Entrepreneurship: Are People Born to Be Entrepreneurs?

Are people born to be entrepreneurs? Or is it a skill that anyone can learn?

You might be interested to know that there is actually impressive research on this subject. Nicos Nicolaou from the Cass Business School at London’s City University and Scott Shane from Case Western Reserve University did the study. They found that inherent abilities, those you were seemingly born with, account for about 37% to 48% of entrepreneurial success.

This means that all entrepreneurs, whatever their natural talents, must learn the craft. Some people simply have a larger head start than others. They come into this world with personality traits that are strongly aligned with entrepreneurial effectiveness.

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Goal-Setting: Three Common Mistakes

When it comes to setting and managing goals, most of us have considerable room for improvement. Here are three common goal-setting mistakes which people commonly make.

The first is confusing good intentions with goals . To be motivating, goals need a good intention behind them. But good intentions are not goals. A good intention is to lose weight. A goal is to lose ten pounds in the next 60 days by exercising four days a week.

Second is having too many goals, so that it’s difficult to stay focused on all of them or the sheer number of goals and the effort they demand leave you feeling overwhelmed.

The third is failing to group goals by categories, so that we keep goals for our personal life separate from goals for our business life. When we categorize goals properly, we can then focus only on those goals which relate to context in which we find ourselves at a given moment. That is, we focus on professional goals at work, family goals at home, and personal development goals in our private time.

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Four Obstacles to Success

The philosopher Carlos Castenada said that there are four impediments to learning new skills. They are fear, power, clarity, and old age.

The challenge of fear to learning is obvious enough. And by old age he refers to the mistaken beliefs we often hold about our limited learning potential in later years of life.

But how are power and clarity obstacles to learning? Power, he would explain, limits our sense that we need to change. When we have things under control, what motive is there to learn or do something different.

A similar scenario plays out with clarity. If we are convinced that we have a clear and complete understanding of something, we have not motivation to plunge deeper into it and explore it more thoroughly.

As this article spells out, encore entrepreneurs are particularly susceptible to each of these obstacles. And to the degree that these obstacles prevent them from learning, the obstacles stand in the way of success.

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Rooting Out Self-Limiting Beliefs

In our thought process, beliefs rarely present themselves as beliefs. Instead, they masquerade as facts. Have you ever heard people say things like, “I could never be a good public speaker” or “I’m just messy by nature”?

Notice how these statements sound like statements of fact. In reality, neither of them is factual. They both state a belief. What they actually mean is, “I believe that I could never become a good speaker.” And, “I believe that I can’t be tidy and organized.”

Moreover, by masquerading as facts, these statements imply two things. First, they suggest that “this is who I am.” And second, “Because I’m this way, there’s not much that I can do about it.” The second statement even says, “I’m messy by nature.” If I’m messy by nature, I must simply accept it. Right?

As a result, because we mistakenly treat such statements as facts, they serve to disable us. They rob us of power and potential to change and improve.

But when we modify these statements and recast them as mere beliefs, not absolute facts, we start to see options and possibilities for ourselves. We see the potential for change and even greater success.

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Managing the Fears of Starting a Business

Only a fraction of the people who consider starting a business actually follow through and launch one. Many factors hold them back. But none is more daunting than fear.
Fear itself is inevitable. We never know when some unforeseen event may trigger it. This leaves us but two choices. We will either manage our fears. Or our fears will manage us. Success with your business startup depends largely on which choice you make.
Here then is a seven-step process for managing the fears which may come with owning a small business.

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Seven Avenues for Maximizing Personal Influence

In selling ourselves to others, our purpose is to gain their cooperation, collaboration, business, or support. Without influence, we can accomplish none of these objectives. And if this is true of people in general, it’s particularly true of small business owners. To achieve their dreams and to do so with their limited resources, small business owners must daily capitalize on their ability to influence people. As an encore entrepreneur, your self-improvement agenda should therefore make it a priority to enhance your capacity for exerting influence.

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Why Small Business Owners Burn Out

People start businesses with a dream of the freedom the business will give them. Then they find themselves a few years later frustrated, exhausted, and on the verge of burnout. One of the primary reasons that this happens to small business owners is that they never shed an employee mindset to assume an entrepreneurial mindset. Had they done so, they would have structured their time and their business much differently.

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