No Gary Vaynerchuk…I think you got this one wrong.

Well, this week is the first installment of the contemporary Investment Bank series (#contemporaryIBank on twitter), where we will discuss things not only business related but also how YOU as an entrepreneur can set yourself up for success, best practices for your business, and

This week we will be discussing if entrepreneurs are born or made…this can be a hot topic.

Many people believe that those that move into entrepreneurship need to come from a rich family, well to do background, or have the connections of a politician to be successful. This COULD NOT be further from the truth. Without going down the path of politics, we still live in a country that affords the opportunity for those that want to be successful to do so. Now, before you y’all lose total faith in this first installment, hear me out.

Every year there are hundreds-of-thousands of bright eyed, enthusiastic, newly minted business owners (financial advisors, cosmetologists, real estate professionals, and many others as well) that take the leap to be their own boss. By the end of that year, 9/10 of them will have made their way back to a traditional 9–5 job. The question is, what happens between Day 1 of starting their business and the day when they make the decision to transition back to a “regular job”?

Some argue that those that transition back to the 9–5 life never had what it took to be successful, and we’re working something out of their system. The same people that make this argument often feel that entrepreneurs are born and not made. Gary Vaynerchuk is someone with this opinion. He says in one article “Imagine if the NBA opened up tryouts to everyone and anyone who tried out made the league and became an NBA player. That’s basically how we’ve been treating entrepreneurs and the start-up culture. Someone shows up to tryouts and they’re automatically referred to as an entrepreneur and someone who builds businesses.” In the same article, he later says “So little thought is given to that fact that just like the top athletes in the world, entrepreneurs who build successful businesses come from a certain breed. They have an entrepreneurial DNA that allowed them to hone in on their business skills in the first place.Because the fact is this: entrepreneurs are born, not made.” You can read the full article here: Now, Gary is one successful guy, and part of what he is saying resonates well with me given my background. However, I think he is approaching this all wrong.

If you look at a successful entrepreneur and business there is one common denominator among them, and that is passion. I absolutely do not believe that if you take someone whose passion is pottery and place them in the insurance business they will not be successful, however I DO believe that if a person with the passion for pottery takes the leap into entrepreneurship that they can and often will be successful. The notion that entrepreneurship is one size fits all and either “you have it or you don’t” is a little short sided (just my two cents). I know…from experience when you have nothing else to fall back on, business is slow, and bills are due, the two things you can rely on are your faith (1) and your passion (2). The passion you have will drive you to work 80+ hour weeks. The passion you have for your family, the passion you possess to prove your doubters wrong, or the passion you have in your team to not let them down will drive you to success.

Is passion alone enough? HELL NO! You need to be great with your craft, but those skills can be attained over time. Your passion will see you getting there. In the end, if you follow your passion, gain the skills to be competitive in your industry, and have faith in yourself you stand a good chance for success.