George Gendron, former Editor-in-Chief of Inc. Magazine and currently, the Entrepreneur in Residence at Clark University’s School of Business, invited me to speak to his undergraduate class last week. This was fun, compared to the audiences of executives I usually address. Their lack of knowledge about sales and sales management was similar to that of executives except the executives think they have knowledge!

I thought about my entrepreneurial past and had a couple of epiphanies. First, I realized that I’m a serial entrepreneur – the two businesses I run now were preceded by 5 earlier efforts. Second, in hindsight, I realized that as a youngster, I exhibited conditioning averse behavior. I was conditioned to become an optometrist (eye doctor) but the behavior I kept choosing was much more entrepreneurial. Had I been paying more attention, the signs were there. Heck, I had already started 3 businesses prior to college but I wasn’t paying attention to the things I found appealing. I was focused on where I believed I was supposed to be going.

Did you experience any similar conditioning averse behavior when you were younger? In hindsight, can you recognize that you behaved in ways that would lead you to the business you’re currently in?