Do you think business builders are born or made?

Having my own business never crossed my mind while I was at school. I went straight into my first job after college and stayed employed for over 20 years. It’s only when my company restructured that I started considering the possibility of starting my own business. And it wasn’t just me – there were several other women I worked with who left around the same time. All of whom decided to try going it on their own. And all, besides myself, have returned to full-time employment. So what made me the one to stick it out?

My Dad had one job his entire life, my Grandad too. And both my Mom and Grandmother were homemakers. I don’t come from a world of self-made men or women who built businesses from scratch. So why did my sister and I veer off the ‘traditional’ path of having a job to start our own businesses?

This question seems to interest lots of people. If you Google “Are entrepreneurs born or made” there are about 44 900 000 results! And yet there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.

In this Forbes article, the writer quotes data from a Founders Institute test. The test results highlight 3 foundational DNA pillars that could be behind entrepreneur success:

• High fluid intelligence
• High openness
• Moderate agreeableness

But these traits also seem to fit people who are happily employed with no urge to start their own businesses.

On the nurture side, if you’re born into a family of entrepreneurs and that’s all you know then it makes sense that you would want to create your own business.

Personally, I think there’s an argument for both nature and nurture. For the 20+ years, I had a job, I was quite happy. I am multi-passionate and was lucky to work for people who allowed me to explore my many interests. So it seems I was “entrepreneurial” whilst being employed. Finding or creating new roles for myself within the organisation. So sure, I have entrepreneurial traits, but without the environment to support and nurture these traits, I would never have ended up where I am.

The answer seems to be a combination of both nature and nurture. Which means that absolutely anyone can start building their own business. You don’t need to be a certain type of person, or be born into a certain family. Anyone can do it.

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