We all remember regularly being asked while at primary school: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" For many of us, the answer we gave was often fuelled by the latest Hollywood film or TV show that we'd seen. Indeed, one boy in my class in Kilbirnie met with howls of laughter when he responded "an astronaut, miss". He went a bit red in the face and his dream was quashed there and then, as Kilbirnie was not renowned for its NASA supply chain.
By secondary school, our days were carved up into periods of modern studies, physics or technical drawing. By that time, talk of what we wanted to do after school revolved around college, university, a job with the council, or working in a family business.
I can't remember anyone saying they wanted to run a successful business venture, create lots of jobs, inspire others. Or indeed, want to be an entrepreneur. But, in Scotland, we have a history of spawning them - regardless of job title and the country is once again producing some terrific new entrepreneurial talent.
In the Entrepreneurial Spark Hatcheries, based in Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh, there are a whole range of new businesses being shaped up.
From IDoLicious, the new wedding deals website, to Mo's Cookie Dough, an innovative way to bake with your kids, to Super Nature Oils, producing Scottish rapeseed oil and Tsumanga Studios, storming the mobile games world - Scotland is punching above its weight in new venture creation.
So what are Hatcheries and what do we do with today's start-up entrepreneurs in them?
The Hatcheries are positive, collaborative, co-working spaces where like-minded individuals who want to start, grow and scale businesses arebrought together over a five month period. Everything is free - including Wi-Fi, desks, meeting rooms and computers. With that comes an expectation that people want to make something happen and make something of themselves.
In short, we support and challenge, both forensically and robustly. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to challenge their ideas, work out if they have a customer base and refine their propositions into workable ideas.
There is one thing that we focus on more than anything: mindsets and behaviours. Building a new start business takes more than an idea - it takes an entrepreneurial leader. So, it is the person we really focus upon - the individual: their personal branding, how they handle feedback, how they sell, how they collaborate, how they plan, their understanding of their numbers, their willingness to move outside their comfort zone and how opportunity hungry they are. By pushing them hard to be disciplined in these areas, they can make forward progress.
Our mantra is #GoDo. It's a mindset. Babson College, the number one entrepreneurial university in the USA visited us this month. The word they used to describe the work we are doing was 'Awesome". And the great thing is you don't have to travel to Massachusetts to be an entrepreneur.
In this fortnightly column, we will keep you updated on developments within our Hatcheries as Scotland's entrepreneurial revolution gathers speed.
This article was supplied to the Herald by Entrepreneurial Spark.