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Published on February 14, 2022

Are Highly Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

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Are Highly Successful Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

Are successful entrepreneurs born or made? The “born vs made” debate is one that has been raging for ages, and there are a few schools of thought when it comes to this question.

The first is that some people are simply born with the skills and personality traits needed to be successful entrepreneurs. They have natural charisma, risk-taking ability, creativity, and more.

These “natural” entrepreneurs are able to dedicate the time and effort needed to be successful because they are driven by internal factors. They are passionate about their work and are motivated to achieve their goals.

The second school of thought is that anyone can become a successful entrepreneur if they put in the hard work and effort. This includes developing the necessary skills and traits but also learning from failures and making adjustments along the way.

This group believes that entrepreneurship is a journey of trial and error. By learning from their mistakes, they can grow into successful entrepreneurs over time.

So, what’s the truth? Is it all in your genes or are other factors at play here, too?

What Makes Entrepreneurs Successful?

The majority of us don’t deliver sonnets like Shakespeare or compose masterpieces like Bach out of the womb. It takes time, and it requires lots of work.

But some entrepreneurs are born with innate skills and engaging personalities. These people are like unicorns. They make the world a better and brighter place, but they also cause the rest of us to feel ridiculously insecure.

We look at the greats like Micheal Jordan, Indra Nooyi, and Warren Buffet and feel like it’s useless to even try to fill their shoes, never mind forge our own path. But what if I told you that success didn’t just fall into their laps?

They might have been given an edge, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have to be sharpened.

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These greats simply understood that success took a formula—or, more specifically, a three-step process.

The 3-Step Process

Here are three steps that all successful entrepreneurs follow every day that make all the difference, regardless of whether they’re born with talent or just trying to make their business work with duct tape.

Step #1: Start Small and Think Big

Successful entrepreneurs don’t try to take on the world from day one. They start with a small project or idea and build on that.

This is why, if you look closely at their schedule, you’ll notice that they work in segments. They don’t overwhelm their calendar or say yes to everything. Entrepreneurs that make it understand the power of the word “no.”

If you want to be successful, you need to embrace the small.

Even now, look through your task list and trim it down to size. Figure out what needs to happen now, what can wait, and who you can delegate to so you can reach your top goals.

If you want to write a book, then make writing the priority in your planner. If you want to run the New York City Marathon, then put down the remote, and build your stamina over time.

Starting small enables you to attain the big picture.

So, next time you get overwhelmed by your list, don’t post more motivational pictures in your office. Take a step back, cross off the distractions, and organize your week to get the most productivity and personal balance.

Step #2: Take Risks

One of the biggest things that set moguls apart is that they’re willing to jump without reading the fine print.

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Now, they don’t make ignorant decisions. These leaders still research and take the time to consider the consequences. But when push comes to shove, they make the leap.

So, if you’re reading this and you don’t think this type of risk looks attractive, then you might want to reconsider being an entrepreneur. This type of lifestyle isn’t easy. But if you love the feeling of taking risks and experiencing a top-level adventure, then welcome to the club.

You will make mistakes. Believe me. There’s no way to avoid failure when you become an entrepreneur. But remember, creativity and innovation can only be reached when you fail forward.

So, take a gamble and bet on your success. After all, if you want to get to your goals you need to bet on your company and yourself.

Step #3: Put Yourself First

This leads us to the next point: believing in yourself. No, this is not a motivational-type belief.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be your biggest fan, especially when you face the haters who try to distract you from your goals. No one can believe in you more than you can believe in yourself.

So, before you launch that new product and market your business, remind yourself who you are and why you are the best person to lead this organization.

Successful entrepreneurs start with themselves. They carve out time during their day to walk, eat healthily, meet with a life coach, and build themselves up.

If you take the time to focus on your mental health, spiritual health, and physical health, you’ll keep your footing as your move forward. You’ll drive your business to the next level without losing yourself in the process.

Case Study of Successful Entrepreneurs

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Is that really all there is to successful entrepreneurship?

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What about Gates, Jobs, and Winfrey?

Obviously, they were the exception to the rule, right?

Well, let’s take a look and see how they gained such incredible success.

1. Steve Jobs

When you think of Jobs, you might think of blue jeans, black turtlenecks, and minimalistic design. But if you’re reading this on a Mac or iPhone, you know that his fame extends past his fashion choices.

Before becoming a household name, Jobs dropped out of college, tried to sell his shares of Pixar several times, and ventured to India to become a Zen Buddhist.[1][2][3]

His life was diverse, and his business background was eclectic. But that didn’t stop him from venturing into the unknown and starting Apple. If anything, it spurred him on to take the leap and spark a technological revolution.

He wasn’t afraid of the unfamiliar, and that gave him an edge over his competition.

He didn’t cling onto the sidelines. Jobs jumped and figured everything out on the way down.

2. Sara Blakely

Before she built her multi-million dollar Spanx empire from the ground up, Sara Blakely was a door-to-door fax machine salesman.

She didn’t graduate from a top business school, inherit family money, or even pass her LSAT.[4] If anything, Blakely ventured away from the familiar and carved out her own journey to success.

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Right now, Goldman Sachs proposed a buyout of Spanx, and they’re offering over one billion dollars to acquire her successful business.[5]

Blakely didn’t have any formal training in marketing. She simply saw a need, created a solution, and developed the most prosperous shapewear company.

3. Melanie Perkins

Perkins, the Australian founder of Canva, started her business in 2013 and grew it into a multi-billion company. In just a few years, she became one of tech’s youngest female CEOs with an idea that started with a high school yearbook business.[6]

Canva grew from an idea to a powerful organization that employs over seven hundred individuals around the world.[7]

When Perkins first started this company, she never expected to rival Adobe and Microsoft. However, after only a few years, Canva has become a staple in the office of every graphic designer and amateur alike.

Melanie Perkins has not only made design attainable—she’s made it equitable.

So, are entrepreneurs born or made?

The answer is both.

Final Thoughts

It takes a combination of natural talent, dedication to learning and growth, and passion for what you do to be successful. And while there are no guarantees, if you put in the hard work and stay focused on your goals, anything is possible.

Go make your dreams a reality!

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Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dr. Colleen Batchelder

Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and Leadership Strategist | Executive Coach | Dr. Batchelder teaches business leaders how to create corporations where Millennials want to work.

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