Can Entrepreneurship be Taught or is it Part of Their DNA?

Very challenging question.

Many people strive to own their own business with the goals of growing great wealth and having the freedom to do what they please. Those same folks may have decided to obtain a business degree or even better their Masters in Business thus earning the needed knowledge of obtaining those facts & figures, policies & procedures and strategies to be an entrepreneur. Does all that education guarantee them the success they desire? The answer is a powerful, NO!

Having a knowledge based skill of entrepreneurship is very important, yet there are many business people who have educated themselves through the school of hard-knocks. Most likely the most expensive school in the world. The school of hard-knocks may play on your financials, but it also deals with the issues of emotional stress of winning and then potentially losing (your business) or your financial well-being or even your family and friends. Yet these same people some how find the strength to bounce back. Of course we cannot ignore those business folks that did have formal training. They too may have endured the ups and downs of owning their own business. But what about the come backs of either group….how did they do it? Where was the motivation, understanding, strength of understanding that no matter the expense or experience (good or bad), how did they manage to come back and start all over again.

My feeling is, while you can learn the processes and understand the steps and procedures to bounce back, where does someone find the trigger which will allow them to start all over again. That is where I think the DNA kicks in.

Some how, some where, these special folks look at the process as a learning experience where all of the education and experiences are converted to a higher level of positive learning. Well beyond the definition of a MBA. They take the earned and learned knowledge and digest it, process it and finally manage to passionately and strategically step into a new opportunity and start the process of growing a new business all over again. Many business people will fit this profile, Richard Branson and Elon Musk are both examples. Both men have won and lost battles in business and now both very successful. So what makes them different.

I believe it is in the make up of their DNA. They both have tremendous knowledge one educated formally who dropped out of his masters program and other was clearly educated in the school of hard-knocks. Simply, they learn and continue to grow their understanding, knowledge and most importantly, continue to enhance their leadership skills. They understand how to communicate to their team, generate the best out of their team members and understand the market and the market conditions as it relates to their businesses. It’s this instinctive DNA that has helped grow their business, their freedom and their ability to lead team members as well as stakeholders. This DNA micro-ism is floating around in their body clearly speaking to their understanding that there is no such thing as failure. Failure means education, learning, growing and never giving up. It comes from birth as a child who continues to trip and fall while learning how to walk. Eventually they go past walking and have learned to run, jump and ride a bike. That special DNA chemical is in all of us…as we were all children.

Reach back in time and embrace those feelings and thoughts and you too will embrace the same DNA that Richard Branson and Elon Musk have embraced their whole lives!

Michael Zeidenberg
About the author: 

Based in Toronto, Michael Zeidenberg is Vice President – Canada at Hearth & Home Technologies, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based leading producer and installer of hearth products.  His executive career includes assignments with Cornerstone Consulting, Sutherland Construction and Dallas Management. Follow Michael on LinkedIn.