But according to a survey conducted by Reed Commercial
, economic ambition may not be the only (or even the primary) reason that people set out on the path of entrepreneurship and self-employment. Some people just hate working for other people!
Among surveyed entrepreneurs, this was a major factor for almost 75%. These individuals described previous bosses as demeaning, inconsiderate, aggressive, pushy, and all-around unpleasant to be around. It’s well known that there’s an independent streak that runs through any cross-section of the entrepreneurial class you happen select. But it might be surprising to find that most self-employed people find it so hard to work beneath someone else. What does this tell us about the nature of ambition and the directions in which the global economy grows?
This research is consistent with analysis of stubbornness in children
. Certain kids are just tough to parent. They don’t listen well, they don’t like to take direction, and they can be stubborn and difficult in just about any scenario you can imagine. This doesn’t make them bad kids, but it can make them really tough to deal with for parents and guardians. The linked study proves that these stubborn kids are likely to go forward in life into success and stability, much more so than their relatively docile friends and siblings. Researchers think that there is a similar dynamic at play when considering employees and entrepreneurs.
Some people simply won’t set off on the course of self-employment, because they’re satisfied working for someone else. They aren’t overly tormented by thoughts like “I could do this so much better myself”, “nobody is recognising my accomplishments” or “manager so-and-so is my least favorite person, living or dead”. They’re more than happy to work on a job and then return to their own private endeavors when they’re off the clock.
This may sound like a recipe for a happy life, but if the above suggestions are accurate, it’s not a recipe for innovation or economic expansion. Perhaps stubbornness is itself a manifestation of the forces which drive evolution itself. In so far as political economy is an extension of natural occurrences, of which humans are just one link in a chain, then perhaps it’s time to thank our lucky stars, for stubbornness in our employees, our kids, and ourselves.