Entrepreneurship? Is It Hereditary? Or Is It Modeled?

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Is Entrepreneurship in Our Blood?

I have been meaning to share this concept for awhile. Do you have a little entrepreneur in your family? I just returned from San Diego at Matt Lloyd’s Online Income Revolution. It was an awesome event, and it was very special because it was limited to 50 people. As I was bonding, and enjoying the training, I was among 50 entrepreneurs! I started thinking about my last event, feeling very comfortable to be “among my own kind.” What does that mean?

I want to share a story about my daughter. She always had a vivid imagination. She seemed to be 2 years ahead of her age mentally. She is very bright and animated and it was a joy to raise her. She brought laughter and fun to our household because she is so inquisitive and curious. At the age of eight she did something which, at the time, I thought was cute. Now that I think about it, I have to ask myself whether her “play” was much more than regular childs play.

One day, and on the side of the bed, I discovered my laundry had been washed and neatly folded and set in a little pile with a handwritten note that said, “At Kelsies Laundry Delivery Service…” She left a bill for $.67 for me to pay for her services. It was so funny. Here is an image:

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It’s a little difficult to read but here are the prices/pile she charged:

  • Pants-25 cents
  • Shirts-25 cents
  • Bras-10 cents
  • Underwear-10 cents
  • Socks-5 cents

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No one told her to do this. For about 6 weeks, she earned money by washing and folding everyone’s clothes and charging for her services. She included specials and coupons and all of us in the family went along with it and paid her.

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ย Entrepreneurship Tendencies

Entrepreneurship seemed to be a part of her personality, or she may have been modeling after me because at that time, I was running a part-time online business (LOL it really was a hobby, but I didn’t know it at the time). I have another daughter who would not have participated in that type of activity. She is the adventurer of the family and has a different type of personality.

This is only one example of her entrepreneurship tendencies. She showed great leadership throughout here entire childhood and experimented with many businesses. I’m not going to explain all of them, but many included fashion design, selling items she created, and writing.

I would love to hear some your thoughts and comments. Do you have little entrepreneurs in your family? Did you practice entrepreneurship as a child?

Kelsie’s Laundry Delivery Service Bills and Coupons

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47 thoughts on “Entrepreneurship? Is It Hereditary? Or Is It Modeled?

  1. I love this story. Your daughter is going to be an amazing business woman one day. How old is she now? So cute how she wrote things out and itemized it.
    Is it in our blood? Maybe…I had never thought about that. I do believe we teach them work ethics because they will model us.
    I want to hear the end of the story about your daughter.What is she doing now?

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Beverly,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. My baby girl will be 19 this month! She is attending college and truthfully she really doesn’t like it that much…I think you can guess why. She will most likely finish college because she is a very committed person. However, I have this feeling she will naturally find her way to our world. When she is ready, I really would love to help her, if she wants me to. I agree she will be a fabulous business woman! Thanks for your comments!

      Raena Lynn

  2. Awesome story about your daughter. It has really got me thinking about my own childhood. I did similar with my parents. I used to get .25 a room as a young child cleaning and dusting. When I got older I also did laundry and ironing. I remember it was $1.00 a basket of ironing. I don’t remember the price of a load of laundry. As I grew older and my skills improved my pay increased.

    My parents owned a business that was on our property so they were very busy. They really appreciated my help and the whole process taught me money management. I have never thought of it all as a connection to what I am doing today as an entrepreneur.

    I think some if it is hereditary and some is what we are exposed to. I have 2 brothers and one sister. Three of us work from home, one has a conventional job. I have one child, now over 30. He also works from home.

    I’m sure being exposed to people who had an entrepreneur spirit had a lot to do with where we are today.

    Those invoices your daughter made are precious. Thanks for sharing that.

