Satisfaction or business savvy--examining the outcome of new venture creation with respect to entrepreneurial characteristics, expectation, optimism, realism, and pessimism.INTRODUCTION
In the most recent global turmoil of the financial market, entrepreneurs continue to struggle to secure funding and market opportunities. According to the latest research released by the Small Business Administration, "in the first three quarters of 2009, small businesses accounted for almost 60 percent of the net job losses, with the greatest losses in the first quarter. By the third quarter, net small firm job losses were one-third what they had been in the first quarter.'" (SBA, 2011) Interestingly, the American Express Open Small Business Monitor found that "55 percent of entrepreneurs were optimistic about the future of their businesses in September 2009, up 10 percent from earlier in the year"' (SBA, 2011) This situation brings up a myth of entrepreneurship that many researchers have yet to identify: why do entrepreneurs start and stay in business even when the economic environment is against the odds of success?
It is typically assumed that people engage in entrepreneurship because there are profits to be made. In the traditional school of economic way of thinking, we assume the creation of value-added goods and services should lead to profit maximization. Furthermore, the decisions and actions related to profit maximization should be positively correlated with higher utility for individuals who are making the decisions. In contrast to this view, this paper argues that entrepreneurship is more adequately characterized as a beyond-profit-seeking activity. Evidence from some has shown that entrepreneurship does quite generally not pay in monetary terms (Baron & Shane, 2005; Hey, 1984, Petrakis, 2005; De Meza and Southey, 1996; Coelho and De Meza, 2006; Brocas & Carrillo, 2004; Puri and Robinson, 2004; Simon and Houghton, 2002; Benz, 2006). However the literature lacks empirical studies to examine how entrepreneurs reflect on the outcomes of new venture creation with respect to financial reward and personal satisfaction.
This article focuses on understanding if being an entrepreneur is truly rewarding because it entails substantial non-monetary benefits, like greater autonomy, broader skill utilization, and the possibility to pursue one's own ideas. We have introduced an innovative framework to examine entrepreneurs' reflection after starting and running their new ventures linking to 5 factors: entrepreneurial characteristics, expectation, optimism, realism, and pessimism
There are three reasons for us to choose these five factors as the core of the paper. First, optimism, realism and pessimism are newly introduced to entrepreneurship studies in recent years, and there is a lack of understanding what these factors mean to entrepreneurs and how they impact decisions. Second, many researchers have argued against the idea that we should pay more attention to how entrepreneurs are made, not who entrepreneurs are. Several studies have confirmed the importance of recognizing the differences between optimism, realism, and pessimism and other entrepreneurial characteristics (references will be added later due to authors' identities). There is a need to further examine the levels of effects of optimism, realism, and pessimism on entrepreneurs and their decisions in venture creation. Most of the studies have emphasized on pre-venture psychology and extraordinary circumstances that drive people to become entrepreneurial. We understand the rate of failure is high among new ventures in the first 1-3 years of establishment. What we don't know enough, is how entrepreneurs manage to survive beyond the objective of profit maximization. Very limited information exists to verify how entrepreneurs feel after they start the business, given business outcomes and personal satisfaction. Thirdly, entrepreneurial decision-making is a complex process. We agree that a positive cash flow implies a happy business. We have learned from much of the literature regarding separated issues about characteristics of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial decision making and behavior, and reactions of entrepreneurs while facing challenges and barriers. There still exists a gap in entrepreneurship literature to generate a cohesive and systematic approach to link separated factors together which will reveal more robust results in analyzing entrepreneurial phenomena.
This article presents the results of a unique study designed to bridge the gap in existing literature regarding reflections of entrepreneurs on business outcome and personal satisfaction after starting and running the business. It is not our intention to generalize our conclusions based on a limited sample. However the results of this study provide new knowledge and new information that have not been discussed before. Many assumptions remain untested associated with entrepreneurial decisions and behavior. We also acknowledge that new venture creation is a process that may change from time to time as a result of changes in the social, political, or economic environment. The perceptions of entrepreneurs on their new venture will also change over time.
Scholars have generally agreed that a crucial aspect of entrepreneurship involves the recognition of emerging business opportunities, which are often exploited through the new venture formation. While most of the research has focused on entrepreneurs and environment, very little attention has been paid to how entrepreneurs actually feel about the business outcome.
