Being an Entrepreneur - Nature or Nurture?

Updated: Jun 17

Entrepreneurship has always been highly valued in the society around us. The question that entrepreneurs are in-born or are nurtured in a specific way is a very interesting debate that has been going on for many years now. People have had very long arguments as to whether entrepreneurship is in the nature of an individual or it is the effect of the upbringing and the result of the surrounding one lives in.

People who wish to become an entrepreneur tend to have a perception of a very successful man with amazing looks and a firm handshake. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and heights because it is usually not something in-born.

The way I perceive this is that both nature and nurture play pivotal roles in determining whether one can be a successful entrepreneur. To explain this lets just say that my father has brilliant leadership skills and there's a chance that I may have inherited this genetic trait, but I would not be sure until I lead a project. The thing is even if one may have genetically inherited something, it needs to be sharpened and polished to perfection.

To become a successful entrepreneur, an individual needs to have the qualities and the passion rather than just a perception of what he wants to be.

For a startup to flourish, one should always have a sense of responsibility and the ability to take calculated risks to succeed in this field of life which explains why the word entrepreneur is derived from Old French "entreprendre" which means "to undertake". An entrepreneur should be able to manage the resources of a business well in order for the enterprise to flourish.

One’s inclination towards starting a business is nurtured by multiple factors. Some factors are developed by the environment one is brought up in while the others are the internal factors unique to an individual and vary from person to person. The external factors may include a society one lives in. For instance if I live in America, I would prefer establishing a business of Western Clothing line as compared to an Eastern one. On the other hand I would not be able to start a business as long as I do not have enough resources which may include capital, time, and availability of raw material.

The environment has a great impact on the personality, likes and dislikes of a human being. We are influenced by our surroundings a lot more than we think. Researchers have concluded that around 50%-70% of the personality is developed by the surroundings. In simple words, people living abroad tend to have a likelihood for western living style while the same living style is discouraged by the people living in Pakistan. For example, a child, when sees his parents doing the household chores, mimics them. People tend to take inspiration from their own surroundings. A man surrounded by entrepreneurs in his day-to-day lives observes their discussions and understands their tactics of running a successful inspiration may also want to have his very own startup one day.

People who usually wish to become an entrepreneur are more interested in generating jobs rather than doing them. They like to see people work on their ideas. For a business to flourish, it constantly needs new ideas and innovative aspects of marketing hence the entrepreneur should be innovative, creative and needs to be farsighted so that he would be able to clearly predict the consequences of his/her decisions.

Scott Shane, a professor of entrepreneurial studies , states that the abilities we inherit only enables us to recognize opportunities, but in this case helps us to highlight ways to establish a successful business. This research somehow explains why the children of entrepreneurs tend to end up being an entrepreneur themselves. Scott Shane is also the author of the book “Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders”.

Sometimes one might have a desirable trait for a particular job that may give an advantage over others, but it does not mean that the less-privileged in that aspect cannot succeed you. They can always inculcate skills in them through observation and practice. Piling onto it, some people may argue that tall people tend to play basketball better and have a career in this field. However, this is no excuse for a normal heighted man to quit playing basketball and indeed practice makes a man perfect. People who aren't very tall can play equally well or better if they work hard enough.

The implementation depends on the experience and the skills of an individual. The concept of ‘Fostering Entrepreneurship’ or more commonly known as nature based entrepreneurs are more likely to think in a way that they can analyze the opportunities coming their way and are more inclined towards taking calculated risks. However, entrepreneurship is also a result of training despite it being received by formal education or on internships or job training.

To sum up all of the points discussed above, it can be clearly stated that being successful is not based on one's luck. As said by Thomas Edison it is ‘Genius are 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration’. Not only entrepreneurs, but all the occupations in the world despite it being a musician, an athlete or even an engineer need to combine their in-born talents with hard work and determination to vanquish their shortcomings and follow their desired occupation.

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