    1. What a Beautiful Post!!! I Loved It!! I think that there is something in our DNA that drives us to where we will ultimately land but the environmental aspect impacts us as well. I have raised (5) children and their personalities are all so different. For myself I am the oldest of two. I always wanted to be a Nurse ever since I was 6 years old. I also wanted to run a store and handle a cash register. Funny thing is that now I am a Registered Nurse at a Community Hospital, we dispense medications from an Omnicell Machine which is like a huge cash register for medications. We type in the name of the patient, put the code name in and out pops the medication draw. Tickles me when I think about it that at age 6 years old I was putting cereal into a little toy cash register and playing Nurse and here at 71 years this is exactly what I am doing in Real Life!! My father had his own business but only once in all his 90 years of living took a vacation because one of his customers complained when he was on vacation that he should never have left on vacation. Things didn’t go smoothly while he was gone. I hated anyone telling me I couldn’t travel so I was stuck in a J.O.B. for years which I must add I loved but there were several limiting factors. Now getting older and due to several circumstances I want to stay home more and I find writing is something I love to do and I want to follow my dreams of Genealogy Study which has been a passion from age 12 years onward. Thus I feel that I am an Entrepreneur who had never been recognized. My sister followed her dream of Teaching Special Needs Children. I can see how her environment led her into this field. She however, is not a risk taker. I am!! I can see how this risk-taking trait of mine stemmed from my Maternal Grandfather. It is interesting to watch and be aware of our tendencies and where they will lead us. Thanks for your writing. It will be interesting to watch your children as they grow and also to see your grandchildren of the future where their tendencies take them. Great Post!! Thanks so much Raena for sharing!!

      1. Raena Lynn
        Twitter:
        says:

        Wow Mary Lou! What an incredible response! Thanks for sharing your feelings and perspective of being an Entrepreneur. I know you are and I appreciate your positive attitude about everything you do. You are an example that “It’s never too late!” You have proven there are no excuses because of age! You keep going and you will make it! I’m proud of you. I’m glad you liked my post. Writing about your children is a wonderful thing!

        Raena Lynn

    2. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Melodie,
      Thanks for sharing. I tend to agree that Entrepreneurship is both hereditary and our environment. I suppose it is that sweet combination that brings it all together. It was really a joy to watch her try out many different business approaches as she grew up. I stated in another comment that I think she will naturally find her way to where she needs to be because she has a strong, stable personality. She has been pushed to conform, but eventually she will stray from it and realize that just because other people say “how we are supposed to do life” doesn’t mean we have to do it their way. I’m looking forward to working with you in the Network Superstars.

      Raena Lynn

  3. Kostas
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow Raena, your daughter is already a business woman ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess she had a good influence from her mother :). As you and Melodie mentioned in your previous comments entrepreneurship is a combination of both, since though someone is talented he/she might never discover it if his/her environment don’t help, I wish all the best for you and yours daughters…

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Kostas,

      I’m really enjoying the feedback on this post. I agree that it is a combination of both after thinking about it for awhile. I was doing my diligence with my business at the time, but I wonder if she did not have parents to model, if she would have still pursued these type of activities. I think so. She is an incredible young lady and I am very proud of her. Thanks for stopping by!

      Raena Lynn

  4. What a great story about your daughter… that is powerful! What a young little entrepreneur… sounds like she provide value first, then charged for it…

    I’m sure Lottie will grow up like that… with me around ๐Ÿ™‚ but, if she doesn’t then that’s fine too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for sharing that Raena, appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Gavin,

      I love your response! I’m sure little Lottie will do similar things. The fact that you are home makes a difference too. I really believe a child truly delves into themselves when all of their necessities are taken care of and they feel loved and secure…Little Lottie is a very fortunate little girl! Thanks Gavin.

      Raena Lynn

  5. Sarah Arrow
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a lovely memory Raena, for you and your daughter. She’s certainly responding the the stimulating home environment you’ve created for her. I remember my daughters trying similar, and to my shame I didn’t recognise what it was, an attempt at being self sufficient. I must try harder and encourage them again.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Sarah,

      It’s never too late Sarah! I don’t know how old your daughters are, but you can always be supportive and encouraging. If you see signs, just talking to them about it is a great help and it will make them feel great knowing that you recognize they may have entrepreneurial tendencies. Thanks for the nice compliment.

      Raena Lynn

  6. Charles Seay says:

    Raena, that is a beautiful story about “Kelsies Laundry Delivery Service” and of her business savvy. A great story about “Leading by example”. I wonder if her business savvy kind of rubbed off on you. It really doesn’t matter when you think about it, especially when it comes to “… which came first ….” Keeping myself in the spirit of doing really helps by being โ€œamong my own kind.โ€, because fellowshipping with like-minded folk can only only breed more of the same.

    Thanks for sharing it with us

    Charles

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Charles,

      Thanks for visiting and I am glad that you enjoyed this story about Kelsie and her “business savvy.” It is a wonderful feeling to be with people who are like-minded because they look at the world in a different way. This is a little off the subject, but that’s why live events are so great. It is an opportunity to mix and mingle with people who are pursuing their dreams and see possibility in everything!