Much of the work on entrepreneurial characteristics has discussed high achievement drive, action oriented, internal locus of control, tolerance for ambiguity, moderate risk taking, commitment, opportunistic, initiative, independence, commitment/tenacity, creativity, and optimism (Liang & Dunn, 2003; Malach-Pines, Sadeh, Dvir, & Yafe-Yanai, 2002; Crane & Sohl, 2004; Liang & Dunn, 2008(1)). Several researchers have discussed the role of optimism as a motive force accounting for persistence and commitment (Kuratko & Hodgetts, 2004; Tennen, Affleck & Klock, 1992; Seligman & Schulman, 1986; McColl-Kennedy & Anderson, 2005).
Optimism has also been characterized as a negative factor in entrepreneurship resulting high risks of failure (Baron & Shane, 2005; Hey, 1984, Petrakis, 2005; De Meza and Southey, 1996; Coelho and De Meza, 2006; Brocas & Carrillo, 2004; Puri and Robinson, 2004; Simon and Houghton, 2002).
Manove (2000) is among one of the first researchers to demonstrate the coexistence of optimists and realists. He explored the interaction between the optimists and realists regarding their self evaluated productivity and competitiveness. Fraser and Greene (2006) in the development of an occupational choice model suggest that entrepreneurs learn from experience and that both optimistic biases in talent beliefs and uncertainty diminish with experience--the more entrepreneurs learn, the more realistic they become. However, none of these researchers provided tool to measure either optimism or realism.
The optimism discussed in the entrepreneurship literature is similar to "dispositional optimism" in psychology. Dispositional optimism is the bias to hold, across time and situations, positive expectations (Sujan, 1999; Wrosch and Scheier, 2003; Chang, 2001; Haugen, Ommundsen, and Lund, 2004). Psychology literature suggests that optimists feel in control of their activities, suggest that those activities will give them more satisfaction, that they have a significant role in initiating projects, have adequate control and time to carry them out, have made more progress toward their goal, and have relatively heightened expectations that the outcomes of their projects will be successful which would yield more positive outcomes in well-being and coping behavior (Jackson, Weiss, Lundquist and Soderlind, 2002; Jackson, Weiss, Lundquist and Soderlind, 2002; Leung, Moneta and McBrice-Chang, 2005; Day and Maltby, 2003; Wrosch and Sheier, 2003; Scheier and Carver, 1987).
Some scholars have discussed relationships between optimism, business opportunities recognition, new venture performance, and positive expectations for entrepreneurs (Ardichvili et al, 2003; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000).
Crane and Crane (2007) conclude that, "Based on a review of the literature spanning almost 25 years, one must conclude that successful entrepreneurs do possess dispositional optimism; that they are goal-oriented individuals; and, importantly, that they persist or continue to pursue these goals despite impediments and setbacks." P. 23. Similarly, Compte and Postelwaite (2004) conclude that, "On those projects they under-take, however, their optimism leads to higher performance, that is, they have higher probability of success." P 1543
On the other hand, Hmielski and Baron (2009) conclude that there is a negative relationship between entrepreneurs' optimism and the performance (revenue and employment growth) of their new ventures. Past experience creating ventures and industry dynamism moderated these effects, strengthening the negative relationship between entrepreneurs' optimism and venture performance. P 473
It is typically assumed that people engage in entrepreneurship because there are profits to be made. In contrast to this view, this paper argues that entrepreneurship is more adequately characterized as a non-profit-seeking activity. Evidence from a broad range of authors and academic fields is discussed showing that entrepreneurship does quite generally not pay in monetary terms. Being an entrepreneur seems to be rather rewarding because it entails substantial non-monetary benefits, like greater autonomy, broader skill utilization, and the possibility to pursue one's own ideas. It is shown how incorporating these non-monetary benefits into economic models of entrepreneurship can lead to a better understanding of the phenomenon.
Benz (2006) may be closer to the truth when he concludes that "Measures that use the standard economic theory performance may be inappropriate for entrepreneurs." He says that there is substantial body of indicating that is not particularly attractive in monetary terms. Entrepreneurs receive non-monetary satisfaction from the higher autonomy, the possibilities to use their skills and ability and opportunity to be creative.
