To Be Successful In Business, First Break All the Rules


If you think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and buying a business opportunity, franchise or other small business is something that interests you…and if you also happen to be male, taking a look back at who you were as a teenager may be a predictor of your success. That’s according to the latest in a number of recent and ongoing studies that have established the relationship between successful entrepreneurship and certain adolescent behavior traits in young men, the ones that your parents may have found less than adorable.

Published inMaya A />the most current Journal of Vocational Behavior, the study confirms what many of us already know about entrepreneur types, especially extraordinarily successful men. Think Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Jay Z, all of whom have had brushes with the law at one time or another.

Successful entrepreneurs do tend to think outside of the box, and rule-following is not their strong suit, all of which is precisely why they are so good at what they do. After all, the fact that they don’t adhere to the social norm is largely what fuels their ability to push boundaries in business where others wouldn’t dare, so it stands to reason that that general way of thinking starts young. “We think it could be the early entrepreneurial spirit,” said the study’s lead author, Martin Obschonka, in a recent Popular Science article.

Keep in mind we’re not talking severe crime here. Rather, the study found a fairly strong positive correlation between the level of success men have as entrepreneurs and the likelihood that they once engaged in relatively minor acts of teenage rebellion, such as truancy, ignoring their parents’ rules, cheating and shoplifting.

So while determination, passion and resiliency are surely on anyone’s short list of what it takes to make it as a business owner today—and a hugely successful one at that, perhaps it’s time to add troublemaker to that profile. Parents of rebellious teenage boys, take heart. That behavior that’s driving you nuts today may translate into millions tomorrow.

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