      Raena Lynn

  7. That is such an amazing and touching story! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Have the two of you ever watched Shark Tank together? I think that entrepreneurship is both/and. Yes, some people have an innate talent for it, but I do believe others can learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Steve,

      I’ve watched Shark Tank, but we have not together. However, now that you have brought that up, she has viewed many shows that I would say are “entrepreneurial.” Interesting. I agree that entrepreneurship can definitely be earned, but there are some people who have an edge. It could be personality and/or environment. I wonder how Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, or Brian Tracy were like as kids?

      Raena Lynn

  8. Laura Morris says:

    Hey Raena!
    What a fantastic story about your precious little daughter! I believe she was definitely taking after mom in many ways. Kids pick up what they admire in their parents, and want to be just like them.
    My daughter Rachel used to walk around with a headset and a clipboard doing “conference calls” or “prospecting”. She was only 8 or 9 yet she knew what it was, and would get with her friends and pretend to get them on the call, and ask them if they would like to get on her conference call.
    She also used to come up with little “Store” or selling ideas all the time like pencils for 25 cents and pictures for 50 cents, and books for varying prices. People that came over to our house would say, “I think she’s taking after you and is quite the entrepreneur!
    Now that she is older (17) she sees the value in having her own business after college, because she has been exposed to it since she was little. My two older ones are coming around to the power of it at 25 and 29.
    I think it’s great that you saved that stuff, and created such a beautiful memory that you’ll have forever with your daughter!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Laura,

      I laughed out loud reading your comment. I got the cutest picture of your little girl walking around wearing a headset and doing conference calls. That is incredible! Oh yes, I also remember the “stores.” Mine did the same thing…they created several stores selling items, stocking, making signs, having a cash register etc. etc. I realize some of it is imagination play, but when a pattern surfaces, it is a good sign that there are some entrepreneurial tendencies. I completely agree that in your case there was modeling going on because of the nature of your work. Isn’t it wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

      Raena Lynn

  9. Holy
    Twitter:
    says:

    I can’t say that I practiced entrepreneurship as a young person.. I had tonnes of employee role models and I don’t even remember anyone being an entrepreneur!! My one son does son online buying and selling… Seems to me he has a bit of entrepreneur in him!! And he is doing some MLM training.. not sure it is the entrepreneur that he is after or the income!! Time will tell!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Holy,
      Thanks for commenting. It will be interesting to see the outcome of your son’s training. The fact that he is buying and selling online might be a little indication that he realizes he can generate his own income. That kind of thinking may lead him to an interesting future!

      Raena Lynn

  10. Christi Johnson says:

    Raena…what a great article, and your daughter is amazing. I think I always had entrepreneurial tendencies, but then again both of my parents were entrepreneurs. My sister is one. So…basically…my entire family is entrepreneurial. When my parents divorced and my mother remarried, she married a self employed consultant.

    Self employment is not just what I do. It’s who I am. I love your article because it affirms to me that I am doing exactly what I was born to do. Thank you for this!!

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Wow Christi,

      That is so interesting that entrepreneurship runs in the family and that is the part that may be hereditary. I like the way you said, “Self employment is not just what I do. It’s who I am.” What a powerful mindset! Awesome comments! Thanks.

      Raena Lynn

  11. Kevin DeRoo
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Raena,

    What a great story of young Kelsie’s entrepreneurial spirit, that’s awesome!

    My youngest son Michael, now 14, is following in his fathers footsteps as when I was Michael’s age I preformed table magic at a local restaurant every Sunday and Birthday parties as well as several special events. Now Michael is doing the same thing and loving every minute of it.

    What is your Kelsie up to now?

    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Kevin

  12. What a great story! Is it genetic or do our children watch our behavior and emulate it? I don’t know. My daughter was a little entrepreneur when she was young.
    She started a “cartwheel” club. By this, she was charging kids in her class 25 cents per visit to our yard to teach them how to do a perfect cartwheel.
    Of course, she put her money in the bank. She drove the bankers crazy checking her interest. This was done when she was 5 years old.
    So, was it my daughter watching my behavior as an Entrepreneur or is it genetics?
    -Donna

  13. Phil Sanko
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Raena,
    I very vividly remember getting in trouble when I was young for my entrepreneurial efforts… In grade school, we had a designated snack time and the school sold candy on a snack cart. I decided to start buying candy from Sams Club and selling it at a slightly lower price.

    Suspended for competing! Haha and how I’m a proud business owner… Strange how things work out!

    Take care and great post,
    Phil Sanko

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Phil,

      I laughed out loud when I read your post. Incredible that you figured out how to compete at such a young age. Very clever and look where it got you. Good for you! Thanks for stopping by.

