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WSJ: Some Humility Can Really Help an Entrepreneur Win Over Investors

03 Nov 2021
Entrepreneurs are supposed to be brash and aggressive. But staying humble goes a long way,research shows.

Originally found at The Wall Street Journal by Heidi Mitchell

For entrepreneurs, sometimes it pays to be a little humble.

That is the finding of a recent study in the Academy of Management Proceedings journal. Early-stage entrepreneurs who display signs of humility with investors are nearly twice as likely to reach the next step of the funding process as ones who don’t.

“There is a discrepancy between a founder’s common image and the early-stage entrepreneurs who are actually funded,” says Laurent Vilanova, a professor of finance at the University of Lyon 2.

Not a negative

To test the power of humility, the authors surveyed venture capitalists to learn what kind of entrepreneurs they sought out. On the one hand, the investors gave the answers that you would expect: They wanted founders who were aggressive and ambitious. But they also wanted those qualities to be tempered by humility—founders who were capable of listening, who would accept that the funders knew better in their chosen sector and who would take advice easily.


Continue reading the original article at The Wall Street Journal

Read the original research in Academy of Management Proceedings

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