Are We Products of Our Entrepreneurial Environments?
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Are We Products of Our Entrepreneurial Environments?

Are We Products of Our Entrepreneurial Environments?

By John Jantsch

Fred RogersI’m not sure why this riff keeps running around in my head, but I thought I would pose it to my readers as a kind of fun, but potentially telling bit of research.

Owning a business, marketing a business, horn tooting, innovating, fearlessly charging into unchartered waters is the stuff of small business. It’s also often looked upon as something that requires special traits and characteristics that, well, some people just don’t profess to possess.

Many of the traits that make up the entrepreneur are ingrained as habits, I suspect, knowingly or unknowingly, by our well intentioned parents and caregivers.

Fear of failure is learned, fear of success is learned, fear over money and lack are learned, shame in tooting one’s own horn is taught, fear of being called different is acquired. Likewise, innovation can be an observed trait, authenticity in promotion can be taught by example, understanding that income is easy to create, that time is precious, that serving is noble, that, well, a bunch of other good stuff about owning a business, can be taught by example might just be the product of our upbringing.

My parents were entrepreneurs of a sort before the word had today’s cache and meaning. My father was an independent manufacturer’s representative and my mom raised ten children old school. She cooked, canned, gardened, sewed, laundered, sang and never worried about where the next ten bucks was coming from because she had tremendous faith in herself and the enterprise. They were stunning examples of the entrepreneur sprite. They were not without their flaws and fears, I mean, really, we’re all just making it up as we go, but I wonder what impact that had on my absolute firm resolve to do my own thing, to market joyfully and to promote with passion.

So, I’ve told you a little of my story and here’s what I’m wondering.

1) Why do you do what you do?
2) What did your parents do?
3) How did that impact your entrepreneurial spirit?

I swear there’s a point to this ramble, and I’ll let you know what it is after I collect your thoughts. Please share your story – good bad and ugly as it may be and in the words of the immortal Fred Rodgers“It’s hard not to like someone, once you know their story.”

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