I’ve talked with people who were so smart it made my head spin. I’ve caught myself thinking “I wish I was that smart” at times.
But does being smart make a good business person?
An Entrepreneur Magazine article states that being smart actually makes for a bad entrepreneur, but at least part of the article is suspect. The author writes that: “some of the slackers are better suited for entrepreneurship than the “smart” people.” However, some of the smartest people in the world could also be considered some of the biggest slackers. For instance, Rick Rosner is considered one of the “smartest” people in the world, but his resume includes: Roller skate waiter, stripper, and bar bouncer.
It is true that less than 10 people in the Forbes 500 are among the top 500 smartest people in the world, so the best business minds in the world do not necessarily have the highest IQ, but I would not rate any of the top business people as stupid. In fact, I do not know of a single successful business person that is. But it does beg the question: How much of a role does intelligence play in becoming a successful business person or entrepreneur?
Personally, I think a person needs to be intelligent enough to recognize an opportunity and wise enough to act on said opportunity.
Steve Jobs did not make the first Apple computer, Steven Wozniak did. Bill Gates did not create MS-DOS, the software that launched Microsoft. He bought it from another company. Both were smart men, but it was more than intelligence, it was the willingness to use what they had to act on an opportunity.
Tony Hawk was a skateboarder. He loved to skate, and he took that love of skating to not only create a successful business but also a non-profit organization. In fact, there are thousands of people that are not among the top 500, or even the top 1,000 smartest people in the world who have very successful businesses.
There are articles on subjects such as: How to achieve success by being the dumbest person in the room, 50 famous people that failed at first, the 10 stupidest ideas that made millions, and more. What do these articles have in common? They were all about people that saw an opportunity and acted on it, regardless of how “smart” they were.
Of course, I cannot end this article without a major exception to the rule: The co-founder of Microsoft, billionaire Paul Allen, is reported to have an IQ of about 180.