Can anybody start a business?

28 Aug

Some people say that whether you are entrepreneurial or not is defined by your DNA. What does that even mean? That if you do not have the entreneurial gene then you cannot start you own business? Or that you’re just not going to be a good at it?

Commenting on the last answer first: Defining a startup as a success or a failure is easy if you only consider the extremes. If you get acquired for a any amount of money that you’re satisfied with, and that your shareholders are happy about, then it’s difficult to argue that the startup was not a success. On the contrary, if you go bankrupt and shut down production, it’s easy to conclude that it was a failure.
However, what about all the companies in between? The definition of success depends on who you ask. According to the movie SHINE (embedded at the end of this post) some don’t really need anything else than a happy life, where there is no asshole boss, and that their lifestyle business generates just enough profits for it to make sense financially.
Actually, there was not one single person in the video, who said that (s)her was focused on the money, but I imagine that those people are out there anyways, so let’s just assume that many entrepreneurs start up in order for them to make the big bucks. Consequently, there are different perceptions of ‘good at it’, thus excluding the causality of DNA and entrepreneurial skills.

I read some article, where Sir Richard Branson gave a handful of advice on how to become a billionaire. He said something like: Spend time with people, who are better than you. Meaning that this should inspire you to improve your skills, and become better yourself, no matter the field. What I take from this is the notion that social environments matter a lot, and in in the discussion of entrepreneurship, it then means that if you spend time with good (successful) entrepreneurs, you become better yourself. It could be your friends, family or role models.
If this is true, then it doesn’t really have anything to do with your DNA. Unless of course, that your DNA determines who you hang out with? Did that put my argumentation back to square 1?

Anyways, check out the movie (it’s 24 minutes long). A few clever quotes to convince you:

We all see opportunites all the time, every day, but we say ‘that would be nice if somebody would do that, or somebody would create that, or somebody would make that or market that’. The entrepreneur does it.

One of the biggest myths about entrepreneurs is that they actually know what they’re doing.

I have these ideas, I get excited about what I could do in the world and I see no reason why I shouldn’t try it, because I believe that I can do pretty much anything that is doable, so why wouldn’t I try to do it?

I ran the world’s largest online dating company with over 250 million people registered on it. And I’m single. And it’s just a testiment that you gotta be super focused.

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Posted by on 28 August, 2011 in Entrepreneurship


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