It takes a special kind of person to become an entrepreneur. Not everyone can do it; not everyone is willing to take the risk. But the people who do become entrepreneurs, do appear to share similar characteristics. What fosters entrepreneurial talent and zeal in a person, is a running debate. But no one argues that entrepreneurs are enthusiastic risk takers, opportunistic, passionate, committed and natural leaders. And above all, they’re innovative.
One interesting argument that comes up frequently is that a person’s education may predispose them to become entrepreneurs. At the introduction of the iPad 2, Steve Jobs said, “it is technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing”. This sparked debate among the press as to whether entrepreneurial sense is learnt through a specific type of education, and one that may not actually be from a business or engineering background.
It’s thought that it takes both abstract and analytical thinking – two qualities commonly valued in the humanities – to grow a notion into a business, as well as critical thinking. Of course, a business degree is not going to hurt, but it’s the forward thinking associated with the mental skill set found in the humanities that have been cited as key factors for budding entrepreneurs.
But whether you believe it’s education – or even genetics, upbringing or political environment – that makes a person entrepreneurial, or not – the deciding, and some might say overarching, factor has to be passion.
While passion itself does not make an entrepreneur, all successful entrepreneurs are, without fail, passionate people. Without belief and excitement in your idea or venture you’re not going to have the drive to get it off the ground, fight hard at any hurdles, or remain interested for long enough to see it succeed well into the future. True entrepreneurs know that it’s the flash of brilliance in an idea married with the persistence of the long-game that really marks out those who succeed in business.