It always amazes me the “entrepreneurs posters” of Instagram and Facebook always post false things. As entrepreneurship studies become more and more evident high schools I find I have to retrain students to think actually like an entrepreneur and not a dreamer. What I mean by that is the things that you see on Instagram and Facebook depicting $200,000 cars, mansions, champagne is not really what it’s like.
The entrepreneurs that I know and work with have taken gigantic leaps of faith. They make little to no money for years. True entrepreneurs are in a constant struggle to meet their vision. A big challenge for my students to see is their WHY. When students go into their own business or try to start something and think they’re the first ones to do it. They think that they’re going to get a Ferrari or make millions within a year. It is good that many of my students seem brave and have some confidence going into starting something. The challenge is actually doing something. Beyond doing something is actually finishing something. As a teacher of entrepreneurship, I have to expose them to the realities of how many real struggles they’re going to have face before they even think about being successful. That is a bitter pill to swallow for many.
I have to teach students that failure is everywhere in entrepreneurship. That is something the traditional education system looks down at. I teach students to take punches from every angle and handle them. Entrepreneurs have a constant hunger to make things better for themselves and more importantly others. They thrive in changing environments. To be an entrepreneur, the students will have to be people oriented, actually test their assumptions, and persevere by seeing opportunity in everything. The students will have to risk failure in front of everyone around them. Oh yes, there is that thing that students don’t always want to hear in school...
Entrepreneurs actually have a passion for learning.
So if you’re in business education and you’re teaching students about entrepreneurship, make sure the first step that you teach is that failure is winning. Teach them how to handle failure and how to overcome failures over and over and over again. Failure should be celebrated. Teach them that they will not have access to any car let alone a Ferrari for years if they are hustling hard. Teach them to be visionaries, to have values, to understand how to help others. Teach them not give up so easily. Because in the end, when I’m teaching entrepreneurship, only a few will actually get it. Most my students will just want me to give them the answer and take a test that they can bubble it in. That’s what they have been taught for 10 plus years in traditional education systems.
Let’s disrupt that.