There’s been a fair amount of discussion since Vivek Wadhwa posted Can Entrepreneurs Be Made? on TechCrunch late last month. He quotes Kauffmann Center research indicating, he says, that entrepreneurs aren’t really born that way.
We found that the majority didn’t have entrepreneurial parents. They didn’t even have entrepreneurial aspirations while going to school. They simply got tired of working for others, had a great idea they wanted to commercialize, or woke up one day with an urgent desire to build wealth before they retired. So they took the big leap.
I think the problem is that we try to generalize way too much. Everybody wants to find a pattern, but things are more random than that. Entrepreneurs aren’t a homogeneous manageable type or group. They are a bunch of very diverse individuals.
This is just anecdotal data, obviously, but it makes me think. My wife and I have five grown-up children, all raised in a household steeped in entrepreneurship, serial startups, and chronically broke. Of our older three, all in their middle thirties now, one is certain he never wants to start his own company, one is immersed in entrepreneurship and has been involved in virtually nothing but startups, and one is really hard to tell one way or the other. With the other two, still in their twenties, it’s too soon to tell.
I’m one of four siblings. None of the others are entrepreneurs, and I am. Our parents were not entrepreneurs.
Every case is different. Every startup is different. Business education helped me get going on my own, but not the next person. Growing up with it helped one of our children, but not the next one.
Find your own place.