Entrepreneurship: The Problem Solvers Gene

Derek Notman |

Are you an entrepreneur?  Then I would argue that you are you one of the lucky ones to have The Problem Solvers Gene (TPSG), AKA Entrepreneurship.  Do you walk around with a notepad to write down problems (opportunities) you notice that you may be able to solve?  Do you have a journal on your nightstand that you add racing thoughts to in the middle of the night, like I did for this article at 1 in the morning!  Do you have this constant feeling of wanting to make things better?  Do you accept risk willingly?  Then chances are you have The Problem Solvers Gene, Entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneur Definition

What do I mean by Entrepreneurship being The Problem Solvers Gene?  Well, let’s examine what it means to be an entrepreneur first.  According to Wikipedia, the term Entrepreneur has a variety of definitions including; “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk", or “Entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking."  Not that I disagree with these definitions, but don’t they seem a bit plain vanilla?  They don’t truly encircle what it means to be an Entrepreneur, what it means to be wired this way.

My perspective on being an entrepreneur is unique.  Not only do I believe that I have The Problem Solvers Gene, Entrepreneurship, but my firm, Intrepid Wealth Partners, specializes in working with those that have that are Entrepreneurs.  I travel, a lot, and make it a point to seek out entrepreneurs in the different countries I visit.  Regardless of where I go, I meet people with The Problem Solvers Gene, apparently it is a trait that knows no borders or limitations. 

So, when I think of the word Entrepreneur, what comes to mind?  Things like; Stress (and boatloads of it!) Uncertainty, Confusion, Being Broke, and lack of sleep, not to mention a plethora of other side effects.  Kind of like a captain at sea, in a ship with a crew that is almost out of food and water, has lost all of their maps and navigation equipment, and the rudder broke off!  Now, it is not all like this, it also makes me think of things like; Freedom, Excitement, Fun, and Flexibility.  Kind of like being one of the drivers in a rally race in some exotic destination, with no roads, freedom to figure out the best course, and excitement of the unknown hurdles along the way to your destination.

Why do I say Entrepreneurship is The Problem Solvers Gene?  Because regardless of what type of ‘trep you are, we share a common thread, that we are problem solvers.  We look at things differently, always trying to identify and solve problems.  Examples of those who have The Problems Solvers Gene are endless.  Look at the greats like Richard Bransonof Virgin, who made airline travel what it should be, or Elon Musk of Tesla who is not only figuring out how to bring power to millions, but how to get us into space, with his cohort Sir Ricky of course!


Although these are well known examples, there are entrepreneurs all over the world, big & small, finding solutions for the problems they are encountering.  Look at Kevin Conroy with his Exact Sciences team and their revolutionary test, Cologuard, to detect colon cancer at a much earlier stage.  Or Matt Howard and his team at EatStreet, who figured out a much better way to get people the food they want, while at the same time increasing the revenues for small business owners in the restaurant industry.

Looking at startup ecosystems, regardless of size, entrepreneurs are trying to make the world a better place.  For example, Madison, Wisconsin is becoming quite the tech hub with companies like EatStreetEpicFetch RewardsandGrocerKey.  Silicon Valley has its unicorns like FacebookLinkedIn, and Uber.  Johannesburg, South Africa has entrepreneurs like Zakheni Ngubo, with support from the Richard Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship, who is making it easier for those in rural places to have an education.  Or Jonathan Pfahl, Managing Director of the Rockstar Mentoring Group in London, where they have built a brilliant platform to connect mentors and budding entrepreneurs, worldwide. 

Consider George Washington who, according to the book First Entrepreneur, not only was our Founding Father, but a Founder in his own right, always looking for ways to improve upon his growing enterprises, while taking the helm of one of the greatest startups ever, the USA.  He must have had the gene!  Although shows like Shark Tank have, perhaps, made being an entrepreneur a bit sexier, I believe we still all share a passion, a fire in the belly if you will, to make life better for each other, and that is what drives us.

This shared trait, the passion & drive to solve problems, is THE characteristic of having The Problem Solvers Gene, it's a core part of what it means to be an entrepreneur.  I for one am proud to have it, to be an Entrepreneur, even if it means gray hair in my 30’s!

Happy Problem Solving!


Derek Notman