US Olympic team?
How are Entrepreneurs Nurtured?
Some nurturing always has to come into it. It’s not difficult to see because the richest entrepreneurs in the world are almost exclusively from rich Westernized nations, with only a few notable exceptions.
That doesn’t mean entrepreneurs from Africa, Latin America, and Asia aren’t as effective as their Western counterparts. It simply means that they don’t have access to the same facilities and opportunities.
Sam says it’s irrelevant how good someone is or how they were born to be an entrepreneur if they have nothing around them to support them in their endeavors.
This includes access to education, important contacts, and the markets needed for them to go from national business to an international powerhouse.
The difference can be something as simple as the American can enter Europe, whereas the Somalian can’t even step foot on the continent.
Last Word – Born or Raised?
Sam says it’s a combination of both. Entrepreneurs need to be born with the right personality traits and characteristics, but if the tools aren’t there to nurture them their potential will never be realized.
Do you think entrepreneurs are born or raised?