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Wall Street Journal: Research from Keith Hmieleski Finds Anxiety-reducing Humor Can Boost Sales for Startups

Humor that eases tension can benefit a new company's sales. Research has shown that using humor to ease the strain of uncertain situations helped startup teams make more sales.

July 17, 2023

By Myriam Zeli

Neeley in the News: Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal showcased research from Keith Hmieleski, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the TCU Neeley School of Business, and academic director for the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, showing that anxiety-reducing humor can also be good for business at a new company.

It is common knowledge that a sense of humor can help individuals reduce anxiety during tough times. The research study showed that startup teams generated better sales when they used humor to defuse the tension of uncertain situations.

“Coping mechanisms that encourage a positive emotional tone within the team, such as humor usage, decrease negative emotions such as fear and anxiety, unlocking a team that is highly efficacious and able to reach their potential,” said Hmieleski, who authored the study that queried privately held companies that were founded fewer than five years ago.

To view the full news story, go to Wall Street Journal.

Photo: Keith Hmieleski

Keith Hmieleski

Academic Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Professor of Entrepreneurship
Robert and Edith Schumacher Executive Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Technology
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Department

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