Professionals in the fields of sociology, economics and psychology have long speculated whether entrepreneurs are predisposed for the business savvy required to start a business or if it can be learned from one’s environment. For those wishful, budding entrepreneurs, it might be hoped that entrepreneurship is a trait that can be learned by anyone. Yet, research shows that may not be the case. It seems genetic traits may play a role. But, don’t lose hope just yet.
It’s the age-old nature vs. nurture debate, and twins, both identical and fraternal, were studied in order to draw conclusions. Just a reminder, identical twins share 100% of their genetic information while fraternal twins share 50%. One study found that identical twins shared higher rates of entrepreneurial habits than fraternal twins, which would lead to the conclusion that it is inherited.
Further research has found that there are also traits in genes that increase the probability of many business-related traits. Genes influence everything from the odds that a person will start a business to the ability to identify opportunities for new business and business growth.
The trait of extroversion is helpful in the development of leadership traits, making a clearer path to entrepreneurship. It should be noted that extroversion by itself does not equal the desire to be an entrepreneur.
It may sound cut and dry, but there is a problem with the information that has been compiled in the study of genetics on entrepreneurship, and that is the researchers failed to measure success. So, while it is possible that genetics can give a person the disposition to pursue business ideas, it doesn’t mean they will necessarily succeed at that venture. This should give hope to anyone who doesn’t possess the gene in that it doesn’t take genetic disposition to be successful in business.
So, that was the nature, so what about the nurture? Nurture in this case would equal experience. By building business experience a person is nurturing the ability to succeed in entrepreneurship. A collection of date from nearly 3 million businesses showed that people who had prior experience in operating a business had higher success as entrepreneurs. So, what the final conclusion should be is whether you have the genes or not, if lack the experience, you are less likely to succeed.
The takeaway is anyone can be an entrepreneur, but not everyone can be a successful entrepreneur. The determining factor of success is experience, and the importance of developing your skills and business acumen cannot be underestimated.