Have you ever wondered as a dad if your entrepreneurial spirit would be passed down to your little ones? What causes someone to have an entrepreneurial spirit anyhow? Could it be genetic or are environmental factors more influential?
As this has been studied over time, it appears that business ambition is most commonly shared between fathers and their sons. Fathers play a unique role in stimulating ambition for achievement, competition and growth. In fact, fathers can be so influential that many sons end up following the same career path they watched their fathers pursue.
Characteristics Shared Among Generations
More than just a common interest, it’s been proven that business ambition is a characteristic shared among generations. Not only is it an intimate bond, but children feel like they are learning ambition, achievement and more by following in dad’s footsteps. Even for kids whose parents are capable of financially supporting them, they still feel the desire to follow their dad’s lead.
Passing on an enterprise from one generation to the next is common and desired in many families. Most small business owners hope that their children will work for them or take over the business when they retire. They desire for their passion to be instilled in their children, leaving a business legacy throughout their family. Many entrepreneurs are starting to groom their children to be chief executives of a start-up as early as middle school.
Are Entrepreneurs Made or Born?
This is a debatable topic because many feel children are groomed to be entrepreneurs and others argue that it’s in their genes. Some feel entrepreneurs are created through experience, mentoring and education while others feel it’s in their blood from birth. Do you think children of entrepreneur dads are born with a gene for it or are they trained to desire it?
Entrepreneurial Gene Theory
There are two prominent researchers that are speaking up about this topic. James V Koch is a professor of economics and President Emeritus at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. According to James, people are simply wired one way or the other. This means that some people have a natural advantage as an entrepreneur in the business world, while others simply do not. He calls this the Entrepreneurial Gene Theory.
Entrepreneurial Spirit is Taught
Julian Lange, senior professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, has researched the topic for many years. He has concluded that entrepreneurs are made through teaching. He states that although you cannot teach the passion behind entrepreneurship, you can help someone to discover their passion for it.
The topic remains debatable but it appears that a good mixture of born inclinations and taught strategies are necessary to develop a successful entrepreneur. However, regardless of whether the entrepreneur spirit is taught or genetic, it’s important for fathers to show their children what they are passionate about in their work lives. This will push them to always follow their passions in choosing a career.