When I started assessing and developing entrepreneurs and management teams in Private Equity owned portfolio companies 20 years ago, I was surprised by the fact that so many of the entrepreneurs had a background of adversities of different kinds. Yet they seemed to have achieved great goals in their grown-up lives.
The common view seems to be that if a person has had problems in their childhood this often is transmitted to grown-up life. But here the opposite seemed to be true. I found this an interesting phenomenon that called for an answer. Of course the natural human reaction when faced with problems or adversities is to try to find a solution. Anger or sadness are natural reactions if the thing feels insurmountable.
Part of the answer to the question how early adversities can create a drive to achieve in an entrepreneur is, that this experience of surviving and succeeding to handle the problematic situation also is accompanied by feelings of being capable and of the feeling that risk taking is not a dangerous thing since one has already managed to tackle a very difficult situation. It is not until people are faced with crises or misfortunes that they are forced to use capacities they did not know they had.
So investing in a company the most crucial question you want an answer to is whether the entrepreneur has this drive to achieve. In addition to that a likewise important question is if the person also has the capability to achieve. Moral maturity is also important, so that no illegal or immoral behavior will occur.