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Correlations of Manic Depression and Entrepreneurism

theIIIBeing an entrepreneur is hard.  Everyone tells you how tough it is.  Being a little manic about it is critical to the success of entrepreneurs, otherwise the overwhelming likelihood of failure crushes an entrepreneur.

I suspect that being at least a little manic depressive is extraordinarily common among entrepreneurs.  That would explain why they are brave enough to go out there and start their own companies and it would explain a little about why they struggle to work for other people.  When they are either manic or depressed, I suspect they soon find that either state is received poorly by their manager.  Being at least a little manic probably provides

Ideally, an entrepeneur is always manic, however that is probably unrealistic.  Tim Ferris had a guest blog post a year ago about structuring entrepreneurial activities around manic depression.

In spite of this, and in spite of lots of studies around the demographics of entrepreneurs, I have found little or no data regarding the prevalence of manic depression among entrepreneurs.  There have been numerous studies indicating that people suffering bipolar disorder tend to be more creative than their peers and people employed in the Arts tend to experience bipolar disorder disproportionate to the general population, yet no analysis of entrepreneurs – a group that I would argue reflects some of the most creative people in the population.

Studies have also shown that people with bipolar disorder tend to set goals more ambitiously and generally achieve more ambitious goals than non-bipolar individuals.   Studies even indicate this is true in non manic or depressive episodes.

What can we do with this?  I don’t know, but I thought it was interesting.

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