Are Entrepreneurs More Prone to Addiction?

Entrepreneurs are natural risk-takers who thrive on the excitement of pursuing the next deal. "Work hard, play hard" is a common refrain. I have known of entrepreneurs who stay up for three consecutive nights writing multi-million dollar business plans meant to propel them into fortune and fame. They imagine themselves flying around the world on private jets, driving exotic sports cars, and having homes in the Hamptons and Malibu. They also want to change the world. The highs are high and the lows are low in entrepreneurship. To many people, this 'mania' can morphe into "addict" behavior, which begs the question, are entrepreneurs more prone to addiction than other groups of people? It's hard to definitively answer this question, but there seem to be many similarities between what we know as "addict" behavior and what might be considered "entrepreneurial" behavior. For example, both groups can easily become fixated on a certain outcome to the point of suffering consequences, such as excluding their families to the point of losing them or neglecting their health by continuously eating fast food, ingesting drugs and alcohol, or not sleeping. On top of this, there is the loneliness factor which is common for both people in active addiction and entrepreneurs. It's easy for me to imagine an alcoholic alone in his basement on Christmas Day drinking just as easily as it is to imagine an entrepreneur alone at her office on Thanksgiving Day working on the "big deal" that is going to make up for years of struggle. I spent 20 years in a speculative business thinking I was six months from making the big deal that was going to pay the taxes, take us on a European vacation or pay for my daughter's college tuition, none of which ever happened. Some of those years were spent under the influence of copious amounts of amphetamines and some years I was just trying to dig myself out of the hole. Join Entrepreneur and past Executive Director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Julie Kantor ( and me as we explore this important question, are entrepreneurs more prone to addiction, and share our personal experiences as entrepreneurs and as a family in recovery.

If someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact Marc Kantor at 202.390.2273 or via e-mail at or visit our website at or call 202-390-2273.

If you are looking to drive more human connection in your workplace, contact Julie Kantor or to learn how a professional mentoring program + sponsorship can elevate your employees, call 1 833 5 MENTOR or visit Twomentor at