If, as we have begun to demonstrate in this study, the creation of entrepreneurs, in reality dependsin a non-trivial manner upon a process that is generally accessible to any individual who iswilling to deliberately practice to create in themselves the required entrepreneurial cognitions,and if the specific interventions needed are metacognitive in nature, then it may be that theactivities based in the “specialness” paradigm intended to stimulate entrepreneurship (such asentrepreneur of the year, the listing of curiosities such as youth v. wealth, etc.), have in factdiscouraged it by inadvertently persuading all but the most bold or foolish (in short, all reasonablepersons) that entrepreneurship is not for them (cf. Sarasvathy, 2004). New approaches to thecreation of entrepreneurs are therefore needed.For example, this confirmation of the deliberate practice method of learning entrepreneurshipsuggests that previous approaches to entrepreneurship may have been overly restrictive(Davidsson, 2003), and therefore the reexamination of existing approaches to entrepreneurship bySBDCs, universities, and other institutions tasked with the enabling of entrepreneurship withingiven communities.
We wonder, for example, whether what appears to be an effective way tothink about entrepreneurship—a business-plan focused mindset—may not actually be all thateffective when it comes to creating the expertise needed to function effectively as anentrepreneur. And what appears to be somewhat abstract and theoretical—metacognitivedevelopment activities—might really be pragmatic and empirically sound, leading to a resurgenceof the “apprenticeship” notion and the raising of the question: Is entrepreneurship a craft or atrade, like art or plumbing?From a practice standpoint, it may be time to stop and think about how we think aboutentrepreneurship. As Sarasvathy (2004) notes, current thought about entrepreneurship—whicharguably affects current entrepreneurship policy—may overlook our largest constituency: thoseindividuals who are not entrepreneurs, but want to become entrepreneurs, and just do not knowhow.
Returning to the quotation by James (1890) which began our paper, by assisting individualsto alter their own thinking through thinking about that thinking, we as a field may be able toassist these individuals in enhancing their entrepreneurial expertise, thereby allowing people to”alter their lives” through more productive wealth creation activities.