You have to earn 2.5x as much to be as happy working for someone else as you would be working for yourself.


Phil Dhingra posted these two quotes from Malcolm Gladwell’s new article in The New Yorker, “How to succeed as an entrepreneur“:

This is consistent with the one undisputed finding in all the research on entrepreneurship: people who work for themselves are far happier than the rest of us. Shane says that the average person would have to earn two and a half times as much to be as happy working for someone else as he would be working for himself.

And a conclusion about what all successful entrepreneurs have in common:

There is almost always, they conclude, a moment of great capital accumulation—a particular transaction that catapults him [or her] into prominence. The entrepreneur has access to that deal by virtue of occupying a “structural hole,” a niche that gives him a unique perspective on a particular market. Villette and Vuillermot go on, “The businessman looks for partners to a transaction who do not have the same definition as he of the value of the goods exchanged, that is, who undervalue what they sell to him or overvalue what they buy from him in comparison to his own evaluation.” He moves decisively. He repeats the good deal over and over again, until the opportunity closes, and—most crucially—his focus throughout that sequence is on hedging his bets and minimizing his chances of failure.

Here are a few prior posts regarding Malcolm Gladwell (author of  “Blink” and “Outliers“):

Malcolm Gladwell on office chairs, the Pepsi Challenge and do we really know what we want? (Video)

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the “perverse and often baffling” (Podcast)

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce and happiness (Video)

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