How non-conformists change the world

This is a passage from the book Originals: How Non-conformists Change the World, by Adam Grant with foreword by Sheryl Sandberg.

The book debunks the myth that entrepreneurs are bigger risk takers than non entrepreneurs:

“… but when you track entrepreneurs’ real-world behavior, it’s clear that they avoid dangerous risks. Economists find that as teenagers, successful entrepreneurs were nearly three times as likely as their peers to break rules and engage in illicit activities. Yet when you take a closer look at the specific behaviors involved, the adolescents who went on to start productive companies were only taking calculated risks. When psychologists studied American twins and Swedish citizens, they found the same results.”

It also differentiates between defying your parents and engaging in hazardous activities:

“Across all three studies, the people who become successful entrepreneurs were more likely to have teenage histories of defying their parents, staying out past their curfews, skipping school, shoplifting, gambling, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana. They were not, however, more likely to engage in hazardous activities like driving drunk, buying illegal drugs, or stealing valuables. And that was true regardless of their parents’ socioeconomic status or family income.”

Is this true of the entrepreneurs that you know? Does it match your experience?

Grant also delivered a TED talk with the title, “the surprising habits of original thinkers”, available to watch here.