Does Nature or Nurture Produce Entrepreneurs?

The nature versus nurture argument is centuries old, and it has been applied to everything from individual success to personality traits. Recently, this argument was applied to entrepreneurship. However, studies have only discussed whether your genetics make you more prone to becoming an entrepreneur, not whether they make you successful in this endeavor. These are some things you should know about this nature versus nurture argument.

Entrepreneurial Traits

The studies began with several entrepreneurial traits. Most of these individuals have a natural tendency toward extroversion because these individuals are more adept at connecting with people. They also tend to make effective leaders. The study also included the probability of starting a business or becoming self-employed. Entrepreneurs are adept at identifying opportunities.

Some of the traits that suggest a tendency toward entrepreneurship include high openness and fluid intelligence combined with agreeableness.

The Nurture Argument

Studies have found that entrepreneurship can also be learned. However, this process requires time and dedication. It requires education and training as well as personal ambition. These individuals may complete degrees or certifications, but they may also find mentors to guide them, and they tend to build strong networks that support their growth. They are open to advise and try to stay up-to-date on industry trends.  

The Nature Argument

Each of the entrepreneurial traits is influenced by your genes. One study was conducted with fraternal and identical twins and a control group. The study found that when the twins shared the same genetic code, such as that found in identical twins if one individual was entrepreneurial, the other would be too. In fact, these groups had a much higher rate of these traits than the control or fraternal twin groups.  

The Conclusion

The challenge to this argument is that these traits don’t automatically translate to entrepreneurship. These individuals need the ability to apply these traits effectively. However, they also need to be applied to the right industry or niche. For example, someone who excels at technological development will have difficulty succeeding in the real estate industry because the skills are different even though the genetics are the same.

The conclusion is that although genetics may play a role in an individual’s tendency toward entrepreneurship, their role is minor. Even those without these genes have started and succeeded in business. True, successful business owners and innovators require extensive training and support to succeed.

Don’t let someone else tell you that you aren’t an entrepreneur just because you may not have the desired genetics. You have to fight for your success, no matter what your genetic code says.