Entrepreneurs are born to achieve a mission and are made in the process. They are eventually self-made. This simply resolves the all-time heated discussions about whether entrepreneurs are born or made. They are both. The conventional wisdom mentality of the industrial age has mesmerized us into believing in black and white mindset. Today’s reality is that there is no either/or, but rather, both/and. The raw material is inside each one of us. It’s up to us to decide which tool to use and which one to discard. The entrepreneurial spirit is dormant in all of us and waits to be awakened. Still, it is stifled by long-time conditioning. The rebellious entrepreneur is the one who has no Plan B when it comes to his vision, he must go all-in and burn all the freaking ships that might seduce him to get back to the old world.
Each society tends to lead its individuals into a conforming and a cocooning lifestyle. Our tendency towards security of a job rather than being in charge of our life can be traced back to our early programming. At the age of 6, we got used to get up early, get dressed and go to school. At school, we are indoctrinated to study, have a break, back to the next class and be an obedient part of the group. Taking the risk of doing something different will be severely punished in such a structured environment. Consequently, we are afraid to take action and act instinctively.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle stands in contrast to the herding lifestyle. The entrepreneur seeks to design a lifestyle based on freedom where creativity and progress flourish. He rebels against the known and already-established rules and choose to experiment the unknown. He has the unshaken faith in the viability of his dreams. He believes in his unlimited reservoir of potentialities. His highest virtue is his courage to step into the unknown; the courage to get going and to keep going. His guiding vision makes way for courage. The entrepreneur’s awareness of his strengths and weaknesses helps him choose a field of work that fits his character. Throughout his journey, he needs to orchestrate the skills needed to get things done. He got to discern what skills he should be developing within himself and what skills he should outsource.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006, Muhammad Yunus, goes against the pre-conceived notion of entrepreneurship. He believes that every human being is a naturally-born entrepreneur. He once declares that, “We tend to think entrepreneurs are those who succeed in a globalized financial system that is rapidly re-establishing the extreme inequalities that western governments legalized to limit in the 20th century.” He reminds us that human beings are not born to work, since the beginning of times, for anybody else.
To prove the validity of his conviction, Yunus experimented, as a young economics professor in Bangladesh in the mid-70s, with lending an amount of $27 to 42 women to finance their small businesses, in the middle of Jobra, near his university in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He did this because The Banks, back then, wouldn’t lend money to the poor. His experiment was totaled with success as the borrowers paid the money back the moment they made a considerable profit in their startup enterprises. He extended the idea to other regions and eventually founded Grameen Bank where he micro-finances small businesses. Worth noting that 97% of the borrowers are women. The repayment rate, according to the bank officials, is 99.6%.
Entrepreneurs are both born and made. They are born equipped with the entrepreneurial spirit of achieving a mission from God. Upon unleashing this spirit, the outside resistance of societal conditioning obstructs them from breaking the rules. Abiding by their own rules and persisting in the face of setbacks, is what makes them great.