I grew up in a family of staunch adherents to the traditional path:
1. Survive adolescence
2. Go to University
3. Walk into an office
4. Walk out 25 years later with a pension and a watch
5. Retire, travel, putz in the garden, take your meds
Some people, like me, made it to the threshold of #3 but stopped at the door, turned around, and walked off. Into the unknown.
As I meander through the Social Media landscape, I notice that many people dub themselves serial entrepreneurs. I would define a typical entrepreneur as someone who gets a good idea, fires up a business, hunkers down and works at it till death do them part.
Serial entrepreneurs, on the other hand, get one great idea, fire it up, pass the responsibility on, and stalk the next big idea. Thinking in terms of serial killers, this would mean taking bigger risks each time and moving closer to the edge. What quells the fear of going too far and crashing & burning?
Do serial entrepreneurs have some Phoenix in their DNA?
Maybe so. Entrepreneurs take risks, defined here as “engaging in any activity with an uncertain outcome” (from Psychology Today). Certain factors or qualities indicate a predisposition to risk-taking; high IQ, ADHD, being tall (not making that up) …
Can we teach someone to be an entrepreneur or is one hard-wired? Cameron Herold presents significant insights in this video: Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs. He shares his journey and the influence of nature v. nurture (watch for the “Bipolar: The CEO Disorder” list).
This post isn’t intended to be a dissertation on the psychology of risk.
I want to know what you think, as an entrepreneur.
Are you hard-wired; what was your first enterprise?
Are you not built that way but were taught or mentored by someone?
Were you presented with no other choice because you couldn’t find a job?
I’m really interested in hearing your entrepreneurial story. I hope you’ll share what prompted (or compelled) you to seek the road less traveled.