It seems that a new research by Standford Professor Kathryn Shaw sheds some light over the debate on whether entrepreneurs are just born that way or can be taught the skills to start and run a successful business.
The research, which examined records of 2.8 million small retailers in Texas, found that entrepreneurs were more likely to succeed the more times they had run businesses in the past. So allow me to name the entrepreneurs’ mantra as: Practice, Practice, Practice. As Professor Shaw says, entrepreneurship appears to be more of a craft than an aptitude.
If you are an entrepreneur, you want to continue to gain experience as an entrepreneur. It’s really a long-term commitment. Learning from that experience can shape your future.
Similarly, a survey by Ernst & Young of 685 entrepreneurial leaders found that experience is key to people becoming entrepreneurs. Fifty eight per cent of the respondents were “transitioned” entrepreneurs who had previously been employees. Many cited their experience in a corporate environment as an important training ground for their subsequent entrepreneurial career.
As well as experiences gained through work, another type of experience relevant to entrepreneurial success is the wider set of life skills which span both our personal and professional lives. Those who had innate talent as entrepreneurs would have the same success rate in the past, present and future. On the contrary, the effects of the new learners were growing as long as they persist.
This new research showed that there is learning. The evidence for the learning emerged when the researchers looked at all persistent entrepreneurs—and found that their success rate grew in the future.
Failure is very, very common. It remains common even for those businesses that are led by serial entrepreneurs.
Even so, I consider failure as a double edged sword. On one side, it helps you to learn from it; but from the other, society still doesn’t accept it unless after many failures, you end up with success. Then, you’re a hero. If you want to become one, read Zero to One. Peter Thiel is a risk taker himself who throws some new ideas for any entrepreneur.