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25 Entrepreneurs Discuss Whether or Not One Can Learn to be an Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurship is something most business owners purse due to different reasons. For some, it’s a way of life while others are in it due to circumstances that surrounded their life when starting the journey. There has been an ongoing argument about whether one can learn to be an entrepreneur or it’s a natural skillset with some people. Do you need to attend a class to learn the skills?

Here are the responses from a community of entrepreneurs and business owners.

#1- It can be taught for a long time

Photo Credit: Johnathan Grzybowski

The most successful company’s to date have all been created in order to solve a problem. To have the tenacity to want to solve this problem occurs internally and to some degree feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Entrepreneurship can only be taught for so long, until your internal instincts kick in and you go out and just do it all yourself. (Or with a partner) There isn’t a how-to guide, a movie, YouTube video, or even a book for that matter that can prepare you for entrepreneurship. It’s one of those things where when you find a large enough problem that you want to fix, you just go out and do it. Understanding that there will be sleepless nights. There will be taught decisions, heart feelings, and confusion within your life. But at the end of the day, it’s all ok. Because you’re one step closer to solving that “one” problem.

Thanks to Johnathan Grzybowski, Penji!

#2- It’s about doing it

Photo Credit: Michael Karsh

There are so many resources readily available that teach you how to be an entrepreneur – books, classes, podcasts, workshops, etc. They can all teach you various systems, but from our experience the best learning tool is the actual doing of it, making mistakes and learning from them. And, having a network of friends, confidants, and mentors who are also entrepreneurs to turn to during these times has been more useful than anything else. While our businesses may be different, the challenges we all face as entrepreneurs are similar, and we’ve benefitted immensely from their wisdom and experience.

Thanks to Michael Karsh, Edios Media!

#3-Either it’s inside you, or not

Photo Credit: Andrei Vasilescu

In my opinion, entrepreneurship lies in anyone’s brain cells in dormant form. It becomes active and starts growing in full form when the particular person meets the promising circumstances suitable for entrepreneurship. It is an inbuilt feature of some individuals. You can learn different ways to sharpen the edge of your cutting tool if you already have that tool in possession. You can not learn to be an entrepreneur unless you have that thing inside you.

Thanks to Andrei Vasilescu, DontPayFull!

#4-I believe you can learn to be an entrepreneur

Photo Credit: Patti Stewart

A perfect example is my daughter. She has watched me become an entrepreneur and has followed in my steps and become one as well. She has learned what I do to become successful and is not mimicking what I am doing to build her own business. Not to mention the leadership skills she is picking up and adding to her high school life. There is no right or wrong way to be an entrepreneur. You just have to have an idea, will, and dedication. From there it’s all about learning and growing yourself and the business.

Thanks to Patti Stewart, Defense in Heels!

#5- It’s important to learn

Photo Credit: Beau Hodson

Absolutely. In fact, I am convinced that a growth mindset as discovered and developed by the Stanford Psychologist Carol Dweck (her best-selling book is called mindset) is the number one most important tangible thing for an entrepreneur to have because of the up and down nature of starting a company and the sheer necessity of learning from ones mistakes and adapting as well as the resilience involved to simply not quit and keep going. And here’s the truth that all entrepreneurs can attest to, regardless of how great your idea, product or plan is, there will be setbacks and times where one must pivot and adjust. And someone with a fixed way of thinking about themselves and their business is likely in for a tough hall.

Thanks to Beau Hodson, Transparent Mortgage!

#6-Entrepreneurship is all about mindset

Photo Credit: Ashleigh Allman

I firmly believe that almost anyone can become an entrepreneur. Someone who enjoys learning and views challenges as an opportunity to grow can become a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial skills and talent can be gained through experience by starting and building a business. Success may take longer than someone who has natural entrepreneurial skills. But anyone with the right motivation can always compete with natural talent by hard work and persistence.

Thanks to Ashleigh Allman, Smart Cents Mom!

#7- It takes a special personality besides the learning

Photo Credit: Travis Keys

You can learn the skills needed to start and run a business, but it takes a certain personality to withstand the emotional rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur. Going from elation and a sense of accomplishment one day, to feeling like your business is falling apart the next comes with the territory. The trick is, having more great days than bad ones and hoping your revenue growth does the same.

