Skip to main content

In Trouble as a Teenager? Most Entrepreneurs Were.

The headline of the story read: "Successful Entrepreneurs Share a Common History of Getting in Trouble as Teenagers".

A new study by Professor Ross Levine of the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group and Yona Rubinstein of the London School of Economics and Political Science found that entrepreneurs earn on average 50 percent more than their salaried counterparts who are working in the same industry and have the same education.

In this study, an entrepreneur is defined as a person who undertakes a novel, risk-taking activity. Levine says think Michael Bloomberg or Bill Gates.

Levine and Rubinstein found that successful entrepreneurs possess distinct traits identifiable back when they were teenagers. These traits turn out to be accurate predictors of entrepreneurial success. Some of the traits include ~
  • A high IQ,
  • A stable family,
  • Parents who earn a higher than average income, and
  • Exceptionally high self-esteem and confidence.
However, some other common traits are often associated with juvenile delinquency.

Successful Entrepreneurs Got In Trouble as Teenagers
"Our data revealed that many successful entrepreneurs exhibited aggressive behavior and got in trouble as teenagers. This is the person who wasn't afraid to break the rules, take things by force, or even be involved in minor drugs," says Levine, the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance.

These conclusions were based on a population of 12,686 young men and women who were 14 to 22 years old when they were first surveyed in 1979 and followed over the next 34 years.

"What we find is that a particular constellation of traits turns out to be a strong predictor of who is going to become an entrepreneur later in life and whether that person is going to be a high-earner when he or she launches a business," says Levine.

The study found that successful entrepreneurs displaying these traits typically started their careers as top high earning salaried workers, and when they branched out on their own and successfully established their companies they earned 70 percent more than they received as salaried workers.

Story Source: University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business (2013, March 5). Successful entrepreneurs share a common history of getting in trouble as teenagers


Popular posts from this blog

Earn a Living Shining Shoes. . . Really

Earning a Living as a Bootblack
Can someone make a living shining shoes in today's economy?  At on time there shoe shine boys as they were called were found on street corners across the country, thousands of them.  Many were from poor families and worked to help support themselves and their families.  Today, I found three established shoe shine stands in downtown Seattle, plus two bootblacks, the traditional name of those who shine shoes, working on the streets of Seattle.

Meet George Johnson, age 74 on October 20th, a self-employed operator of a shoe shine stand in downtown Seattle's Rainier Place.  George has been shining shoes for the last sixty years, starting in Arkansas and ending up some thirty years ago at the Washington Athletic club a few blocks from his current location.
"Sixty years," I asked him the day we met.  "You ever think of retiring?"

"Gonna work until I can't do it no more," he replied.  "I don't even think about i…

The Facts of the Small Business Survival Rate

Back thirty years ago when I first wrote about small business, a hoary and horrible statistic was bandied about, even by some of the most experienced entrepreneurial pros: "80% of new businesses fail in their first five years." 

This "statistic" has appeared in more places than you can imagine, from the leading small business magazines, books, presentations by employees of SBDCs, the SBA, SCORE, Chambers of Commerce, even professors on the college level - who should know better than to quote un-sourced numbers.  It still shows up in small-business blogs today.

For some years, I searched for a source of that statisitic.  Never found where that number came from, leading me to believe that some self-appointed expert made it up.  To quote a character from the popular television show, M*A*S*H, "Horsepucky." 

Here is the truth about the survival rate of new start up businesses in the U.S. economy from two unimpeachable sources, The Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundati…

The Seven Characteristics of the Creative Employee.

How to Find Good Employees:

On my post of February 18th of this year, we talked about the role of managing stupidity in the success of any organization.  "Stupidity Management" refers to the real need of a business to know the difference between routine tasks that must be completed by rote and those tasks that require innovation and fresh thinking.  

Every business has a need for discipline in tasks that must be performed the same way, each and every time.

Every business has a need to creative thinking and fresh ideas on certain other tasks or problems, just not every task of problem.  

The Hunt for the Creative Individual
There are certain jobs in every organization where you, the owner, need original thinking.  Or perhaps you're running a business that lives off original thinkers.  An advertising agency is a business where the company's assets walk out the door every day at five (ish).

Professor √ėyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School has conducted a study to…