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Nurture versus Nature

Are you born an Entrepreneur or can you teach yourself these skills? It’s the classic question, nurture versus nature… I think the answer is both. I’m sure many people are born with an entrepreneurial spirit and are creative by nature, but the business acumen, ambition, decision-making skills and people skills required to successfully run a business are most likely learned from your family. I grew up in a busy household, my parents ran and still run a business back in Ireland. I had a younger brother and an older sister (neither of which own furniture stores…). For anyone who had parents who ran a family business you’ll know that from an early age you can’t help but be immersed in the day-to-day operations. My parents worked in their Supermarkets everyday, the phone was always ringing in the house (this was before mobile phones). I remember Sunday was the only day the stores were closed, and the phone wouldn’t ring unless there was an emergency. Growing up in this environment by osmosis you’ll pick up certain life skills invaluable to running a business later in life. Even when you’re too young to understand what’s being spoken about you knew from a tone of voice or people calling to the house that you had to make yourself scarce. And when the second landline rang (which was in the front living room) then it was serious… We called this phone the ‘Bat-Phone’, not everybody had this number and as a staff member in one of the stores you only called on this phone if there was a matter of importance!) At home we had business partners and Bank Managers visiting the house and when we weren’t in school then we were with my parents at the store, in the delivery van, at the wholesalers, the accountants office and the list goes on… This was a time long before daycare or nannies ever existed and your kids went everywhere with you. Maybe this will change how we raise future generations of entrepreneurs?