What Money Can´t Buy: Study Finds Small Business Owners Happiest — Successful or Not

October 3, 2012  |  

Starting a new business can be frustrating, stressful and taxing. But  believe it or not, according to  a new study, entrepreneurs are the happiest — whether their business is a success or a failure.

The  study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business surveyed 11,000 graduates of the school’s MBA program, who were asked to rate their happiness with their career overall, their current job and their work-life balance, small business owners. About 20 percent of the graduates started their own businesses.

Although the study did find the more money someone earned, the happier they were, it also discovered “the role entrepreneurship played in a person’s overall career satisfaction,” reports The Street. “If money really was the key to happiness, you would expect the high-level execs at financial firms to rate themselves as happiest. But that wasn’t the case. Grads running their own businesses ranked themselves happier than all other professions, regardless of how much money they made.”  Only 56 percent of  the Wharton grads who started their own businesses actually made a profit.

The entrepreneurs in the study also felt they had more control over their time—even if they worked endless hours getting their business off the ground. “Grads running their own businesses also rated themselves higher than any other profession when it came to work-life balance,” writes The Street. “An entrepreneur can choose to take a break to attend a daughter’s soccer game or son’s school play, even if that means working late into the night afterward.”

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