Kids Who Get in Trouble Grow Up to Be Entrepreneurs

Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off Photograph by Everett Collection

“Give me the boy until the age of seven, and I will give you the man,” the Jesuits say. The biographies of America’s business heroes inevitably yield up examples of how their drive and acumen revealed itself in early life: Bill Gates scheduling classes for his whole prep school on its newfangled computer, Warren Buffett claiming his first tax deduction at 13 (for his bicycle). A recent study suggests, however, that parents looking for signs of incipient entrepreneurialism don’t have to wait for their kid to open a lemonade stand or design their first hit app. They simply need to see how much trouble the kid gets in. Today’s juvenile delinquents, a team of psychologists argues, are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

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