Thanks to Travis Keys, Revenue Media Group!

#8- Learning is a daily basis process

Photo Credit: Ana Freccia

Wanting or not we learn as to be an entrepreneur on a daily basis. We know something very well and then decide to start a business with a couple of knowledge and lots of experience on it until we realise we don’t know about finance, marketing strategies or investment for example. Or we don’t know or don’t have the right suppliers. To open or start a business it’s mandatory we take the time to learn how to be an entrepreneur and go for events, introduce ourselves to the right people and find a mentor, even if it includes to dig the LinkedIn profiles and find the right person to ask the correct questions. Until we are able to teach someone how to be an entrepreneur and keep learning with someone new in the market or someone who brings you new ideas about what you are doing.

Thanks to Ana Freccia, YourHouseLondon!

#9- Applying what is learned matters most

Photo Credit: Naomi Bareket

Definitely! Everything can be learned. The question is if you apply what you are learning. Entrepreneurship is a lifelong learning process. The idea is to learn from your mistakes, get feedback and correct whatever is needed. Get better, more productive and efficient. Build the right team and support around you. Model someone who did it before you. Entrepreneurs must keep their motivation up, and have a strong self-discipline. If they don’t find a way to keep their will-power high and are not willing to do (ecologically, of course) whatever it takes for their business to succeed, they might as well be an employee of someone else. So do you want to be an entrepreneur? Check up your mindset. Do you believe you will succeed? Do you believe that your service or product improve people’s lives? Will you modify your habits and get successful? Will you focus and be persistent despite the challenges? Will you apply what you learn and constantly improve performance? Do you have a big WHY and feeling of a purpose to keep you motivated no matter what? And if any of these answers are NO, are you willing to work on your mindset and turn them to YES YES YES?!

Thanks to Naomi Bareket, NeuroSUCESSologist (TM)!

#10- Start by identifying your passion

Photp Credit: Nancy Ganzekaufer

Yes, I do believe anyone can learn to be an entrepreneur. Start by finding your passion and ask yourself, “How can my passion solve a problem in the world?” Business owners are in fact problem solvers and solution givers. If you can nail that down, you’re halfway through the process. The rest of it is really about gaining the Confidence, Consistency, and Calm to create and implement the mechanics like finding your target marketing, creating a business and marketing plan, setting goals, building your service/product and preparing for the launch. If you have the first part down, the rest will flow together a lot easier.

Thanks to Nancy Ganzekaufer

#11- It’s when you refuse to quit

Photo Credit: Jessica L. Moody

I didn’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body before I jumped head first into this world. Silly as it sounds, I had no idea I would have to be a salesperson to succeed. I couldn’t sell a sandwich to a starving person at the beginning, but dozens of failures took me to humble myself and hire a sales coach who told me exactly what to say in every situation. One thing we must do is not let constant failure stop us. I’m not sure if that is learned or not, but I refuse to quit. I have been at rock bottom a ton of times, and I keep pulling up my bootstraps and taking more steps. I am more afraid to give up than I am afraid to fail along the process. I have come too far to give up and I will only be satisfied when I reach my goals.

Thanks to Jessica L. Moody

#12-It’s not for everyone

Photo Credit: Wayne Strickland

It’s not for everyone but if you have the desire, drive and stomach for mistakes, failures and burning some cash along the way you might be a candidate. Entrepreneurs must also be willing to wear all the hats that are normally worn by many people in big corporate cultures. You have to take care of your own technology issues, recruiting and hiring, insurance, shipping, and all the other functions that you might have taken for granted if you worked in the corporate world. If you enjoy the hunt for finding new ways to get things done then this might be a good fit for you. If you prefer letting others do all this work then you should stay in the corporate world. But the personal satisfaction of developing an idea, figuring out how to commercialize it and watching it get traction in the marketplace is pretty cool. I have now done both and I think I am better suited for the entrepreneur job by leveraging all I learned in the corporate world. I am not sure it would have worked for the other way around.

Thanks to Wayne Strickland, Wayne Strickland Consulting!

