It’s an old debate. Are we products of our genetics or of our surroundings? Certainly, we are all born with particular propensities, but, fortunately our genetic code doesn’t seal our fate.
For the most part, we all have options as to how to take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. So, of course, these decisions impact how we look, think and feel. Therefore, we are, at least to some degree, not only products of our inborn tendencies but also of our outside world.
Location, Location, Location!
Some people seem to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Is it pure luck, or do these individuals possess a magic formula for swaying the odds in their favor?
External influences, also known as environmental variables, impact human behavior and ultimately help to define who we are and what we are able to accomplish. Therefore, it’s important to create the best possible surroundings for yourself and to make the most effective use of available resources.
Life doesn’t come with a playbook, but we can look to those enterprising spirits for how to leverage the world’s resources to our best advantage.
Entrepreneurs: Experts at Evolving
For the entrepreneur, evolving means introducing a new “element of chance” in order to identify and utilize “new combinations.” A variation of “survival of the fittest,” these novel introductions are exposed to selection processes. This system of selection leads to the diversification of the overall environment in which the entrepreneur operates. Through this “creative destruction” process, the environment will naturally weed out what is dysfunctional (Lundmark & Westelius, 2014, pp. 583- 584).
Entrepreneurs cannot allow themselves to become stuck in a rut or addicted to a certain routine. They make plans while allowing for flexibility. Balance is a key word here. You cannot completely “wing it,” you must have a strategy, but you cannot be afraid to steer from your course when necessary.
Entrepreneurs: Accustomed to Acclimation
Though highly visible, entrepreneurs appear to possess some type of subtle hidden secret to success. Creating something from seemingly nothing, they are masters of innovation and improvisation. Chance occurrences are the rule, not the exception, for these pioneers of provision. However, survival often depends on “how well they are adapted to their social, political, technical, and economic environments” (Lundmark & Westelius, 2014, p. 583).
Entrepreneurs, though true to their basic character, are never too set in their ways.
Know who you are, but don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong and needing a new direction. Most importantly don’t be afraid to fail. Mistakes are how we learn.
Entrepreneurs: Situationally Savvy
“Draw a cart with horses, or push it down a hill…Both move the cart, aye?” — Daerwin of Brannagh
Entrepreneurs also make the best possible use of all resources, theirs and others. They are able to leverage assets in order to best serve the needs of others. Quick witted wizards of wealth, these industrious souls understand human necessities and desires and how they fit into the greater scheme of things (Martin, 2009).
Entrepreneurs know what they are good at. They are aware of their strengths and their weaknesses. They build a network of likeminded people. In this collaborative type of arrangement, members with varying assets and capabilities are able to bolster other members deficiencies.
So, get out there. Join groups, make friends. Learn a new skill.
Entrepreneurs: Connecting & Perfecting
Entrepreneurs also utilize prior experience to their best benefit, reflecting and improving upon past experiences, leading to more in depth learning. According to Yan Man (2012), entrepreneurial learning is a process involving awareness, reflection, association, and application. This type of learning is different in that entrepreneurs, specifically, apply what they already know to varying situations.
It’s good to learn new things, but don’t forget to use what you already know. The knowledge you’ve previously gathered can be reassembled to clarify new circumstances. Don’t be afraid to take risks, try new things and think outside of the box.
Entrepreneurship: Put that Philosophy to Practice
Entrepreneurship can serve as a symbol, a model or a metaphor, if you will, for life in general. In major decisions as well as daily routines, we should strive to use our surroundings and circumstances to our best advantage. Utilize the entrepreneurial mindset to evolve, adapt, leverage and learn. Conform or adjust when you have to, otherwise, transform. After all, that is why we are here on this planet, to create. No matter the conditions or context, master a passion, put that pioneer spirit to use in your everyday life.
Lundmark, E., & Westelius, A. (2014). Entrepreneurship as elixir and mutagen. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 575-600.
Martin, D. M. (2009). The entrepreneurial marketing mix. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 12(4), 391-403.
Yan Man, T. W. (2012). Developing a behaviour-centred model of entrepreneurial learning. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 19(3), 549-566.