#448. Rule-breaking Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs

Posted on | The Agurban

Our avid readers know that anything manufacturing is our #1 topic. But a close second is probably entrepreneurship. The following study was sent to us by a loyal subscriber. While we do not condone any illegal activities, it is important to note that we should not overlook kids that might be “living on the edge” and aren’t necessarily rule followers. We thought we would pass it along. Let us know your thoughts.

Rule-Breaking Teens Make More Successful Entrepreneurs – Study finds successful entrepreneurs have brains and a history of risky behavior in their teens.

According to a new study, successful entrepreneurs are three times more likely to have engaged in illicit activities as teens like shoplifting, skipping out of school and even drug-dealing.

The insight comes from a nationally representative sample of 12,686 Americans who have been followed for other 30 years, since they were teenagers (Levine & Rubinstein, 2013).
They looked at what types of cognitive and other factors were associated with becoming a successful entrepreneur—especially one that had incorporated their business.

Naturally they found that successful entrepreneurs have to be smart, have high self-esteem and be well-educated; but they also need the attraction to risk.

But this illicit aspect was also coupled with a very stable family background. Successful entrepreneurs were disproportionately likely to come from families that were:

  • high-income,
  • well-educated,
  • and stable.

So we’re not exactly talking about disadvantaged youths here.

But does this extra risk pay off?

This study found that in a financial sense, the risk may well pay off. Successful entrepreneurs earned 41% more per hour than similar salaried workers, although they also worked longer hours (on average, 27% more).

In a similar vein, the taste for risk-taking plus high self-esteem can provide a dangerous mix which can easily lead to lapses in judgment. Because of this, entrepreneurs are likely to need someone more risk-averse around who can rein them in when they go too far.