#13-….put in the mental work

Photo Credit: Ashley DeLuca

I believe that you can learn to be an entrepreneur. You can book learn it, but in order to execute it and be successful, you have to put in the mental work. You have to apply what you know and that passion needs to come from inside of you. Your work should be a reflection of what you are passionate about. As you show your passion, you will become fully committed. You will effortlessly show up and become successful because it will become part of who you are.

Thanks to Ashley DeLuca

#14- Yes, learned to be an entrepreneur in mid-thirties

Photo Credit: Michael Blank

Yes, you can absolutely learn to be an entrepreneur! I didn’t learn to be one until I was in my mid-thirties when I quit my job to pursue real estate investing full time. I was never surrounded by any entrepreneurs, so I didn’t even know you could even start your own business and work for yourself. Then in 2004, I read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad and everything changed. I suddenly realized that I was an entrepreneur on the inside, just waiting to be released. That’s when my learning process began. My journey since then has had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Thanks to Michael Blank, Nighthawk Equity

#15-In my experience, no entrepreneur ever plans on becoming one

Photo Credit: John Linden

It’s a decision that’s made on the fly once we realize that we can provide more value when we’re running the show than we can when we’re working under someone else. But, even if you have that entrepreneurial drive inside you, there’s still a lot of learning to be done. Like, what do you do when you have a bad quarter? How do you know when it’s time to hire employees? And who do you hire, anyway? These are all situations that you can’t prepare for. You have to live through them, try your best, and hope that you make it out on the other side. It helps to have a mentor that you can go to and ask questions when you have them. Sometimes, these are people who you know in real life. Other times, it’s writers and podcasters who speak to you. If you’re willing to listen and take advice, I think it’s totally possible to learn to be an entrepreneur. Just remember that it’s not going to be easy no matter who you are.

Thanks to John Linden, MirrorCoop!

#16- Developed from some primary skills

Photo Credit: Brent Huston

I believe that entrepreneurship is a skill set, like any other. While a personal attitude toward risk-taking may come from your upbringing, I have seen successful entrepreneurs that come from all walks of life. The primary skills can be developed by studying the specific areas of your offering(s), marketing, management, sales and leadership. I’ve watched young folks with basic educations create very successful businesses, and I’ve worked with retirees who have spent 20+ years as an employee, who have built multi-million dollar companies in a few years. It is more about persistence, focus and a willingness to do the difficult, in my opinion, than your genetics, background or history.

Thanks to Brent Huston, MicroSolved, Inc.!

#17- Learnt if you have the willingness

Photo Credit: Chanette Sparks

I think that any skill can be taught, however, people must be willing to learn and grow into their field of study. Some natural born leaders already have entrepreneurship within them, while others may seek the tools on how to advance and become more efficient. In my own personal experience, I had the work ethic of being an entrepreneur, but obtaining an education in my field did assist me in gaining the hands-on experience that I needed to understand various avenues of business ownership, such as marketing, public relations, advertising, accounting, human resources, etc.

Thanks to Chanette Sparks, IBJ PR and Marketing!

#18-Find Your WHY

Photo Credit: Kristen Hinman

Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is NOT easy and in my own journey – embracing the scary, the unknown, living with authenticity and even taking a few “punches” has led me to the path I am on today. But I wouldn’t have the strength to weather any of this if I didn’t know my Why – Why am I doing this?! Why can I pick myself up and keep going if something doesn’t work? Why do I get out of bed each day? I should back up and say for years my husband gave me words of encouragement that I could start my own business. I kept saying no, because the honest truth was, I was comfortable with the certainty and with getting a paycheck every other week. Things changed quickly when I became a mom of 2 young girls (ages 3 & 1). I wanted control of my time back, I wanted to freedom to get outside more, I wanted to be in the drivers seat. But most of all I am compelled to expose my girls to strong female role models and to show them that failure doesn’t mean you stop – you learn, set a new course and pick yourself up.

Thanks to Kristen Hinman, Peare Media!

