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Can entrepreneur courses teach you how to become one?...

Can entrepreneur courses turn a person with no business smarts into an opportunity-spotting, moneymaking genius? The answer isn't easy as black or white.

Years ago Patricia B. Gray a Fortune Small Business' writer at CNNMoney.com wrote an interesting article about this topic sharing general ideas from different perspectives and I'd like to comment some of them:

1. "An entrepreneur is a kind of genius who is born, not made..."

In the book: Before to quit your job, Robert Kiyosaki says that questioning if a person has born or has been taught to be an entrepreneur is a question without sense because is similar to try to find out if a person has born being an employee or has been taught to become one.

I tend to agree with Kiyosaki because its point of view has a simple but profound logic. Moms doesn't have teachers, doctors or entrepreneurs, they just have babies. What a person learns in life is different. What do you think?

2."Entrepreneurship is about having guts, something professors cannot teach..."

Evidently having guts isn't something you're going to learn in any entrepreneur courses and is something that undeniably entrepreneurs have.

Nevertheless, what these courses can teach you is how to identify, assess and take actions to mitigate risks. After all having guts is closely related to risks right?

Being an entrepreneur isn't about to take risks without any consideration at all or just based in the profits' potential. Not at all! Therefore, if you want to have guts then you have to learn risk management.

Have you heard about how to write an effective business plan? Well this tool isn't "another thing" you have to learn to approach investors or Venture Capital firms. This plan is the best risk management tool ever! Learn how to use it. By the way, we have included a free complete guide in this article (opens a new window).

3. "The steps you have to take, the risks you have to take, I don't think in a million years you can teach it in a classroom..."

Me neither. That's because businesses, projects, procedures, etc. are widely different and learn them is part of your formation as an entrepreneur; your knowledge curve loaded with mistakes you have to make to become a real entrepreneur.

On the other hand, what can be taught in entrepreneur courses are basic skills like: leadership, team work and accountancy which in my opinion and experience are general but essential skills. We talked about it in this article (opens a new window).

4. "The passion for your business is not something you can learn in a classroom..."

I totally agree. You can't learn passion. People have passion for different things and for different reasons.

Nevertheless Malcolm Forbes wrote two phrases that express what should be taught in entrepreneur courses:

"Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful."

"The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy."

I can tell you sometimes what makes the difference between a successful business and a complete failure is the motivation, passion and faith entrepreneurs have which are essential in the early critical years of a business.

5. "Entrepreneurship education can help guide those with the right spirit..."

Effectively, in my opinion all depends on:

  • Who is talking in the classroom. Is a real entrepreneur or just an academic teacher?
  • To whom s/he's talking to. Are people with some basic entrepreneurial skills or at least genuine interest? or just students trying to approve the course?
  • What is the conversation about. Real experiences? just theory?

6. "Connections count as much in the entrepreneurial world as they do on Wall Street..."

Very often, is not who you are or what you know but who you know that matters. And therefore entrepreneur courses can open some doors with successful people, business contacts, mentors and of course investors.

7. "Perhaps the most useful purpose an education in entrepreneurship can accomplish is to weed out those who lack the right DNA"

As I said before I don't think entrepreneurship is something you have in your DNA but I agree many people can't or just aren't comfortable with a dose of uncertainty and risk.

My wife Adriana for instance, although I explained her that there's no such thing as "job security" and she knows I'm right, she feels more comfortable, has a better performance and is much more efficient having a job. And I respect that.

Therefore taking some entrepreneur courses and discovering you don't have what is needed is far better and cheaper than try in the field and let the market teach you some hard lessons.

Now let's get back to the main page of this section to learn more. Just use the links below.

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