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Old September 19, 2003, 08:38 PM
Dien Rice
 
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Default You CAN be taught how to be an entrepreneur...

Hi Azlee,

> 1).Do you think entrepreneur is born because
> of the education system
> or because economic pressure.

I'm going to go against what some have said here. I think you CAN be taught how to be an entrepreneur.

I see entrepreneurship - at its heart - as "urban survival skills". It's HOW to SURVIVE in society without a JOB. How to make money (legitimately) through your own efforts.

Let's head to the jungle. Can you learn how to survive in the jungle, or are you "born" with jungle-survival skills? Of course you can learn how to survive in the jungle. Jungle tribes teach these skills to their children all the time. Our ancestors would all have learned these skills.

Let's head back to the "urban jungle". At one time, almost everyone was in "business". Just think of the Asterix comics! Obelix was in business - he sold menhirs. Getafix the Druid was in the business of creating and selling potions. There's also a smith, and a fish-monger. Before the industrial revolution, many people had trades - not jobs. They were small-time entrepreneurs, in their own way.

Jim Straw says something which is really true. He says that in every business, there are TWO sets of skills you need to know.

The first set of skills are those specific to the business. For example, if your business is repairing computers - you need to know how to repair computers. If your business is selling hot dogs, you need to know where to find sources of hot dogs and how to cook them.

The second set of skills are those which are universal for all businesses. These are skills like marketing, sales, accounting, customer-service skills, and so on. Whatever business you're in, the better you are at these skills, the more successful your business will be.

So, to be an entrepreneur - you need to have both sets of these skills. And, in my opinion, they can all be learned.

Here's another way to look at it. Can the skill to play basketball be taught, or is a basketball player "born"?

Obviously, almost everyone can be taught to play basketball. Now, let's change the question a little bit.

Can anyone be taught to play basketball - like Michael Jordan? I think here's where we start getting to the issue of the talents you are born with.

Everyone can be taught to play basketball. Not everyone can play like Michael Jordan.

I see business as no different.

Almost everyone can be taught how to write a sales letter which will sell. Not everyone can write a salesletter like Gary Halbert.

Almost everyone can be taught how to profit by developing property. But not everyone will be able to make money developing property like Donald Trump.

But that doesn't bother me. You don't need to develop property like Donald Trump in order to be independent.

> 2)What are the roles of venture
> capitalist?and why is it important to
> some entrepreneur?

Venture Capitalists (VCs) are companies which buy portions of start-up companies which they feel have a chance at becoming very big. In the process of buying portions of these companies, they provide millions of dollars which the company can use to develop their business.

VCs are needed for some business opportunities, since some business opportunities require a lot of money to develop. Let's say you have discovered that some property you could buy has a large deposit of diamonds. It could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions.

However, in order to dig out those diamonds - you have to spend millions of dollars in equipment and wages. This could be a very profitable business - but you could need millions of dollars in order to see the full profit from it.

Not all business opportunities are like this. Some don't require much money at all. (Most of the business ideas we write about in The Great Ideas Letter don't need much money to develop into a business - some of them you could start for under $100.)

There are many ways you could get the millions of dollars you might need for SOME business opportunities - VCs are only one way of getting the needed money.

But that's why some businesses really need VCs. At the same time, many businesses don't need them at all. It partly depends on which opportunity they are exploiting.

- Dien Rice


A Good Place To Learn Some "Urban Survival Skills"...
 


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