Trainning 7 Core Entrepreneurial Muscles

How you train entrepreneurs makes a huge difference. Train smarter not harder.

  • Successful entrepreneurs often have an early career accomplishment in the late childhood or teenage years.

  • Young entrepreneurs can start acquiring one of seven core skills.

  • It's never too early or too late to start building your entrepreneurship muscle.

“When I was 12, I wanted to get ballet lessons. My parents could not afford it. However, my mom did not say no. She told me that if I made some money, I could do it. So I started my ’babysitting business’. I put around flyers and started being a hustler the way many immigrants are. I got my ballet classes and maybe one of my most important life lessons.” – Leila Janah, founder of SamaSource and LXMI

What makes successful entrepreneurs the way they are? Are they born or made? The answer seems to be closer to the latter, but that “making” may need to start early on in life.

A common point among pioneering entrepreneurs is a core formative experience of accomplishment that took place between the ages of 10 and 16. An age where inhibiting factors have not yet come into play provides a clean slate for future entrepreneurs to undergo a process comparable to the way athletes build muscle memory. Before the doubt and insecurities of adulthood settle in, most children believe their dreams are completely feasible. Some evidence of success during a person’s formative years plays an immensely important role throughout one’s life.

Experiencing success in the face of uncertainty helps mould the so-called entrepreneurial muscle. Continuing to overcome challenges throughout life builds entrepreneurial muscle memory, or one’s personal database of achievements. The process is stiff and slow at the beginning, but becomes progressively easier with every iteration. Eventually, activities linked to an entrepreneurial skill can be performed without significant conscious effort. That is why entrepreneurs do not even recognize that they have unique entrepreneurial skills; it feels very natural.

A tennis player needs strong shoulders and obliques to execute on a backhand swing. Similarly, an entrepreneur needs a certain set of entrepreneurial muscles that allow them to put their business knowledge and product insights into practice.