Are entrepreneurs born or made? Yes.
They are both. I see those that walk that arduous journey strive well, but if you don’t have the natural traits then it’s a lot more work to be aware of your weaknesses.
Ultimately, entrepreneurship is about decision making. And your natural instincts, especially under stress, will drive your next 100 decisions in a completely different direction than someone who is wired different from you.
Some people are more wired to be workers. They are comfortable taking direction and working within an offense that is well defined. Workers are important around execution.
Then there are managers. They organize ideas and use resources efficiently whether it’s people, technology or budgets.
But the entrepreneurs are a different breed. They are comfortable with ambiguity and are thinking big while working small. The challenge of dealing with uncertainty and risk requires a special instinct around keeping the goal clearly in mind and making sense of the ever changing landscape of uncertainty.
Can I turn someone into an entrepreneur? No. That’s a journey that someone who is not naturally wired has to choose. It will be harder.
But, I can tell you the kinds of business coaching clients that are the easiest to work with. They have these 3 natural traits:
- High Cognitive Ability. They think conceptually and strategically. It’s not the day-to-day thinking, it’s the ability to see the invisible and be comfortable with ambiguity. This is a measurable quality. Thinking in terms of ideas, principles and how today’s actions relates to a future vision keeps steadiness in the journey towards something that has to be forced into existence. These are not practical people. They are idealistic. We have plenty of practical people that take the entrepreneurs’ ideas and use them because they work. High cognitive thinkers are unnatural and disruptive.
- High Goal Orientation. High goal people are easy to work with. They can handle many different goals and move them to scale. Scaling is critical in the path and being able to see what the most important priorities to deliver on is a natural real-time instinct that high goal people have. They want to set direction, not necessarily take direction. They are always thinking about leverage and knocking out big goals. They work asymmetrically in seasons of high intensity and rest.
- Low Detail Bent. Entrepreneurs want to see how things work and start, but they are looking to delegate. Technicians hold on. Low detail people look for resources to get things they know work done so they can move onto further innovation, discovery and trail blazing. They can settle for lower quality to move the bigger milestones. They don’t like to waste time and value being able to move with action rather than overanalyze something that is largely known.
These traits are inherent. We all have different brains and the way we see the world and move in it is innate from how we are wired.
Over thousands and thousands of hours coaching owners and executives, I have seen anyone with these natural bents move towards innovating with much more ease than those that might lack the hard wiring.
Are you on the entrepreneurial journey or considering it? Consider taking this strengths test and let’s have a discussion to see why you would or would not do well at entrepreneurship.