Are Entrepreneurs Born or Built?

Recent technology success stories have created the notion that anybody who can raise venture capital can start a business and become an entrepreneur.

The eventual failure of many of these start-up companies has Wall Street reconsidering what makes an entrepreneur to launch a successful startup company. It is not just cash and a good idea. American business needs to reevaluate what it means to be an entrepreneur.

While the word entrepreneur refers to a business person who has founded a company, it is more than that, it is a particular set of talents and characteristics that are naturally inherent in certain individuals. The drive to become an entrepreneur is evident to them early in life and motivates them to start their own business and build our economy.

The most successful startup companies are founded by individuals who have a particular entrepreneurial gene if you like the Entrepreneur Gene,  and skill set that is unique in the business world.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t require years of formal education, business experience, and industry knowledge. It is their inner entrepreneur that drives them to gain this specialized training and expertise to launch their firm.

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Characteristics of Succesful Entrepreneurs

Good Salesperson

All entrepreneurs need to know how to sell. Whether they’re selling their business idea to bankers for business loans, or whether they are selling their company’s vision to their employees their sales skills are vital to their success.

Driven to Succeed

Your drive and passion for success and achievement will fuel your entrepreneurial ventures. This is a very different type of mindset than that of a corporate executive. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs came from humble beginnings which drove their hunger for success. This inner drive will motivate you and keep your energy high to work the long hours required to make your new business a success.

Free Thinker

As an entrepreneur, you steer your own ship as Captain. You need to rely on yourself and nobody else, thus you need to think for yourself and be ready to make tough decisions. Most entrepreneurs have a particularly strong intuition and self-trust. They are responsible for their lives, their companies, and their employees, and they take it very seriously

Understand Buyers

To succeed as a business owner, you need to deeply understand your customers and why they buy your product and service. You must identify with them and walk a mile in their shoes. This means knowing the actual reason they buy, not the one they like to tell you.  If you deeply understand their psychology, their culture, their needs and wants, you will know what they want to buy before they do.

Long-Term Commitment

Entrepreneurs know that it takes time to develop a business and they can diligently and patiently work towards their goals. This is often challenging for us for quick-witted, fast talking entrepreneurs to practice in real life. However, it is a trait they must develop if they plan to succeed.


Entrepreneurs are Born Different

They think differently

Scientists have discovered that entrepreneurial brains are different and they have named this difference “entrepreneurial cognition”. This means the way that entrepreneurs make decisions is vastly different than full-time employees. Neuroscientists have determined that the men and women who become successful entrepreneurs have an unusually high characteristic of seeking novelty and independence, plus they are also highly exploratory, impulsive, optimistic, eager and responsible.


Entrepreneurs are motivated

They want to work. In fact, they are excited about the activities and goals they have set for themselves and their new business. They are vastly different from those individuals whose work life is simply a paycheck. Please do not be tricked into thinking that the life of an entrepreneur, although flexible and hours, is an easy nor small commitment job. Most entrepreneurs work more than 40 hours per week during their start-up phases. This is why it’s critical that they are self-motivated to continue this grueling pace voluntarily.

Entrepreneurs are Rule Breakers

Most entrepreneurs hate rules. They are forever saying things like why don’t we try this instead? Or how come we do it like that? While corporate types are glad to accept whatever rules are given them the entrepreneur shapes at the restriction and seemingly inane set of guidelines. They can see with their entrepreneurial vision a better, and often more profitable way to achieve the same goals. Many times the frustration with company rules motivated entrepreneurs to launch their firms instead of following the corporate dogma.

Entrepreneurs have a positive attitude

The trusted industry publications Entrepreneur magazine has determined that entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic. This is especially important because scientists have discovered that negative emotions decrease your brain’s ability to think broadly and creatively. Entrepreneurs see problems as challenges and the solving of this puzzle as entertaining and exciting.

Entrepreneurs take measured risks

Contrary to popular opinion entrepreneurs do not like high risks.  People with a strong need for security view them that way but the impression is false.  Entrepreneurs calculate their risks by doing research, analysis and consulting with other professionals. They way the benefits and costs of all risks and always have a backup plan to protect their business and assets.

Entrepreneurs love to learn

A primary task for most entrepreneurs is learning new skills. Whether it’s how to manage social media, or reduce costs, or to break into a marketplace, entrepreneurs need always to be learning and growing to succeed.

The best entrepreneurs are lifelong learners. They learn formally in courses, seminars and by reading business books plus informally by reading entrepreneur blogs, such as this one, and by life’s experience of trial and error.


Sure, most people with a high school education can run a business moderately well. However, most of them do not have the entrepreneurial spirit that will take a simple business and make it into a brand and a successful company.

If you want to start your firm, and have the right characteristics, take the time to learn how from experienced successful entrepreneurs, by reading blogs such as this one, to be amongst the 50% of small businesses that survive the first five years of start up. 

Entrepreneurs are both born with an entrepreneurial drive, and then built into successful business owners by years of training, and hard work.


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Hi - I am a serial entrepreneur, after doing "time" in corporate America, who has learned about what products and services work well for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. You can learn from my experience and my associates as we shop from the internet for tools, supplies, and information to build our businesses and improve the lives of our family and ourselves. Read more ...

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