Entrepreneurs: Are They Born or Taught?

I recently read a post that pondered the question about whether entrepreneurs are born or taught? It's a good question. During my early years of entrepreneurship, I believed that anyone who wanted to start a business and was generally a smart, diligent, motivated person was an ideal candidate for starting a business. But over the years as I've spoken with and advised countless smart, diligent and motivated people with great business ideas only to witness them ultimately conclude (consciously or subconsciously) that they couldn't do it, I realized that there is definitely a fear factor that's difficult for many people to overcome. Despite their actual potential to succeed with starting a business, people who have not had close friends or family whom they've grown up watching thrive running their own business are less likely to trust in themselves and take that leap into the unknown. On the flip side, in general, those who have been raised around a family member or very close family friend who has successfully run a business are not only more likely to take such a leap, they're usually more likely to even consider the prospect and often see it as their ultimate goal, in contrast to their counterparts who may never even consider such prospects.
 
So does all this mean that those who were not "born" into the life of an entrepreneur may never start a business. Obviously not. I'm living proof. And first generation entrepreneurs are emerging all the time. But recognizing the greater barriers for them to starting a business can help those not exposed to such experiences better "learn" how to move toward their goal of entrepreneurship.
 
So for those who do not have a family history of entrepreneurship or a close sucessful model to subconsciously motivate you, there are several strategies that can help you move toward starting a business and help break down barriers that can sway you away from starting a business.
 
1. Find a mentor. If you don't naturally have or know someone who has successfully run a business, FIND someone...and befriend them! Be honest and let them know you admire them and would like to learn from them. I don't konw of any entrepreneur who would not be flattered and willing to mentor.
 
2. Recognize that being the first person you know of to become an entrepreneur, while impressive, is by NO MEANS insurmountable. The steps to starting a business and successfully running it are not difficult if you have the right roadmap. Don't be intimidated. Just do!
 
3. Educate yourself! When you don't know, you can't do. The internet is a massive source of free information. Utilize it. If you feel in the dark about ANYTHING, research, reach out, and learn. You'll be amazed at how easy EVERYTHING is once you know about it.
 
4. Join entrepreneur support and social groups. There are tons of online groups and you'd be amazed at the wealth of information, resources, and networking flowing through them. Set up a LinkedIn profile if you don't have one already and peruse the business and entrepreneur groups to see which ones you're interested in joining (it's free). Also google any other specialty groups (e.g., Women in Business, Restauranteurs, etc.) as well as other business and entrepreneur magazines and websites and sign up for their newsletters, blog alerts, and forums.
 
In a nutshell, becoming a part of the entrepreneur world, both internally and externally, will drive you closer and closer to becoming one yourself.
 
Were you raised around an entrepreneur(s). How has it influenced your perspective or entrepreneurial goals (if any)?