      Raena Lynn

  14. Excellent question Raena – in my case entrepreneurship represented a major rebellion. To this day I am the only entrepreneur in my family. Growing up I watched my Dad head off to work every morning before dawn to his job as a produce manager at one of a chain of grocery stores. He did that for 45 years – same thing, day after day. I’ve spent pretty much my entire life shaking things up to avoid that lifestyle.

  15. David Merrill says:

    I was a childhood entrepreneur, Raena.

    When I was about 5, I was buying candy at retail prices and selling it to neighborhood kids for about half the price I bought it at. Classic case of buy high and sell low.

    I think the point, though, is not that I was taking a dismal financial hit, but that I was stepping up and initiating actions that I soon learned were leading to failure. I soon modified my operation to start realizing a profit.

    PS: Taking losses was more fun, though, because I instantly gained many more friends than I did when I raised my prices to a competitive level ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi David,

      Your share is so cute! Your story shows that entrepreneurship can start very young. I’m sure learning how to generate a profit so young helped you with many business ventures later in your life. I’m sure it didn’t take you long to learn “buy low and sell high.”

      Raena Lynn

  16. Hi Raena,

    Brilliant daughter you have there ๐Ÿ™‚

    You gave me something to think about. I recall hearing that entrepreneurs are ‘made’ not ‘born’ (or did I get the expression backwards?). To my knowledge, I am the first entrepreneur in my family so it is definitely not in my genes. I grew up knowing that I wanted my own business; however, I did not take a stab at it until after college.

  17. Patricia Gozlan says:

    Hi Raenna,
    what a great example the one you are sharing with us.
    And your question is a great one too.
    I think business is in our blood yes and at the same time it all depends on the environment we have grown up.
    Actually I think it’s a mix of factors, environment, our perception of it and our DNA that is our innate talent and genius.
    Great post and hope to see you soon on line to share more;)

  18. Michael
    Twitter:
    says:

    This is a great story, Raena. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I might come down right on the fence between the two. I believe that some people might have some kind of gene inside them that leads them to take more intelligent risks than other people.

    AND I believe that even if they don’t, that this faculty can be developed, What a great thing to do, to encourage her to be her best independent self. Sounds like before long she might be leaving that college to go out into the world to make an even bigger mark. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Paula Wind says:

    Your post got me thinking on this subject. Interesting. My father and my husbands father were both entrepreneurs but the conventional way. What you share about your daughters shows that being entrepreneurial is also a matter of personality. My brother has a job and I always wanted to be my own boss. Same family. Being entrepreneurial actually can fit a lot of people because there are so many ways and styles to do it. To be entrepreneurial also means not afraid to think and make conscious choices to design your life. A lot of people actually never made a choice. They just went along with what was normal or presented to them when they were young. Passiveness is a killer.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Paula,

      Wow, your last statement, “Passiveness is a killer” is very powerful. It makes me wonder how many people out there really could reach their dreams and create a more content state of being and happier life if they could get through the fear and follow what their heart is saying.

      Raena Lynn

  20. Leslie Denning says:

    Hi Raena Lynn. I think I forgot to tell you my middle name is Lynn. Something else we have in common. I loved this story about your daughter. I believe that it must be partly genetic. I remember seeing a video of someone’s granddaughter who was making drawings for sale. There just seem to be kids that are always going around trying to make money. When I was a kid, I sold seeds door to door, I set up a neighborhood carnival, had Kool-Aid stands, painted rocks and tried to sell them … This is such a cute story about your daughter. Love all the little notes. Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    Leslie

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for commenting. I agree that it is partly genetic too. My daughter inspired me to write this post and I was very pleased with the responses. Most people believe it is partly genetic, however, the people who actually become entrepreneurs probably had an advantage of being in the right environment and they had other people to model. I’ll bet there are so many out there who unfortunately have been stifled. It’s almost like a plant having the right conditions to blossom!

      Raena Lynn

  21. Great post, Raena! I remember the Sales Leadership catalog when I was in kindergarten and first grade. You got the catalog, and every item that you sold netted one dollar, which you could then use to buy a toy or get cash. The first year I did it, I got cash to buy walkie talkies, and the second year, I bought a tape recorder.

