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This chapter is from the book

1.9 Entrepreneurs: Made or Born

As human beings we like to nurture these stories because they tell us that it is possible to become a financially successful entrepreneur and because most of these are well-known. What we tend to forget, or even realize, is that all of these companies started small and the path to that success was anything but assured. With these stories, we try to discern the fundamentals of who an entrepreneur is or in some cases collective entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial teams. We assume if we can define who an entrepreneur is, we will then be able to identify these people and encourage them. We fail to realize those same skills are used to be successful in any profession.

We also must remember that success for many is not defined by money, but often filling another goal like Jonas Salk and his desire to eradicate polio. His focus was developing a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible. He had no desire in personal profit. When asked who owned the patent to his vaccine, Salk said, “There is no patent. Could you patent the Sun?” His goals were not monetary but included founding the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, which carries on his vaccine work even today. Some consider Salk an early social entrepreneur long before the term appeared in the media.

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