Concocting a reliable “recipe for success” is about as likely as finding that one missing sock, not filling up on appetizers before Thanksgiving dinner, and seeing the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. (Oh, wait.)
And yet, in her new book, Raising an Entrepreneur, Margot Machol Bisnow sought to crack the perplexing parenting code of what makes certain children thrive and excel. Bisnow interviewed dozens of people—and their mothers—who have found success in fields ranging from athletics and entertainment to business and fashion. And it turns out the founder of Under Armour, the talent manager who discovered Justin Bieber, and a former leader in the United Nations have something in common. Beyond the fact that Kevin Plank, Scooter Braun, and Elizabeth McKee Gore are successful entrepreneurs, all three—and scores of others like them—had supportive parents who believed in them.
I talked with Bisnow about the commonalities she found in the parenting styles of successful entrepreneurs, her own experiences as a mother, and the ways she thinks the school system could be improved to foster the spirit of innovation in all students. Below is a lightly edited version of our conversation.
Hayley Glatter: Your book really focused on the mothers of the successful entrepreneurs and some of the paths that they took to success. In the book, you described an entrepreneur as someone who “turns a passion into a project.” Can you talk a little bit more about what, exactly, that means?