Are entrepreneurs born or made?

The CCT Method is grounded in psychology. I speak with psychologist and business woman Tricia Skoler about whether entrepreneurs are born or made.

While history isn’t destiny, I think we ignore it at our peril.

In line with CCT’s first goal to increase self-awareness, the purpose of this episode is to get a better understanding of the bedrock we all build in our internal lives, namely the experiences we have and beliefs we acquire in childhood.

The approach here, however, is not strictly a psychoanalytic one, rather by understanding how we explore, learn, and then come to believe ideas that ultimately shape who we become as adults.

In this episode, I talk with developmental psychologist Tricia Striano Skoler about the beginning - about our childhood and how we come to know what we know, beginning with ourselves.


Tricia Skoler is a full Professor based in NYC and, a researcher of infant social cognition (published as Striano). Published over 120 papers on infant learning and authored "Doing Developmental Research" (Guilford Press) & "Social Cognition: Development, Neuroscience, Autism" (Wiley Press, Striano & Reid). She has received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from The Federal Ministry of Education & Research and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany's most prestigious award for young scientists.

She has led award-winning international research teams at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Serve as Research Ambassador for Germany (DAAD), Undergraduate Committee International Society Infant Studies, Interviewer Emory U., Affiliate Graduate Faculty University of Rome, Affiliate University of Crete Research Center, Evaluation Committee Lebanese American U. Received the Sanctae Crucis Award from The College of Holy Cross.

Key Questions and Themes

Q: What exactly do you study and why is it important?

Q: What brought you to study psychology and children in particular?

Q: When do signs of ‘the self’ begin to emerge?

Q: How and when do we begin learning?

    1. What are the things we pay attention to first?

Q: What are your thoughts on the nature vs. nurture observations? (I know it’s both, I just want us to dive into it a bit to clarify for the listeners).

Q: Do you think entrepreneurs are born or made?

    1. What does the evidence say?
    2. What do you think personally?

History is full of academics who were also innovators and entrepreneurs; who pushed boundaries, discovered new things, or improved upon new processes and brought them to the market. You are an entrepreneur yourself. Please tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey.

Q: Are there any patterns you have found in yourself (within the entrepreneurial context) that still stem from your own childhood experience?

Where to find Tricia

Suggested Reading

  • Visit Dr. Skoler's work on Psychology Today here.
The Psychology of Intelligence by Jean Piaget

Still celebrated as the father of child psychology, this classic work is still a staple in our understanding of childhood and how intelligence emerges over the early years.

The Erikson Reader by Erik Erikson & Robert Coles

As one of the pioneers of the psychology of adolescence, Erikson is an essential read for those seeking to understand how their teenage years could have had long-lasting effects on their later adulthood. I found Erikson's writing particularly useful when I was trying to understand the long-term effects of the German people living under the oppressive communist regime in former East Germany.

Want more?

Looking to take the next big step in your life but are held back by some things from the past? Check out my personal services page and get in touch to discover how the CCT Method can help you build a conscious and resilient life.

Inspired by Tricia's story and want to start your own business? See my business services page and get in touch to start your business journey now!


I welcome all my guests to the CCT podcast gratefully and equally. I welcome and entertain their thoughts, views, opinions, and concerns. However, I do not endorse any particular view unless otherwise explicitly stated. I aim to be as transparent as possible with the resources provided. None of the information provided is intended to be taken as a prescription solution or medical/psychological advice. The CCT podcast is a form of media intended to educate and entertain. If you are seeking treatment, we strongly encourage you to seek medical and/or psychological attention from a licensed specialist.

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