Entrepreneurs are agents of change. And in this age of fantastic change, around the world the number of entrepreneurs are steadily increasing. There are business entrepreneurs. And social entrepreneurs. Not-for-Profit entrepreneurs. Millionaire-making entrepreneurs. Broke entrepreneurs. Armchair entrepreneurs. Hi-tech, lo-tech, no-tech entrepreneurs. The list goes on. Born or made? But, “Are entrepreneurs born, made, or a bit of both?” If you investigate the life-long applied research of behavioural scientists like Dr David McClelland of Harvard University. Or if you look at my own work in both the developing and post-industrial worlds over the last 43 years. You get the clear answer to your question. “Both!” Entrepreneurs are both born AND made. You are both born and made as an entrepreneur. Some things help There are some birth and upbringing factors that help. If, for example, you: – are male – are first born whether male or female – have the habit of being not a gambler risk-taker, but a calculated risk-taker – your personal need to achieve is higher than your need for power or relationships – you are under 54. Or over 54. [It’s absolutely never too late to start] – you have a ‘restless gene’. In the USA, for instance, in one study, 63% of start-ups were by men, with 18-to-34-year-olds accounting for 44% of new firm creations. This compares with 47% of start-ups initiated by men and women aged 35-54, and 9% for those 55 and older. Regardless But regardless, of these factors, you, I, anyone, can learn the e-TASKs involved in being a [potential] entrepreneur. That is as we develop the: – E-xperience – T-alents – A-ttitudes – S-kills – K-now how of entrepreneurs. And as we put ourselves into entrepreneurial – S-ituations. Practice, practice, practice And, as we practice. No entrepreneur emerges Day One as a Ye Compleat Master Entrepreneur. We all start as the Master’s Apprentice. We all learn our craft. Learn by our self if we must, but hopefully with the aid of a Master Mentor or two, a buddy or two, and a team. The one really key deciding factor seems to mental. It’s our desire, will, commitment that ultimately decides if we take the entrepreneurial leap of faith. Or we stay rooted in our armchair: “None of makes an impression on the world, sitting down.” Love learning Entrepreneuring is an art, a portfolio of skills, and practice, practice, practice. We learn not just by sitting in our armchair, thinking – which is also important. But ultimately by doing. This is why many university-trained professionals sometimes have a harder time in being successful entrepreneurs. First we must un-eTASKs them as part of eTASKs-ing them as entrepreneurs. And we must get them out of their head and into their body-soul-spirit. Winston Churchill said, “I love learning. I hate being taught.” Similarly many highly skilled and successful entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists, political leaders do badly at school. And opt out of college or University. The long list includes Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Kerry Packer, Soichiro Honda… Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin…Socrates, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln. But we/they are life-long learners. And, typically, we have a huge capacity for self-learning and learning – especially by doing, trialling, experimenting, having a go. The good news. Malcolm Gladwell in his fascinating book, ‘The Outliers’, evidences, Mastery of any skill set takes just 10,000 hours of focused practice! Start now You, and I, get to be Start-Up Entrepreneurs right now. Then to be Up-Start entrepreneurs and eventually Master Entrepreneurs, by taking seven initial actions. 1. Work out our life purpose. We work out very clearly, perhaps with help, what our life purpose is, why we’re here on this planet, what difference we want to make. So we make this life purpose the foundation Purpose of our Business. See Life Purpose. And Business Purpose.
2. Get a mentor. We recruit a well-experienced Entrepreneurial Mentor or two with the right Deep Smarts to work with us.
3. Become a peer mentor. We set-up peer mentoring relationships with fellow budding entrepreneurs partners where as Initiates we learn, practice, grow, develop and sustain together.
4. Set up a mentoring team. We forgo the joys and pains of being a Solo Entrepreneur, and we set up, and operate a small entrepreneurial team or unit or ‘advisory board’ – that combines a suitable mix of eTASKs.
5. Learn to find patterns. We develop quickly the fine art of constantly scoping, scanning, analysing and synthesizing our immediate and broader context-situation-environment for opportunities.
6. Learn some specific entrepreneurial skills. We become experts not just in social questioning, but also in opportunistic questioning. And we develop the skill of turning problems into opportunities.
7. Practice. We practice, practice, practice. We think, think, think. Test, test, test. Do, do, do. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Here’s to more entrepreneuring! ——- Neville Christie is a professional business mentor, company chairman and serial entrepreneur who has built 44 of his own businesses and is still going. He also mentors fellow entrepreneurs and chairs their companies. Neville can assist you get the life and business you want, and make your impossible dreams come true. Visit his website at .