Sunday, August 4, 2013

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

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