CONCEPTUAL MODEL AND HYPOTHESES
We developed a conceptual model for this study to test how entrepreneur's reflection to new venture creation relates to entrepreneurial characteristics, expectation, optimism, realism, and pessimism. Based on the literature review, entrepreneurs enter the initial phase of entrepreneurial process by recognizing business opportunities. Entrepreneurs have a set of perceptions in this initial phase to expect the new ventures will create individual happiness and will improve individual financial situations, given their optimism/realism/pessimism levels and other characteristics. Entrepreneurs re-assess the outcomes of the business after the venture is created and as they are operating and managing their businesses, which result in the 5 hypotheses for this study:
H1: Entrepreneurs who are realistic optimistic believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, and their profits are higher than expected.
H2: Entrepreneurs who are realistic optimistic agree that they are happier and their financial situation has been improved after they start the new venture.
H3: Entrepreneurs who are pessimistic believe their business is not up and running well, their sales are not as high as expected, their profits are not as high as expected, they are not happier, they are not financially better off, and they would not support another new venture.
H4: Entrepreneurs who are taking control, independent, creative and willing to take risks believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, their profits are higher than expected, they are happier, they are financially better off, and they would support to create another new venture.
H5: Entrepreneurs who have had higher expectations prior to starting new venture, are more likely to believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, and their profits are higher than expected. Furthermore, they are actually happier and financially better off, and would support to create another new venture.
The first step of this research was to design a questionnaire. The target respondents to this research were in-business entrepreneurs. The survey asked: demographics of the entrepreneur and the business, optimism assessment, realism assessment, expectations and personal and business outcomes from the venture. Entrepreneurial and business demographics included gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, education, entrepreneur's experience, type of business, location of the business and number of full-time and part-time employees.
Entrepreneurial characteristics included in this study were independence, taking control, believed they were creative and being willing to accept risks. The answers were on a Likert scale as Strongly Agree (1), Agree (2), Disagree (3), and Strongly Disagree (4). We avoided the "Neither Agree Nor Disagree" level and hoped to impose more specific choices on entrepreneurs.
Optimism assessment statements were adopted from the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R) which contains three positive statements, three negative statements, and four non-scored items as filler statements. Three positive statements were: "In uncertain times, I usually expect the best", "I am always optimistic about my future", "Overall I always expect more good things happen to me than bad". Three negative statements were: "If something can go wrong for me, it will", "I hardly ever expect things to go my way", and "I rarely count on good things happening to me".
The LOT-R test is recognized and used by psychologists as a sufficient and robust tool to measure optimism. The LOT-R has been used to explore personal control in sports, to investigate the relationship between optimism and depression/coping/anger, to analyze effects of optimism on career choice and well-being, and to examine the impact of optimism on changes of environment and circumstantial situations (Burke, et. al. 2006; Burke, Joyner, Czech and Wilson, 2000; Puskar, Sereika, Lamb, Tusaie-Mumford and Mcguinness, 1999; Creed, Patton and Bartrum, 2002; Perczek, Carver, Price and Pozo-Kaderman, 2000; Sydney, et. al. 2005). Clinical researchers have used the LOT-R to explore how optimism affects patients in dealing with health problems and therapies (Walker, Nail, Larsen, Magill and Schwartz, 1996). The LOT-R is available on-line and it is free for researchers to use (Centre for Confidence and Well-being, 2006). There are 5 levels of choices in the original LOT-R test, which are I Agree a Lot (1), I Agree a Little (2), I Neither Agree Nor Disagree (3), I Disagree a Little (4), and I Disagree a Lot (5).
There is no research-based instrument to measure realism in the literature. We generated a list of realism statement, conducted a thorough literature review in psychological and entrepreneurial research, and extensive discussions and consultations with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators. The seven realism statements were: "I usually set achievable goals", "I usually look before I leap", "When planning, I usually consider both negative and positive outcomes", "I am always realistic about my future", "I try to be reasonably certain about the situation I face when starting an important activity", and "I usually weigh the risks and rewards when making decisions". Entrepreneurs responded based on a five-point Likert scale ranging from "I agree a lot" to "I disagree a lot", which was the same scale used in LOT-R testing optimism statements.
Using the reliability test on the responses received from our sample of married entrepreneurs, Cronbach's Alpha statistic showed a much higher confidence level for the realism statements, 0.838, compared with the optimism statements, 0.350, (Table 1).
