Are You Born An Entrepreneur or Made Into One?


“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”Napoleon Hill

Despite the great debate over natural-born leaders that has raged for decades, entrepreneurs come from all types of demographics, education levels, experiences, and personality types. They have big dreams and small goals and many different reasons for chasing their vision.

Entrepreneurs certainly build empires and change the world, but many more live quiet lives strengthening their communities and building stability for their families. Some even happily remain employees, nurturing their passion projects on the side. Most entrepreneurs will question if they have what it takes to accomplish their ambitions. The reality is that those who succeed do possess some shared genetic characteristics, but most of the victories rely on an entrepreneur mindset.

Natural-Born Personality Traits

To some degree, it takes an innate entrepreneurial spirit to strike out on your own professionally. You are most likely someone who likes to march to the beat of your own drum, or you crave the freedom of being your own boss. Self-motivation, vision, decisiveness, risk-taking, and determination are strong personal qualities. Entrepreneurs also share these three key traits:

• They’re Natural Doers

You readily take on responsibilities, your actions are decisive, and your pulse speeds up when you encounter a challenge. Your thoughts often tinker with ways to solve problems, improve processes or tweak approaches even when an issue doesn’t exist for anyone else. You don’t need a world-changing idea because you see opportunities where others don’t, and you can turn obstacles into advantages. Despite any fears of failure, you trust your intuition while taking this leap.

• They Have Self-Confidence

Even when doubt creeps in, deep in your core, you believe in your mission and know that you can bring it to life. This self-confidence will propel you through the uncertain times that you are bound to face. Bolstered by knowledge, skills, and experience, you know that if you don’t have the tools yet, you can learn them. Finally, you are determined to succeed, despite all discouragement or obstacles, because the passion inside is resonating so strongly.

• They’re Adaptable

Entrepreneurs are natural big-picture thinkers. You dream big, set goals, and make plans, thinking of all contingencies. However, launching a new venture or idea requires flexibility because you need to think and pivot quickly when things go wrong. You don’t have to be an extrovert, but you should try to connect with people from all types of backgrounds.

Learning to Become an Entrepreneur

Noting that metrics like personality, background, and education do not determine success, University of Calgary instructor Houston Peschl points to more critical factors like creativity, empathy, and resiliency. The Haskayne School of Business educator also advised that being a problem solver, being resourceful, being comfortable with failure, and being a team player are essential. However, he emphasized, these are entrepreneur skills—not traits—which means anyone can learn the “entrepreneurial thinking method.”

You can study strategies and develop techniques that boost your creativity, increase your problem-solving abilities and boost your teamwork opportunities. You can volunteer with communities that differ from your background or engage in self-reflection to deepen your empathy.

Most importantly, you possess the power to reframe your mindset. Entrepreneurs face challenges head-on and embrace failure as a learning experience. They pick themselves up, every time, to figure out the next plan. This resiliency, notes clinical psychologist Raphael Rose, can enrich your life.

Developing Your Entrepreneur Mindset

Atlanta-based DNA Behavior International suggests that “leveraging strengths and addressing natural challenges” is the key to engaging and growing as an entrepreneur. Neurology research indicates that our skills increase the more we do something. Just like everything else you have learned, developing an entrepreneurial mindset requires practice.

One of the most important things you can do is connect with other entrepreneurs. It may seem counterintuitive to network with your competitors, but elevating your industry status reaps the rewards. As your credibility rises, opportunities for partnerships and recommendations increase. Also, be willing to network outside of your industry because this is the space where creative ideas spontaneously erupt. Align with a mentor, continue to self-assess and keep learning new skills, and invest time in nurturing other people’s entrepreneurial mindsets and building up their dreams.

Many studies have looked into the great nature vs. nurture debate with no solid conclusion on either side. Ultimately, while some natural traits may fuel the entrepreneurial spirit and compel others to start businesses, achieving that dream has more to do with hard work, determination, and self-improvement rather than luck. Your success is entirely within your control.

Need entrepreneur training to develop your mindset? I can help. Contact me at the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute to learn more.