Born to Be a Boss: 8 Elements that Prove Successful Entrepreneurs are Both Born and Made

How can an entrepreneur be both born and made? At first glance, it seems like a contradiction. Many people are born with a propensity towards entrepreneurial leadership.

Born to Be a Boss: 8 Elements that Prove Successful Entrepreneurs are Both Born and Made

Entrepreneurship doesn’t just happen overnight. The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is paved with a lifetime of character-building circumstances, having an innate personality type, and an individual’s dreams, determination, hard work, and core belief system. It’s impossible to pinpoint one catalyst for success when it comes to starting a business. It takes a myriad of elements meshing beautifully together to create a successful start-up.

According to an article in HubSpot, no one can argue that personality type plays a strong role in determining whether someone will become an entrepreneur or not (leadership traits pop up in early childhood). An individual’s environment, upbringing, and circumstances work together to shape that natural-born leadership tendency. Think of entrepreneurship like any other talent: the gift and desire may be present from birth, but it must be molded and strengthened through years of hard work, perseverance and strong foundational values which solidify the importance of leadership in the entrepreneur’s mind.

For the most part, proclivity towards entrepreneurship is something you are born with. However, the ability to see your business through to completion and to become a successful entrepreneur is a result of experience, determination, and hard work – all of which you are most definitely not born with.

There are eight elements that prove successful entrepreneurs are both born and made:

1. Personality type

2. Creative and critical thinker

3. Problem-solver

4. Education

5. Experience

6. Adaptability

7. Determination

8. Hard work

Personality Type

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), there are 16 different personality types. Some of these personality types enable the individual to possess strong entrepreneurial capabilities. Thankfully, personality type is not the only indicator when it comes to proving someone will become a successful leader, although it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the “right” personality. Typically, most entrepreneurs will be more extraverted than their introverted counterparts, but that “rule” isn’t necessarily set in stone.

Creative and Critical Thinker

Those with an inclination towards entrepreneurship are excellent at thinking “outside the box.” They’re resourceful, creative, and can effortlessly turn out solutions that work. They are also excellent critical thinkers and can point out the flaws in others’ ideas and strategies. Successful entrepreneurs are a channel for creative ideas that flow often. Have you ever met a business owner or entrepreneur who seemed to have a constant stream of creative ideas for their business, or future business? They almost seem to buzz with excitement.


Not only can entrepreneurs solve difficult problems, but they are also passionate about finding the most innovative solutions. According to one Forbes article, “Problem solving is a skill that everyone is born with; entrepreneurs have just learned how to leverage the opportunities that arise as a result of those problems.” Interestingly, whereas problem-solving is a skill that everyone is born with, innovation is not a natural inclination, and successful entrepreneurs tend to develop the skill over time.


The first item that proves successful entrepreneurs can be made, in addition to being born, is the matter of education. Education is something that none of us are born with, yet it’s importance cannot be understated. Yes, it’s quite possible to own a successful business without a four-year college degree. And yes, you could argue that Steve Jobs was a college dropout and still achieved tremendous success. But education doesn’t only refer to an under-graduate or graduate degree; it can be any learning you do that adds to your database of knowledge. Knowledge is a powerful tool. Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning because technology and strategies are constantly evolving.


Experience could be viewed as education’s twin. They often go hand in hand. You can’t get one without the other. Education leads to more experiences and an experience (positive or negative) always provides an education. Professional experience allows you to improve upon your innate skill set, which leads to increased productivity. As potential customers see the invaluable experience you’ve accumulated over the years, they’re more likely to go with your brand over a competitor’s. It all comes full circle.


An entrepreneur’s ability to adapt to any situation shows maturity, strength, and wisdom. Adaptability to unexpected circumstances proves you can let go of your ego and do what needs to be done. According to motivational speaker, Chalene Johnson, “There’s this really big narrative in entrepreneurship and business owning that you just keep pushing and never give in. And to a certain extent, that’s noble and true. However, adaptability—the ability to adapt, to change, the willingness to pivot—is a far more important skill to have for any business owner or entrepreneur.”


We all know people who were born with an incredibly strong will—who, no matter what life throws at them, never give up on their dreams. On the flip side, there are those individuals who, at the first sign of difficulty, toss their entrepreneurial dreams aside. In a piece published on the Startup Sloth, the author reasons that because some degree of failure in life and in business is inevitable, a successful entrepreneur must be able to accept disappointment and push through regardless of his or her circumstances.

Hard Work

After you decide what you want through sheer determination, and you’ve decided that nothing or no one will stop you from achieving your goal of becoming an entrepreneur, hard work is what takes you from point A to point B. Entrepreneurship is no “get rich quick” scheme. If you think starting a business is easy, find successful entrepreneurs and pick their brains!

In Conclusion

Are entrepreneurs born or are they made? Yes, and yes. You could say it’s a lot of one and a little of the other. Or vice versa. There are no set percentages and, thankfully, no rules set in stone. So, if you’re an introvert with a dream of starting a business, go for it. Don’t give up on your goal simply because you don’t think you fit the “standard” extraverted personality type. You were born to be a boss—so own it.


Aepiphanni is a business consultancy that works with values-driven entrepreneurs seeking to organize, optimize or expand their business models. Our entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.

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