Yesterday I had a really interesting meeting with someone who has devised, and is perfecting, a number of products and courses for the education sector. Those of you who know me, might know who I am talking about and you may wish to 'skip' this section!
In a full and frank discussion about shared opportunities and ideas it came clear to me that to be successful as an entrepreneur there are a number of traits or characteristics which define those that are successful.
1) They are obsessive - about their product or service
2) They have a nearly delusional level of self belief
3) That self belief gives them the energy, enthusiasm, resilience, persistence and sheer bloody mindedness to carry on in the face of opposition or resistance
4) They can often occur to others as 'unreasonable'
5) They are very focused on themselves and not others
I feel that I have something of a special take on this as my father was a moderately successful entrepreneur who built up and then sold a reasonably sized building company so I grew up with someone who manifested many of the qualities above. I have no complaints about my upbringing although only when talking to others did I realise that not everyone lived as we did.
So my real question is - are entrepreneurs born or made and can you be successful without necessarily being so single minded? My answer to the first question is one which I can't still answer. I ponder it because I certainly haven't inherited an entrepreneurs gene but try to act as if i have - maybe to please my Dad or because it is a world which makes sense to me.
Is entrepreneurship born out of insecurity, a desire to prove something or out of sheer necessity when there are no other alternatives or is it in your destiny from day one?
As George Bernard Shaw once said 'it is the reasonable man that alters himself to suit the world and the unreasonable man who alters the world to suit himself'. Maybe it just about your view of the world?