    I was reading in “Warren Buffett Wealth” where the author points out that when Warren was a young boy, he bought a six-pack of Coke for a quarter and then sold them for a nickel each, for a nickel profit for every six-pack. He also bought his first stock for $38 a share, saw it go down to $27, sold at $40, and then almost immediately saw it go to $200. Is it any coincidence that he holds onto companies for a really long time now? Even if you don’t nurture it, that spark is often still there.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for sharing the story about Warren Buffet as a young boy! Isn’t it incredible that a person has the desire and drive at such a young age? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the personal stories my friends have left in response to this post. We all have different ideas about entrepreneurship but most agree that it is “in us.”

      Raena Lynn

  22. Angela
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Raena! That is so cute that your daughter made those notes. Definitely seems like she is a little entrepreneur. When I was young I did similar things and tried to start a restaurant in my parents basement. I do feel like being an entrepreneur is something that is inside of us. I think it just take a certain personality to be an entrepreneur.

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Angela,

      I think it is so cute that you actually tried to start a restaurant in your parents basement…I’ll bet you decorated it and made signs etc. I think entrepreneurship is in us but I also believe we need a healthy environment to grow.

      Raena Lynn

  23. Hi Reana,

    Happy to revisit this blog post. Lately I have been giving much thought to Entrepreneurship. Revisiting this blog has cleared my mind on a different aspect to it.

    I recently had a few women at my home to teach them to do business online. They were store owners in my area. I “thought” they had that mindset, but oh boy was I dead wrong.

    Three women out of the five that I hosted were like robots, and hanging on to their business in a traditional way. No way were they going to get their business running on line because it was “too much work”

    The other two, I am now coaching because they do have that “entrepreneur mindset” It is a joyful experience to relate to people that have that mindset. They just are starting and I’m coaching their businesses.

    -Donna

  24. Kristen
    Twitter:
    says:

    From the psychologist’s point of view, personality traits can come from both genetics and environment, but usually represent the interaction of these forces in some way. It sounds like your child was getting the influence of both at the time. I wish I could pay my child to do the laundry. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Raena Lynn, that is absolutely gorgeous for an 8 year old! I agree with you, it was VERY smart and entrepreneurial. I was waiting to see what she’s like now, would love to know. I have no idea how old she is, maybe she’s still not very old?

    I was a bit of an entrepreneur – not until I was 12 though, I learned to crochet, and crocheted LOTS of beautiful doilies while watching TV and reading (I used to get bored doing only one thing at a time:-) My Grandma had a business (this was in the late 60s) where she went from home to home with a van full of manchester and clothing that she sold to people. Many of her customers were Italian and Greek, and they LOVED the doilies, I couldn’t keep up with the orders. At the time, I was really happy with what they paid me!

    That was a fun post, thanks so much Raena Lynn.

  26. Steve
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow Raena that was a great story but I have to say I do believe that the Entrepreneur spirit can be developed or we can be born with it. I have seen good examples of both. The latter seem to start early the former seem to go through a transition later in life and realize working for someone else sucks.

    Steve

    1. Raena Lynn
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Steve,

      I agree that Entrepreneurship is a combination of both. I was reading a blog post asking the question whether Leadership is hereditary or developed by our environments. I think entrepreneurship and leadership are similar. Some people are “natural born” with the characteristic, but the right environment is needed to set it in motion and allow it to reach its best potential. I’m glad you liked the story about my little girl, who is now 19 years old. I enjoyed writing it!

      Raena Lynn

  27. Jupiter Jim
    Twitter:
    says:

    Raena,

    Great story! Adorable story. I majored in psychology at Princeton and the debate, as you know, has always been nature vs. nurture. To me, being an entrepreneur isn’t about who wants to run a business. It’s about who cannot stand working for someone else while they make all the money and you take home for pay what they allow you to take home and then “lay you off” when times are tough. So, I guess, a lot of that personality is inherited. Some people are just laid back and are happy for a steady paycheck as long as life isn’t too bad. In that case, they will never risk their bank account or their future building a dream. On the other hand, having parents or teachers or mentors who can really encourage you to pursue that entrepreneurial dream is an invaluable asset and can really awaken any latent entrepreneurial spirit within someone.

    So if you are an independent thinker with a free spirit and a heart for commitment AND you got a Mom who encourages those qualities, then you are really gonna fly someday in the world of business!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

  28. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oh, she was sneaky!

    We got an allowance when we were young but we were given certain chores that had to be done and my mother would have never allowed me anywhere near that washing machine. Your daughter is one smart young lady Raena.

    Although you said she’s going to college right now I have a feeling she’ll be finding her own way soon. She definitely sounds like your daughter.

    What a wonderful story, I love it!

    ~Adrienne

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