Entrepreneurs: Born or Made?
It is a widely known myth that business skills are second nature for Asians. The fact that just as many Asians businesses failed just like any other ethnicities makes this notion couldn’t be far from the truth. Being raised in Asian family doesn’t make you a great entrepreneur. Nor being born in rich wealthy family makes you an excellent businessman.
Culturally, Asian children are expected to continue the business venture of their parents. This can be as simple as growing a convenience shop to large upscale manufacturing business. To my regret, many Asians after graduating university didn’t go through the process of finding a job and went straight to continuing the family business. The reason I think this is not necessarily a good thing is many of these graduates haven’t really understand the necessary battles that needs to be fought to be an entrepreneur. Having the family business already setup and established, meaning they skipped many of the breakthrough fights that make the business what they are now. As a parent myself, I know the feeling of wanting to give the best for our children by not making them go through the pain of building a business. However, these are necessary pains that they need to experience to grow and sustain a successful business.
The Making of an Entrepreneur
Fortunately for the rest of us (including me), entrepreneurial skills are something that can be taught. I’ve taught myself initially when starting my coaching business. After I’ve exhaust everything I can learn by myself, I took up great and awesome coaching programs that help me become an even better coach.
“The key to becoming an outstanding entrepreneur is to continually learn to be one.”
Some of the favourite entrepreneurs I know never stopped learning after they are successful. Bill Gates once said:
“Every now and then I like to pick up a copy of Time magazine and read every article from beginning to end, not just the articles that interest me most. That way you can be certain to learn something you didn’t know previously.”
The reverse is also true. I have found entrepreneurs who have had early success only to experience decline years later. Sadly, when we stopped, the world doesn’t. There’s always new ways to do things, better and more cost effective than before. As soon as we stopped learning new things, we will be left behind. This is something I’ve remind myself all the time. 10 years ago, the world never heard about Facebook. Nowadays, millionaires are made out of Facebook. Public learning used to be delivered face to face in large places. Nowadays, there are webinar softwares that can literally can take thousands of attendees.
If you still think you’re not born entrepreneurs and hence can’t have a successful business, or vice versa you feel that your parent’s large, established business will automatically makes you an outstanding entrepreneur, consider the following story extract (you can find the original story here):
Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick to start the process of a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.
Not long after, the boy notices a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out. At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back. He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged! As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
But neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.
“Entrepreneurs are made, not born”
Do you agree? Please share your thoughts below. (Image coutesy of imagerymajestic – FreeDigitalPhotos.net)