Are Some People Born to Be Entrepreneurs?

October 17, 2016

4:30 pm

Being an entrepreneur takes hard work and dedication. You need to be able to pitch to investors, manage employees, and network with influencers, all while preserving your genius idea that will take you to the Silicon Valley and beyond. But is it possible that entrepreneurs are not forged in the fire of hard work? Could it be fathomable that entrepreneurs are born rather than bred? One study says, absolutely.

A study conducted by Scott Shane and wide range of professors at King’s College London, a professor of entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University and author of the new book Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders: How Your Genes Affect Your Work Life, indicated that entrepreneurship has as much do with nature is it does with nurture. While the study began as a chance to prove something everyone knew to be true, it became all the more apparent that entrepreneurship is engrained in some more than others.

“We expected there would be a genetic component to entrepreneurship,” said Shane. “We were surprised to find that the magnitude of that genetic component was pretty sizable.”

If you’re wondering what the data behind the study had to say about the matter, the authors of the study got pretty specific when it came to genetics’ influence on entrepreneurship. For one, between 27 and 48 percent of the tendency to be an entrepreneur is genetic, and the ability to identify new business opportunities is 100 percent hereditary. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, the study also found that self-employment income is also hereditary, meaning these genetic masterpieces are not only inclined to be entrepreneurs, but also more capable of performing the necessary tasks to succeed.

The study, while conclusive, did not provide a perfect path to entrepreneurship as far as genetics were concerned. Obviously traits like confidence, outspokenness, determination, and independence are passed on from parent to child and also contribute to success in the business world, but how much is it contributing to the entrepreneurs of the world? It’s hard to tell.

“We’re saying that there’s a genetic component here, but there are many paths to get the same genetic effect,” said Shane.

The key to entrepreneurship is not getting bogged down by the numbers. Like any famous athlete, prolific musician, or successful startup owner can tell you, statistics mean nothing to someone that knows what they want. If you can strive to be great, then you can be great. Don’t let your genetic makeup decide the type of life you’re going to live. Let it motivate you to show the world what you’re made of.

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Senior Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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