The questionnaire was pre-tested among researchers and entrepreneurs and administered to business entrepreneurs by a research contact person. The entrepreneur was given the questionnaire and allowed to complete it in private during business hours or another convenient time for the business owner and returned it. The questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of business owners in the Mississippi River Delta region between 2007 and 2009. There were 354 respondents totally.
Factor analysis is applied to identify underlying variables, or factors, that explain the pattern of correlations within a set of observed variables. Factor analysis can also be used to generate hypotheses regarding causal
mechanisms or to screen variables for subsequent analysis. In our case, we use the factor analysis to extract factors that have similar patterns in optimism, realism, pessimism, other entrepreneurial characteristics, and entrepreneurial expectations. Principal components extraction (PC) method is applied to extract factors based on calculating factor loadings. A regression equation is then constructed to test the relationship between entrepreneurial perceptions on spousal reactions to new venture process and individual happiness/financial improvement. A general form of the regression equation can be expressed as:
[Y.sub.i] = [b.sub.0] + [b.sub.1][h.sub.1] + [b.sub.2][h.sub.2] + [b.sub.3][h.sub.3] + ... + [b.sub.n][h.sub.n] + random errors
Where [Y.sub.i] represents the ith group of responses of the entrepreneurs' reactions (i = 1, 2, 3, 4), [b.sub.n] represents the levels or tendency of each factors corresponding to [Y.sub.i,] and [h.sub.n] represents the nth factors corresponding to [Y.sub.i].
Six sets of regression equations were calculated:
[Y.sub.1]: My business is up and running well (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
[Y.sub.2]: The sales are higher than expected (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
[Y.sub.3]: The profits are higher than expected (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
[Y.sub.4]: I am happier after I start the business (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
[Y.sub.5]: I am better off financially after I start the business (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
[Y.sub.6]: I would start another business again (scale 1 to 4, with 1 being strongly agree and 4 being strongly disagree)
The P-value of each [b.sub.n] was calculated and was used to verify if any factor had a statistically significant relationship with [Y.sub.i].
Among all respondents to our survey, two-thirds were male and one-third was female. Most of the respondents were white, over 30 years old, and with at least some college education. Majority of them were married with children. (Table 2)
When considering the business situation, most of the respondents were in retail and service businesses. Approximately two-thirds of the businesses were located in urban area. One third of the respondents started the businesses last than five years ago. Not surprisingly most of the businesses in the sample hired fewer than 5 full-time or part-time employees. (Table 3)
It is always intriguing to know if entrepreneurs have had any work experience before they start a new venture. In our sample, two-thirds of the respondents had experience in their line of business. Quite a few of the respondents had over 6 years of experience in business operations and management. (Table 4)
Five significantly different factors could be extracted using the Principal Component Method. The first factor represents the "optimism" and "realistic optimism" including some of the statements for optimism and realism - I usually set achievable goals; I usually expect the best; I'm always optimistic about my future; Overall, I expect more good things to happen to me than bad.
The second factor represents the "realism" including these statements--I usually look before I leap; When planning, I usually consider both negative and positive outcomes; I usually try to find as much information as I can before I decide what to do; I am always realistic about my future; I usually weigh the risks and rewards when making decisions; I try to be reasonably certain about the situation I face when starting an important activity.
The third factor represents the "pessimism", which included--If something can go wrong for me, it will; I hardly ever expect things to go my way; I rarely count on good things happening to me.
The fourth factor represents "entrepreneur's expectation" which involves--I expect I would be happier after starting my own business; I expect my family to be happier after I start the new business; I expect to be financially better off after starting the business; I expect family to be financially better off after starting the business.
The fifth factor included statements to represent "other entrepreneurial characteristics" such as being in control, being independent, being creative, and being willing to accept risks.
