Friday, March 30, 2007

Young Entrepreneurs

Young Entrepreneurs

Are entrepreneurs born or formed?

Do you know? I am not sure. But I believe that young people can be encouraged to think and act in entrepreneurial ways. Entrepreneurs take responsibility for things that others think they cannot change. Imagine imparting that spirit to more young people.

As far as I know none of my ancestors were entrepreneurs. My grandfather was a farmer. That requires certain entrepreneurial characteristics. My grandparents left their home in war-torn Hungary to move across an ocean to a new world to a foreign place and a foreign language. What would make them do that? What they were running away from or hoping to find? That took courage, risk and vision. Was that entrepreneurial? Maybe.

Upon arriving in the new world – my grandparents found work. They did not start a business. My father learned a trade and found a job.

So without entrepreneurial training, why did I, at the age of seven, set up my first lemonade stand? Why did I pile our comic books into our wagon and walk around the neighborhood with my younger brother selling and trading our precious comic books? Did that make us young entrepreneurs?

Why did I sell apples for my Scout Troup so boldly that I won the award for the bestseller in the region? Why did I knock on doors to sell pens, peanuts and sponsorships for my high school band? Was that the sign of a born entrepreneur?

When I had my paper route I thought about ways to offer extra value to my subscribers. I was 13 years old. Did that make me a born entrepreneur?

After university I entered the corporate word as I had been encouraged to do. After almost twenty years of corporate servitude why did I suddenly leave the safety of a corporate job to launch my own business? It was both frightening and exciting.

So are entrepreneurs born or formed?

I don’t know.

It might be a combination of the internal spark and the experience of growing and learning.

If you are not yet an entrepreneur – you might still become an entrepreneur one day.

George Torok
Host of Business in Motion

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