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The Entrepreneur Brain: How Is It Wired Differently?

Right or Left?

Brain Scans performed at MIT show that Entrepreneurs tend to use their brains differently than most people, and think in a very specific way.  While we use both sides of our brains simultaneously without thinking about it, people tend to think “more with their left brain” or “more with their right brain” when making decisions.

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“Left brained people” are more analytical and this is the side of the brain that uses logic, reason and critical thinking. They also use information that they already know.  “Right brained people” have been known to be more creative, free flowing, and use emotions when it comes to making decisions, turning outward to learn in order to think.   As it turns out, to handle the decisions of running your own business, it is beneficial to think both creatively, and think logically at the same time, that way you are following your heart and your brain – making emotional yet well thought out choices.

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Nature Vs Nurture

Do people become entrepreneurs because of the way their brains are wired or do entrepreneurs evolve their way of thinking and brain activity as a result of their work? This is a question for further research, whether entrepreneurs’ brains function this way because of the kind of decisions they’re used to making, or whether people with these more interconnected brains are more likely to identify problems in the world and create solutions in the form of a business. “It’s a nature versus nurture question,” said Professor Maurizio Zollo, the lead author of the study.

Working Differently, Together

Despite the differences between either side of the brain, both sides of the brain really do work simultaneously, most of the time.  In one study by researchers at the University of Utah, more than 1,000 participants had their brains analyzed in order to determine if they preferred using one side over the other. The study revealed that while activity was sometimes higher in certain critical regions, both sides of the brain were essentially equal in their activity on average.

“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection,” explained the study’s lead author Dr. Jeff Anderson.

The debate over the differences between the two sides of the brain will undoubtedly continue, and perhaps more studies will shed a clearer light on the relationship between the hemispheres.  Perhaps people who are more left or right brain oriented, and who desire to become skilled in using both more simultaneously will be able to legitimately train themselves in the near future.