#19-It’s DNA-based

Photo Credit: Timothy Trudeau

In my experience, people are not able to learn how to become an entrepreneur. As early as I can remember I was launching “businesses” and was confused by everyone around me that was not doing the exact same thing. You’re either born with it or without it. It’s DNA-based. This doesn’t mean that people can’t learn facts and information and even become more disciplined in their behavior. It also doesn’t mean that people will not be able to launch a business who weren’t “born” with the gene. I just mean being risky comes naturally for some and for others, it’s extremely hard. If you are comfortable with not being risky please continue your pursuit of knowledge, otherwise, you will spend the rest of your life trying to be someone you are not. If you are discouraged by this information, then you probably also won’t be able to “learn” a perspective that is necessary to persevere in business… or really life in general.

Thanks to Timothy Trudeau, Syntax Creative!

#20- You learn through choices made

Photo Credit: Sid Mohasseb

A seven-year-old is an entrepreneur when she hosts her first lemonade stand. She is an entrepreneur when she negotiates with her dad for a shiny new toy, delegates her chores to her little brother and finesses her way through her homework to get to the playground faster. A thirty-year-old is an entrepreneur when she plans for a new baby, a new beginning, and when she collaborates with her husband to change their investments and activities to fit their new life. Entrepreneurship is about making choices and commitments; it is about managing risk and planning ahead. We all have an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s what we do with it that counts – how we choose to awaken our talents. We truly begin to practice entrepreneurship when we realize that we can turn problems into opportunities, build strategies, bet on ourselves, take on risk, and are able to learn from failure. Entrepreneurs are not born; they are created from the choices they make. Great entrepreneurs build and constantly refine their unique entrepreneurial philosophy – the operating system that guides their evolution to their next best version.

Thanks to Sid Mohasseb!

#21- Learn more about yourself

Photo Credit: Matt Weik

You can absolutely learn to be an entrepreneur. No one is born an entrepreneur. You LEARN more about yourself as you go through life. Your likes and dislikes. You may find you like solving problems. You may like taking an idea, being creative, and making it come to life is your thing. Those are all entrepreneurial traits. However, just because you possess those traits doesn’t mean you’ll go down the entrepreneurial path. The more you learn about yourself and then get in front of the right literature and people, you can very easily find yourself becoming an entrepreneur – maybe without even knowing what the term means at that point.

Thanks to Matt Weik, Weik Fitness, LLC!

#22- Yes, if you have the desire to create something

Photo Credit: Sandra Dorst

As long as one has a penchant for creating something from nothing with no guarantee of success, a person can learn to be an entrepreneur. This learning can come from formal education, mentorship, networking, trial and error, or any combination of those things. I don’t see the entrepreneur as being any more unique in drive and personality as any other high-level specialized individual. Personality type alone is not enough to make an entrepreneur. Although I would not say you could teach ANYONE to become an entrepreneur, I think we could do more to help those with desire and determination learn the entrepreneurial ropes.

Thanks to Sandra Dorst, ShopAIP!

#23- Achieved if you have an idea

Photo Credit: Yusuf Onabekun

Everyone can learn to be a business owner but in my humble opinion, I do not believe you can learn entrepreneurship as being shown by some people around. It can only be achieved when you have already an idea of the business and you have already done something before.

Thanks to Yusuf Onabekun,  TechSavvy!

#24- Yes, if you get started

Photo Credit: Heidi Lynne Kurter

Yes, absolutely. Most people never truly intend to start a business because the intimidation of the struggle seems to overwhelming, but once you get started you realize the hardest part is starting. Feeling lost more than you have clarity is natural. I started my business with no clue about anything except what I was passionate about, human resources and people development. I never thought I could make it as a business owner and thought I’d be a corporate robot for life, but almost two years later and I wouldn’t give up the journey for anything. The key is getting started, being open-minded to change, surrounding yourself with the right people and remaining consistent in taking action. Everything else will fall together.

Thanks to Heidi Lynne Kurter

#25- No, It’s about being different

Photo Credit: Raphael Sebban

I don’t like people thinking you can learn how to be an entrepreneur. I also don’t believe in all those organizations trying to promote entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur means thinking different, it means action different. Entrepreneurship is a personality, like being generous or creative, you can develop it, improve it, but you can not create it from zero. An entrepreneur wants to solve any question, hack any problem. He won’t get no for an answer and with persevere until he succeeds. You can learn how to be an entrepreneur; You’re just born like that.

Thanks to Raphael Sebban, IsraelPR!

Can you learn to be an entrepreneur? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

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