By Neil Kuvin
I promise not to make this a rant that joins the political calls to complain that President Obama somehow put small business people down recently by announcing that “Y
ou didn’t build your business! Someone helped you build it…” or something like that. I want to particularly look at why and how some of us decide we want to build and operate our own business, while others of us are quite satisfied with punching a time clock and getting a paycheck every other week.
One major theory being circulated is that those of us with an entrepreneurial spirit likely got it from our heritage. That it’s actually “in our genes.” The research I checked showed that when twins, identical and fraternal, are followed throughout their mid-forties, over one-third follow in entrepreneurial parents’ footsteps and drive to open and operate their own business. In other words, genes do have an effect. Another major impact on their driven direction certainly is environment. When your Mom or Dad come home every evening from running their business all day, and they’re upbeat, happy and chatty about the day, it can’t help but have a positive effect on the children assembled for dinner.
So, seems we can combine DNA and environment at least. What other factors can impact a major decision to go it in business on your own? Current economic conditions would warn anybody even considering a go at entrepreneurship that they should slow down; get a grip; talk to lots and lots of friends, relatives and bankers first. However, on the positive side, a stimulating condition for making the decision to get business cards or invest in a franchise, or other such expensive, sometimes irreversible moves, would be getting laid off or otherwise fired.
But, let me get back to influences of genes on your thought processes. Whether or not Mom and/or Dad has all of the elements present to insert into your DNA to start and run an independent business, isn’t all there is. If your growing up atmosphere included risk taking, either in the family or in some of your best guides, like teachers, employers and mostly best friends, isn’t prominent, the genes won’t dance for you.
What’s the “mind” of an entrepreneur? It must include a little fearlessness, along with a great supply of curiosity, dreaming, sensitivity and plain ole stubbornness.
Don’t necessarily check your genes. But much more, take a step aside and peruse both yourself and your environment. Are you tough and yet patient enough to move your comfort zone to accommodate a fantastic opportunity to leave your fingerprints on the world? President Obama and thousands of customers are waiting for you.