Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 2187–2204 | Cite as

Well-Being, Personal Success and Business Performance Among Entrepreneurs: A Two-Wave Study

  • Josette DijkhuizenEmail author
  • Marjan Gorgievski
  • Marc van Veldhoven
  • René Schalk
Research Paper


This two-wave longitudinal study among 121 entrepreneurs in The Netherlands investigated bi-directional relationships between entrepreneurs’ well-being and performance. Results of Smart PLS analyses showed positive well-being at Time 1 (work engagement; life satisfaction; and job satisfaction) predicted subjective entrepreneurial success 2 years later, both as indicated by entrepreneurs’ reports of achieved financial success (including personal income security and wealth, business turn-over, sales and profit growth), as well as perceptions of achieved personal success (personal fulfilment, community impact and employee relations). No relations were found with objective indicators of business performance (profit; turnover; and number of employees) over time. The expected recursive relationship between performance and well-being was only found in the short term; a better objective financial situation immediately preceding the second measurement moment, predicted better well-being at T2. These results are both in line with a well-being–performance (gain) cycle, and the happiness set-point thesis that predicts resilience in the face of events. This paper contributes to the literature by emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurs’ well-being as a key factor in long-term subjective financial and personal entrepreneurial success. The practical implication is that entrepreneurs should maintain and improve their own well-being to achieve positive long term business outcomes.


Entrepreneurial success performance Work engagement Job satisfaction General life satisfaction Well-being Entrepreneurship Small business 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josette Dijkhuizen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marjan Gorgievski
    • 3
  • Marc van Veldhoven
    • 1
  • René Schalk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Resource StudiesTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Maastricht School of ManagementMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Work and Organisations PsychologyErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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