Researchers have been contemplating to find the answer of a million-dollar question: why do people become entrepreneurs starting their businesses? There might not be a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Our sample has revealed some very interesting results that have not been fully discussed in literature. Six regression models were constructed to analyze if and to what extend different entrepreneurial psychological factors relate to outcome assessment. (Table 6) When entrepreneurs in our sample were optimistic or realistic, they were more likely to believe their businesses were up and running well. The pessimistic entrepreneurs were less likely to believe their businesses were up and running well. Entrepreneurs who wanted to be in control, independent, creative and risk taking, were more likely to believe their businesses were up and running well. For entrepreneurs who had high expectations before starting new venture, their did not think their businesses were up and running well. (Table 6, Model 1)
With respect to sales and profits in businesses, entrepreneurs who were optimistic or realistic were more likely to agree that the sales were higher than they had expected before starting. Entrepreneurs who were pessimistic or had higher expectations prior to starting new venture, were not as satisfied with their sales situation after starting. Respondents who had specific entrepreneurial characteristics were more likely to agree that the sales were higher than they had expected. (Table 6, Model 2 & Model 3)
Is personal satisfaction an influencing factor to motivate entrepreneurs starting their own businesses? According to our sample, being happy was a significant determinant for new venture creation. Only pessimistic respondents in our sample were less likely to agree that they were happier after starting the businesses. (Table 6, Model 4)
Even though some respondent did not think their expectation in sales and profits were met, entrepreneurs still believed their venture had improved their financial situation. Respondents who were optimistic, realistic, had high expectations, and with certain entrepreneurial characteristics were more likely to agree that they were better off financially due to the new venture creation. Only pessimistic respondents in our sample disagreed that they were better off financially after starting the businesses. (Table 6, Model 5)
Finally we asked entrepreneurs: "give all you know now, will you start another new venture again?" Respondents who were optimistic, realistic, or with certain entrepreneurial characteristics were more likely to say "yes". Respondents who had high expectations or who were pessimistic disagreed. (Table 6, Model 6)
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
This study focused on entrepreneurs and their assessment of their venture outcomes. We have attempted to show that entrepreneurs do think that their ventures provide satisfactions other than profits. Specifically, those who were optimistic, had higher expectations, had the selected entrepreneurial characteristics and were realistic felt that their business was up and running well, met their sales and profit expectations, improved their financial well being and they were happier from having started the new venture. They were, in fact, willing to start another venture. Those who were pessimistic had a negative assessment of their ventures outcomes. Using our sample information, we can conclude that--
H1: Entrepreneurs who are realistic optimistic believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, and their profits are higher than expected. Hypothesis confirmed.
H2: Entrepreneurs who are realistic optimistic agree that they are happier and their financial situation has been improved after they start the new venture. Hypothesis confirmed.
H3: Entrepreneurs who are pessimistic believe their business is not up and running well, their sales are not as high as expected, their profits are not as high as expected, they are not happier, they are not financially better off, and they would not start another new venture. Hypothesis confirmed.
H4: Entrepreneurs who are taking control, independent, creative and willing to take risks believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, their profits are higher than expected, they are happier, they are financially better off, and they would support to create another new venture. Hypothesis confirmed.
H5: Entrepreneurs who have had higher expectations prior to starting new venture, are more likely to believe their business is up and running well, their sales are higher than expected, and their profits are higher than expected. Furthermore, they are actually happier and financially better off, and would support to create another new venture. Hypothesis confirmed.
