Practically since the beginning of time, we have heard the arguments around nature versus nurture. This is especially true about entrepreneurs: are they born or made? We're not yet close to solving the issue outright, but from now over two dozen interviews with founders and investors, I've seen some patterns worth sharing.
What is an Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurs are judged by three elements: talent, mindset and skills.
Talent may be the hardest one to fake. The good news is that every person on the planet has their own set of talents. Having said that, not all of them are entrepreneurial. In the end you will have two options: adapt your talents to create a business or make your talents available for someone else's business.
The rule is this: while talent can't be taught, it can be enhanced.
The mindset of an entrepreneur is developed in two directions simultaneously: to flow along smoothly, but also charge ahead fiercely. An entrepreneur balances stress management and time management, but also drive and passion. Both are keenly related to one's personality.
The rule is this: a mindset can't be taught, but can be adapted through inspiration and practice.
Skills, whether technical, business, design, or any range of the early startup necessities, at the hammer and the bolts for entrepreneurs. Regardless of whether you are a hacker, designer or hustler, skills become the most important operational resource inside the company.
The rule is this: skills can be learned, and can be taught to your hires. But you aren't born with them.
Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made? Both.
Here's the takeaway: Talent is up to you, as most things in life. Mindset, you should get involved with your local, regional, international startups communities, ecosystems and you should cold email founders, potential mentors and invest a good amount of time in figuring out if you do have the right mindset. Last but not least, skills can be taught at universities, high schools and online learning platforms. This should be the only element you should focus on.
You cannot teach neither talent nor mindset, so every time you see a course, program or methodology promising to teach that, you can be sure they will not. Spend your time among founders doing great work, and learn everything you can to fill in your skill gap.