Want to run a successful business? Remember the cat feces.
Have you always felt like you could be a successful entrepreneur and wondered how you could do it? Maybe the idea of the risk of implementing it excited you. Have you shared your entrepreneurial idea with someone and they thought you were nuts?
Well, you're not. A new study this week by Stefanie K. Johnson, Associate Professor of Management at The University of Colorado Boulder's Leed School of Business linked a parasite, known as Toxoplasma gondii (that comes from cat feces) to the reduction of fear and increased risk-taking behavior in entrepreneurs.
Toxoplasma gondii has caused behavior changes in about 2 billion people worldwide. Primary tests were done with college students, business professionals and those involved in entrepreneurial activities. Students who tested positive for T. gondii exposure were 1.4 times more likely to major in business and 1.7 times more likely to have an emphasis in ‘management and entrepreneurship' over other business-related emphases.
Among professionals attending entrepreneurship events, T. gondii-positive individuals were 1.8 more likely to have started their own business compared with other attendees. Nations with higher infection also had a lower fraction of respondents citing ‘fear of failure' in inhibiting new business ventures.
Other than feeling like you have the flu there aren't any symptoms from the toxoplasma infection and it stays in your body indefinitely. Where does it stay? The most common place is the brain. It has been studied in mice. The ones studies were less afraid of cat urine and thus also less afraid of cats.
Research also suggests that toxoplasma helps the increase of testosterone and dopamine in the body. Most experience more pleasure and reward highs. It can also up the level of risky or aggressive behavior. Dr. Johnson's next study will be to see if the effects of toxoplasma suggests whether a person's political leanings are conservative or liberal.
We'll keep you posted.