Are successful entrepreneurs born or made? Are successful basketball players born or made? These are some of the common questions that parents may wonder and how can their children achieve their best in life.
Let’s take a look at the key characteristics of some successful self-made entrepreneurs. They are passionate about their dreams at a young age, they develop a strong belief in the purpose that they are creating, and resilience enough to overcome all the challenges they face with a lot of hard work.
Sir Richard Branson, one of the self-made billionaires who recently embarked on board his Virgin Galactic rocket plane (17 years of development) to reach the edge of space, has shared about his dream of travelling to space since he was a kid.
“I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, but honestly nothing can prepare you for the view of Earth from space,” he said in a press conference following the flight. “The whole thing was just magical.”
Find and Nurture Your Passion
Like most of the other self-made billionaires, he knew his passion at a young age and dropped out of school to start his magazine called ‘Student’ followed by the many successful ventures in the later part of his life.
Are all tall people good at basketball? Michael Jordan may not be the tallest in the NBA but certainly his passion about basketball and hard work that he put in makes him one of the most successful players in NBA history if not the best.
“I told him, ‘Excuse me. I thought you just told me you wanted to be the best player to ever play here,’” Williams says he told the teenaged Jordan, who responded with an intense promise.
″‘I’m going to show you. Nobody will ever work as hard as I work,’” Williams says Jordan told him.
In Singapore, academic excellence is the focus of many parents for their children as most believe that entering a good school and getting a good degree will provide a good head start to a successful career.
As an entrepreneur myself and a father of 4 kids, my take on whether entrepreneurs are born or made is that they are both born and made. I grew up in a family where academics was not the focus and my parents had been very supportive with me trying out new things. I’m fortunate that I was exposed to entrepreneurship at a young age helping my dad when he was restarting his business after a business failure. I’m curious to know how businesses work and what it takes to make a business successful.
I remembered visiting my uncles in Malaysia to learn about their carpentry and cookies making businesses and having on the job training too. Although afterwards, I went on to take up a study award with the Singapore Armed Forces during my university studies, I left after 4 years in service to chase after my passion in entrepreneurship.
I will often share with my kids about my day at work and what are some of the challenges I faced on a day to day basis.
More importantly, I will also share how I tried to overcome the challenges and seek their ideas. Occasionally, I will bring them along for business discussions and they will help out in the business.
One day, my second boy came up to me and shared that he wanted to start a business when he was only 9 years old. To my surprise, he was able to come out with a pretty decent business plan with some guidance from me.
Nurture Children Early
I believe that entrepreneurship is very similar to sports that require exposure and nurturing starting from a very young age. And success comes with a lot of passion, grit and hard work to overcome challenges or limitations along the journey.
Children must be first given the opportunity to be exposed and discover their niche that later grows and nurtures into their goals and successes.
Your child can be born with certain talent but not given the opportunity to fulfil the potential then it will always be just a dream. But if your children are given an opportunity to discover your dream and nurture it over years, he/she might just become the next successful entrepreneur.