If you ever took an entrepreneurship course in business school, chances are you’ve heard your professor ask, “Can entrepreneurship be learned, or is it something you are born with?”

As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, I used to be adamant that entrepreneurship was a trait that certain people were born with. What I’ve since noticed is that most people who say that entrepreneurship is something people are born with are typically successful entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs themselves. Quite frankly, I believe they like to think that they have a special gift.

I too believe that entrepreneurship is a gift. But it is also a talent — and it can absolutely be learned.

I should know. I dropped out of college and started (and failed) my first business at 19. I enlisted in the Marines after 9/11; after active duty, I went back to college to earn my bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship. I then launched a successful web marketing and software development firm and went back to school again, this time to earn a master’s in entrepreneurship from Southern Methodist University. Since then, I have launched a veteran nonprofit organization and completed the Entrepreneurship Development Program at MIT.


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