Entrepreneurs – born or raised?

The whole nature vs nurture debate is absolutely fascinating to me given my upbringing, who I’ve become, what I’ve achieved, etc.

A topic I’m becoming particularly passionate about is education (why I don’t know because I have no kids and am not a teacher) but it fascinates me how hungry children are for data and how much they can actually teach themselves without intervention from adults.

To see what I mean, you have to watch this fascinating TED talk to see how street kids with no formal education can teach themselves on computers with NO computer training.  Also read this article regarding similar findings with tablet computers dropped off in a remote village and left for kids to figure out.

Given this, one has to wonder why our education system is still structured the way it is … It seems to be geared at controlling kids and killing creativity and entrepreneurship.  Which leads me to another interesting TED talk about teaching Entrepreneurship to our kids – we should so do this!

In my own experience, I have no doubt my Entrepreneurial tendencies were both nature and nurture, my absentee father was apparently a very entrepreneurial thinker (hating to work for someone and always with some “hair brained scheme” to make money I’m told) so there’s the nature bit.  And then I had the benefit of being influenced a lot by my gran, who looked after me after school and before my mom got home from work every day.  I have vivid memories of hating her for teaching me to knit, sew and crochet and then making me manufacture dolls clothes for whatever the latest doll of the moment was followed by the horror of trying to sell them at school to my friends. She also used to send me around the neighborhood selling and taking orders for her home-baked currant loaves.  There was always a way to make a buck.  That is a predominant memory of my childhood.  And finally being raised poor, being deprived of all those shiny baubles that everyone else at school or on the playground had, left a burning desire in my belly to get myself as far away from that situation as I could.  And I’d like to think I have.

My current business is not my first “hair brained scheme” nor will it be my last I’m sure, and working for “a boss” lasted about 5 years of my career … Given I’m in my late 30s now … I guess “hair brained schemes” pay off after all!

So, in my case, thank goodness for my dad, my gran, and being poor … It was a recipe for this entrepreneur for sure!  Proudly born and raised an entrepreneur!

Final thoughts – especially to parents – given the economy, unemployment, general direction the world is going in, etc. if you are raising your child to be a doctor or a dentist … you are doing them SUCH a disservice!  We need more entrepreneurs, to not only learn to support themselves through their own businesses, but to create avenues to employ rather than simply be employed!

Monday food for thought!