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What role did Consanguinity play in your Success?

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 by in Core Values, Life Lessons | 0 comments

I know what you are thinking, does he have toilet paper that has “words of the day” on it.  Nope.  Today’s blog post comes from my mental challenger, and fellow TechOperators family member (we share an investor).  I’ve said it before, but its worth repeating, I am very lucky, I get to hang out with these people.  So the other day Mr. Ionic suggested I blog about “Family”.  That is the only word he threw out, but if you know him, his was thinking 10 different things with that one word (mental olympics).

Table of Consanguinity

So, I started reading, what is family?  There is plenty to read about.  Of course we all know our immediate family, but I had to ask a deeper question, “what is the role of family in an entrepreneur’s success?”  Consanguinity refers to the property of being from the same kinship as another person. In that respect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person.  Said simply, did your family makeup or blood relatives, play a major role in your success.

I found a couple of interesting articles, one from Kauffman Foundation, Anatomy of an Entrepreneur:

– More than 90 percent of the entrepreneurs came from middle-class or upper-lower-class backgrounds and were well-educated: 95.1 percent of those surveyed had earned bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent had more advanced degrees.

– Seventy-five percent of the respondents ranked their academic performance among the top 30 percent of their high school classes, and 52 percent said they ranked among the top 10 percent. In college, 67 percent of the founders ranked among the top 30 percent of their undergraduate classes, and 37 percent ranked their performance among the top 10 percent.

– Founders tended to be middle-aged—40 years old on average—when they started their first companies. Nearly 70 percent were married when they became entrepreneurs, and nearly 60 percent had at least one child, challenging the stereotype of the entrepreneurial workaholic with no time for a family.

Are you thinking, what do these facts have to do with Mr. Ionic’s question?  Education and family make-up are directly connected.  A few quick facts: white and asian, middle class, and parent supported, represents the vast majority of college graduates.  I have blogged about “first in the family” college bound students, the difficulties they face, the difficulties I faced, but I had never tied it directly to entrepreneurship.  If the Kauffman Foundation number is correct, 90% of entrepreneurs come from middle class families and are well educated, that has broad implications on the makeup of the entrepreneurial eco-system.

To quickly connect the dots, if you are from a two-parent family, you are twice as likely to have been raised middle class, if you are middle class, you are three times as likely to attend college, apparently attending college is directly related to entrepreneurial success.  I personally was fortunate to have both my mother and father to lean on, and I certainly grew up middle class although neither parent had attended college.  For those that know me, I am a big believer in, “make your destiny”; however today’s blog post – thanks to my friend – got me thinking, maybe my entrepreneurial path was set (or at least supported) over 35 years ago.  So, what to do?  For now, I can do everything possible to help other “first in the family” obtain their education with the hope that leads to more “first in the family” entrepreneurs.

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