Can you learn to be an entrepreneur?

Why it's never too late to start up your own company

So, a few weeks ago, I met with Chris Locke from Startup Republic. He asked me many questions on what my take is on entrepreneurship, what I’ve learnt, about my successes and failures and so on.

At the end, he passed on his company presentation to me. The very first slide had a quote from our prime minister, David Cameron. The quote goes something like this:

“But the truth is where new jobs will come from is from the start-up, from the small, from the medium-sized enterprises…. These are the engines of growth for our economy.”

Very intriguing. Easier said than done.

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

99% of us who attended university went so that we could learn how to be good at something and get a good job. The other 1% have some interesting resultants like Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg.

However, whilst we may have originally attended university on the hunt for a job, in the current climate not only is it difficult to secure your dream job but the culture of entrepreneurship is on the rise, and it’s hard not to feel inspired.

We want to emulate the super successful 1% who left university with fantastic business ideas – so we think we’ll give it a go – sort of, perhaps an after-hours project, a get-rich-quick amway-like scheme, or even an eBay experiment.

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Some people end up making some spare cash, some end up closing the shop, and some end up exactly where they started.

Most of the 99% end up with the mentality of “Maybe you have to be born with it” or “Perhaps, I just don’t have it in me…?”

I’m writing this article to tell you out loud – that’s just not true.

Whilst there are undeniably certain characteristics that make for a good entrepreneur, there’s also a hell of a lot that you can learn.

Just because you didn’t start out with the plan of running your own business, doesn’t mean it’s too late or that you’re not suitable.

There are steps you can take to prepare, but you’ve got to do it right and you’ve got to fully commit!


Don’t just jump into a business, don’t just open an eBay store and call yourself an entrepreneur, and PLEASE don’t fall for the get-rich-quick schemes.

Why you need to learn, train and plan before you take a leap

Here are the three steps to consider:

Step 1: Learn, but don’t execute

One who knows everything, knows nothing. Don’t be overconfident about your skills, take a note of what you’re good at and what you’re not good at.

Go out there and acquire the skills you’re not good at. There are plenty of places such as Startup Republic or General Assembly where you can hone your missing skills.

Step 2: Train yourself

So you want to create your own start-up but still want to keep your job? Why not work for a start-up first? No better way to learn the tricks of the trade than being in the trade yourself.

Working for a start-up is far cooler than working for a corporate. It’s a completely different breed.

While working in a start-up, you will be able to learn from the success and mistakes of the company, you will be able to form your own opinion on how to do things right, and most of all – you’ll still get paid!

Step 3: Plan, then execute

Now that you’ve learnt the tricks of the trade and trained yourself to some level of entrepreneurship – it’s time to plan your idea and go for the execution.

When you plan your own start-up, take into account what you’ve learnt, and your training on how to tackle various operations in a start-up.

Remember that along the way you’ll still make mistakes, however, your mistakes will cost you much less if you’ve made them before and learnt from them.

Every entrepreneur is different, and so is the story behind their first business, so if you’ve got the desire to start a business but you’re not sure if you’ve got the skills – why not find out – start learning and training today and before you know it you could be planning and executing your very own business.

Saurabh is the CEO & co-founder of Seed Recruit, an online recruitment platform. You can get in touch with Saurabh on Twitter @_SaurabhKhanna or on LinkedIn at


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