Sam Zell (founder of two largest American REITs; Equity Office and Equity Residential) was recently interviewed and asked if his children had followed him into real estate. Sam replied “None of them are in the business. I don’t make widgets. I’m in the risk-taking business. That’s not something you pass on.”

While you can always “move the needle” i.e. teach some of the skills and traits of entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship is certainly more a matter of EQ than IQ and EQ can be learned, I lean more to the “entrepreneurs are more born than made” school.

Entrepreneurs are DRIVEN individuals with a motivating vision combined with the practical common sense to acquire or seek out the skills and ability necessary to make their dream come true plus the persistence/grit to persevere through daunting roadblocks and discouraging obstacles all the while remaining open and flexible about other ways to the mountaintop.

Quite the list of attributes. Most folks don’t want it bad enough, however an entrepreneur’s emotional make-up leaves them no other choice. I was restless as a young man and chaffed at the restrictions of hierarchy; it wasn’t why I was put on this earth. I often quasi-joke that I started investing because I couldn’t hold a job; the truth is I could, I can do whatever I have to, it’s just that my soul cried out against the restriction of external structure and yearned for the freedom (and I was willing to accept the rigors, long hours, and risk) of being on my own, seeing what I could create. Ah, Joy!

Closing Quotes:

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki (“It’s not about ideas. Ideas are easy. It’s about making ideas happen. That’s the hard part.” – NSC)

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier