There's now vindication for troublesome kids everywhere: Studies show that children with more troublesome traits become more successful adults. While we might have driven our parents up the wall, for many of us, our bad attitudes and misbehavior might have made us better entrepreneurs.
Of course, that all depends on how well you channel your wild child past into being a more productive adult. You have to transition your problematic behavior into successful traits. And as anyone who knows how good it feels to be bad, that's easier said than done.
Here are three things you did as a kid that made your parents cringe, but that can now make you a stronger, more prosperous entrepreneur.
1. Adolescents who talk back are more successful adults.
When you were a kid it seemed like you and your parents were in a constant battle. Whether it was about eating your vegetables or being able to go out with your friends, you fought about everything. But now, that might not have been such a bad thing.
Research from the University of Virginia found that kids and teens who regularly argued with their parents were better equipped to deal with disagreements outside of the home. The study asked more than 150 13-year-olds to describe a big fight they'd had with a parent. Two years later they compared how the participants argued with parents with how they reacted to peer pressure. The kids who learned it was acceptable to disagree with parents, while remaining calm, were better able to stand up to peer pressure in the real world.
The theory is that children who talk back to their parents become better at confidently setting boundaries, while those who don't learn how to effectively argue with others are more likely to back down when faced with people who challenge them.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to stand up for yourself and your business. For every person who believes in you, there will be a dozen more who tell you to give up and quit. It's up to you to keep going. So the next time you and your company are facing opposition, channel your teenage self and stand your ground like you used to when arguing for a later curfew.
2. Talkative kids do better in school.
Why's the sky blue? Do dogs like music? How do planes fly? Some kids just don't shut up. But when it comes to their educational development, that can help them out in the long run.
A study from the University of Miami found that talkative preschoolers are more prepared and do better once they enter kindergarten. Even children who talk to the point of disrupting the rest of the class are more engaged with the learning process and get more attention. Shy kids, on the other hand, tend to be disconnected with activities and overlooked by teachers.
It's believed that while they are running their mouths, talkative kids are developing communication skills and learning how to seek and get answers to their questions. So while your endless questions as a child drove your parents and teachers crazy, it was the first step in developing your own problem solving process.
And how often do you know now draw upon those skills to keep your company going?
3. Childhood rule breakers become overachieving, higher-earning adults.
As anyone who's spent multiple recesses in timeout knows, the rules are meant to be broken. And while that type of behavior might've gotten you in trouble when you were younger, it could be helping your bottom line now.
Research published in Developmental Psychology looked at how childhood behavior influences career success as an adult. Researchers first observed the participants when they were 12 years old and then again 40 years later. They found that frequently breaking the rules as a child was the biggest non-cognitive predictor of their having a higher income as an adult.
The researchers are not positive why kids who defy authority end up being more successful when they grow up. One theory is that the trait also goes along with being more competitive and assertive. That in turn makes them better salary negotiators and more likely to ask for raises.
Unfortunately for rule-breakers turned entrepreneurs, that doesn't mean your company is automatically worth more money. Being more assertive in negotiations, however, will go a long way in helping your business succeed. So next time you're working on a deal, don't be afraid to think outside the box to find a creative -- but ethical -- solution.
Yes, your childhood indiscretions may have given your mom more than her fair share of gray hairs. But in the end you're a better entrepreneur because of them.
How else can childhood misbehavior contribute to successful traits great entrepreneurs need? Share in the comments below!