Teenagers who take part in illicit activities such as drug taking and score highly in intelligent tests could be future self-made millionaires.
This is according to a report for National Bureau of Economic Research in the U.S. which provides statistics to back up the view that ‘bad boys’ make good entrepreneurs.
History is littered with risk-taking entrepreneurs who have a chequered past, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who both dropped out of Harvard University.
Here in Nigeria, it is the same with the likes of the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote and the second Nigerian after Dangote to be included on the Forbes list of dollar-denominated billionaires, Femi Otedola.
The research supports a study conducted by the University of Cambridge which found that entrepreneurs take riskier decisions than managers.
Psychologists traditionally viewed risk-taking as an abnormal behaviour, associated with disorders such as drug abuse and manic depression.
The Cambridge research said that entrepreneurs showed an adapted type of impulsive risk-taking that allows them to seize opportunities under stress.
Entrepreneurs choose to start up their own businesses instead of working in an existing company. They can gamble their finances, reputation and even their families and self-esteem in the hope of making greater profits as they ‘go out on their own’.
Entrepreneurs also showed more flexible thinking and were more impulsive – processes that are closely linked to the chemistry in the brain and in particular the neurotransmitter dopamine.