Could the next Steve Jobs be living in your very own home, eating Cheerios across the kitchen table from you and asking for his allowance, even as you're reading this article?
A new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research might give you some clues. The paper identifies a number of characteristics in youths that tend to be associated with entrepreneurial success later on in life.
Some of these qualities, like intelligence and confidence, are to be expected. But the paper also suggests that characteristics traditionally thought of as "bad" -- exhibiting rebellious behavior, for example, or engaging in illicit activities -- could also be indicative of a certain kind of entrepreneurial spirit.
"Those people who become the most successful entrepreneurs tend to have the unique combination of cognitive and non-cognitive traits," Ross Levine, the paper's co-author, told The Huffington Post. "It's not just that they are smart, but [as kids] they also are more likely to break the rules, get into trouble and take risks."
Here are five signs that your kid could turn out to be a wildly successful entrepreneur:
1. Engaging in illicit activity. Entrepreneurs who succeed in launching incorporated businesses are about three times more likely than their salaried counterparts to have engaged in illicit or "risky" activity in their younger years, the research suggests. Bill Gates, for example, is reportedly known to have smoked weed in his youth...
...and Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, admitted to hacking telephone systems early on in his career.
2. Highly educated ... sometimes. Forty-six percent of entrepreneurs with incorporated businesses have college or graduate degrees, compared to 32 percent of salaried workers, according to the research. But parents whose kids have dropped out of college shouldn't necessarily lose hope. Fifty-four percent of this entrepreneurial group succeeded without college degrees. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard his sophomore year to start Facebook.
3. Working for the man. Just because your son or daughter starts out at a low-paying corporate job, doesn't mean he or she won't have entrepreneurial success in the near future. The researchers found that 90 percent of entrepreneurs start off working for others. Remember, Michael Bloomberg started working at Salomon Brothers for just $9,000 a year, before he went on to start Bloomberg LLP.
4. Intelligence. As you might guess, it doesn't hurt to be smart, the research suggests. Indeed, Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, allegedly got a perfect score on the SAT and is believed to have an IQ of 160.
5. High self-esteem. A little bit of self-confidence can go a long way as well, the research finds. And Steve Jobs is a perfect example. The late chief executive of Apple noted that tinkering around in his dad's workshop as a kid gave him "a tremendous level of self-confidence" that later encouraged him to take on more complex technological endeavors.