After asking this question for years, I think I’ve come to a shocking conclusion.
“Alexandros! Bring out the food to table 5 and after you do that, wash these dishes asap.” I remember hearing these requests at 9 years old, when I first started to work. My father was locked up, leaving my mom alone with myself and two other brothers to take care of. After school, I wasn’t playing on the sports team or going friends parties. For two reasons, I was incredibly socially awkward at the time – and, my family was completely broke.
With that being said, I found myself in the back of a restaurant cleaning dishes as fast as I could. Filling the condiments cups, folding the silverware with napkins, cleaning the tables upfront, refilling drinks for customers and much more. This was at my uncles restaurants in Dekalb, IL in the 90’s. Back then, people used to smoke. I hated the smell so much. I would hold my breath each time going into the smoking section of the restaurant in order to grab refills for customers. At the end of the night, I would enjoy getting the fresh air from outside when my mom came to pick me up at the end of the work night.
Working in a typical Greek owned family diner had it’s perks and drawbacks. As a socially awkward kid, it helped me become more social by talking to all the customers that came in. I learned so much about people at an early age. Seeing people’s behaviors changing before and after they ate, or even if the bill was off by a few pennies. Every minute detail, I picked up on it.
Then, another thing I noticed, was working with family. (It was my 2 uncles restaurant and my dad that had owned these restaurants, however, my dad went to prison for 10 years for kidnapping a mafia guy, so my uncles ended up trying to hold down the restaurants and sports bar we had.) Years later, they lost the restaurants and bar and ended up going to jail as well. Oddly enough, it was around the time my dad got out of prison. The timing was so weird.
Anyways, that’s a little background of where this article is going to go. I was thinking about it a lot lately for some reason. I own a service business in Illinois and have been running it for 10 years now. I’ve learned a lot as a business owner. Also, I’ve met a ton of business owners over the years too. Some, I’ve become great friends with.
However, the reason why I felt compelled to write this article is because of a reoccurring thought I keep having about entrepreneurs:
Are entrepreneurs born or made?
I always look to the very beginning for human nature and behavior. I mean, the real real beginning. Back to the caveman days.
Back then, certain cavemen took the lead. Certain cavemen were more adventurous and daring. Certain caveman were the leaders, the go-getters to get more resources, more animals, more land, more everything.
But even before that, what made that cavemen more “entrepreneurial”? What made that caveman more daring? More of a risk taker? More of alpha or beta male type of personality?
I believe, that’s determined in the gestation period of birth. (Hormones make (or break) a person.)
This is my conclusion so far – as of now. It may change later on.
I just wanted to put this out there to get feedback from others as well. This is a genuine thought and question I’ve been thinking about lately.
In short, I believe entrepreneurs have it inside of them, it’s a biological differentiator from others. I believe if our ancestors were more of the aggressive hunters and gathers, that perhaps, can lead to someone being an entrepreneur.
A caveman that was more timid, less aggressive, less content, may not have it in them to have those entrepreneur tendencies.
The caveman that wasn’t afraid to go alone out into new lands to hunt down animals 10x bigger than him, has the same type of fire as an entrepreneur who takes massive risks without knowing the outcome (failure).
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below. Im open to any other ideas on this topic.