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Table 1. Reliability of Tests Used Realism Variables Optimism Variables Reliability Number Reliability Number Statistics Statistics Cronbach's Alpha Variables Cronbach's Alpha Variables 0.838 7 0.350 6 Table 2. Entrepreneurial Demographics Gender Frequency Percent Female 129 36.4 Male 225 63.6 Total 354 100.0 Race White 281 79.6 African American 56 15.9 Asian 9 2.5 Hispanic 5 1.4 American Indian 1 .3 Other 1 .3 Total 353 100.0 Marital Situation Single 59 16.7 Single/children 49 13.9 Married/children 225 63.7 Married wo children 20 5.7 Total 353 100.0 Age under 30 62 17.8 30-50 169 48.4 Over 50 118 33.8 Total 349 100.0 Education <High School 11 3.6 High School 84 27.4 Some College 96 31.3 College 93 30.3 Graduate 23 7.5 Total 307 100.0 Table 3. Business Demographics Type Business Frequency Percent Retail 107 30.5 Service 206 58.7 Distribution 10 2.8 Contractor 4 1.1 Other 9 2.6 Manufacturer 15 4.3 Total 351 100.0 When Started Last five years 109 37.5 6-10 years 56 19.2 11-15 years 42 14.4 Over 15 years 84 28.9 Total 291 100.0 Rural/Urban Frequency Percent rural 133 37.7 urban 220 62.3 Total 353 100.0 Full-Time Employees 1-5 209 68.1 6-10 41 13.4 11 and over 44 14.3 None 13 4.2 Total 307 100.0 Part-Time Employees 1-5 159 63.6 6-10 18 7.2 11 and over 23 9.2 None 50 20.0 Total 250 100.0 Table 4 Entrepreneurial Experience Line Experience Frequency Percent Yes 219 63.1 No 128 36.9 Total 347 100.0 Operation Experience 0-5 78 39.8 6-10 40 20.4 11+ 56 28.6 None 22 11.2 Total 196 100.0 Mgt Exp Frequency Percent 1-5 49 31.8 6-10 28 18.2 11+ 53 34.4 None 24 15.6 Total 154 100.0 Mgt Exp Before 1-5 71 29.7 6-10 32 13.4 11+ 52 21.8 None 84 35.1 Total 239 100.0 Table 5. Factor Analysis Rotated Component Matrix (a) Component Realism Expectations Optimism Set Achievable goals .390 .059 .516 * Leap .733 -.019 -.086 NegPos Outcomes .562 .077 .267 Find Information .777 .014 .184 Realistic About the Future .529 .055 .310 Weigh the risks and rewards .759 .065 .239 Certain About the Situation .727 .059 .214 Expect the Best .173 -.082 .762 Go Wrong .036 -.015 -.250 Always Optimistic .317 .081 .618 Don't Expect Things to Go My Way -.076 .082 -.040 Rarely Count on Good Things -.064 .008 -.024 Expect More Good Than Bad .273 .099 .539 Independence .097 .137 -.018 Control -.034 .053 .027 Creative .062 .100 .483 Risk Acceptance .188 .060 .319 Expected I would be happier .047 .855 -.017 Expected family to be happier .002 .864 .056 Expected to be better off .026 .880 .018 Family expect to be better off .126 .824 .075 Component Characteristics Pessimism Set Achievable goals .178 .008 Leap .013 -.010 NegPos Outcomes .050 .069 Find Information .069 -.105 Realistic About the Future .088 -.115 Weigh the risks and rewards .027 .044 Certain About the Situation .048 -.077 Expect the Best -.053 -.080 Go Wrong .079 .691 Always Optimistic .139 -.096 Don't Expect Things to Go My Way -.077 .859 Rarely Count on Good Things -.062 .819 Expect More Good Than Bad .178 -.233 Independence .849 .003 Control .854 .024 Creative .542 -.145 Risk Acceptance .541 -.055 Expected I would be happier .138 .050 Expected family to be happier .124 .050 Expected to be better off .025 .015 Family expect to be better off .021 -.042 Table 6. Regression Results Model 1: My business is up and running well [R.sup.2] 0.166 Sig 0.000 *** Durbin-Watson 1.809 Coefficients Optimism 0.161 *** Realism 0.071 ** Pessimism -0.064 Expectations -0.036 Other Characteristics 0.168 *** Model 2: Sales are better than I expected [R.sup.2] 0.042 Sig 0.026 *** Durbin-Watson Coefficients Optimism 0.065 * Realism 0.036 Pessimism -0.077 * Expectations -0.006 Other Characteristics 0.073 * Model 3: My profits are higher than I have expected [R.sup.2] 0.061 Sig 0.000 *** Durbin-Watson 1.993 Coefficients Optimism 0.066 * Realism 0.023 Pessimism -0.128 *** Expectations -0.061 Other Characteristics 0.067 * Model 4: I am happier after starting the business [R.sup.2] 0.177 Sig 0.000 *** Durbin-Watson 1.877 Coefficients Optimism 0.181 *** Realism 0.049 Pessimism -0 14 *** Expectations 0.085 ** Other Characteristics 0.172 *** Model 5: I am better off financially [R.sup.2] 0.125 Sig 0.000 *** Durbin-Watson 1.998 Coefficients Optimism 0.163 *** Realism 0.118 *** Pessimism -0.109 *** Expectations 0.058 Other Characteristics 0.117 *** Model 6: I would start another new venture [R.sup.2] 0.119 Sig 0.000 *** Durbin-Watson 1.974 Coefficients Optimism 0.094 ** Realism 0.087 ** Pessimism -0.094 ** Expectations -0.01 Other Characteristics 0.211 *** Note: *** indicates statistically significant at 1%. ** indicates statistically significant at 5%. * indicates statistically significant at 10%.