Firstly, let us establish exactly what an entrepreneur is. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines it as “someone who establishes a new entity, to offer a new or existing product or service into a new or existing market. Entrepreneurs often have strong beliefs about a market opportunity and are willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue that opportunity”.
The ‘born or made’ question appears to be the basic argument between nature and nurture. Certainly if one is born with certain personality traits, they will assist in entrepreneurship. It seems fairly obvious that entrepreneurs are both born and made. Perhaps they also evolve. Pedigree and luck probably play a big part. But genes alone are unlikely to be enough.
Research shows that there is such a person as an “entrepreneurial type”, with certain characteristics. Often these types have had a mother or father who also was an entrepreneur. A prime example of this type of character would be Sir Richard Branson, the English owner/operator of the Virgin group of companies. His mother instilled certain characteristics in young Richard before he was grown.
Certainly if you are a born leader, with a highly organized and competitive personality, and you are self-confident and prepared to work endless hours for an indefinite time, then you are on the right track.
But you will also need to have adequate resources, be in good health, have bucket loads of energy, and have a supportive partner or network of friends. Would you be happy to forego short term success for a long term gain? Can you take risks and communicate your experience to others? Do you have a burning desire to be the best? These are all skills and attributes which are demanded from entrepreneurs.
In addition, you will have to have an inbuilt desire to achieve. To be a workaholic, and to have the quality of nurturing your business until grown. It will certainly help if you are an optimist, and it goes without saying that you will need to accept that you are fully accountable for all aspects of your venture.
In scholarly circles the theory of “demand” is now most widely accepted. This theory believes that entrepreneurs emerge from the mixture of entrepreneurial opportunities and people who are in a position to take full advantage of them.
Therefore, the theory goes anyone who comes across the right conditions, may also become an entrepreneur. The secret seems to be to find a solution to a problem, or to fill a niche market, and to be the only person who can achieve this target.
So if you are aiming to become an entrepreneur, but so far in your life you have not managed it, there is hope. Maybe you were just waiting for the perfect idea, and the perfect time. Maybe that time is now?