BORN AN ENTREPRENEUR BUT TRAINED TO EARN SALARY!
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”- Frederick Douglass
We were all born as entrepreneurs but trained by the society and our educational system to be salary earners! The truth is, every kid carries within him/her the seed to be an entrepreneur. How a single sperm cell can competitively hit an ovary target is similar to what every start-up needs to surmount to get a chunk of the market space. Just watch a toddler trying to walk – fall down, get up, fall down, get up.
Spotting a trend here? Entrepreneurs do that over and over again, too. True Entrepreneurs have that fire inside – that no matter what, we’re going to keep getting back up and trying again.
The educational sector by omission seems to be designed to kill entrepreneurship spirits in children. The main culprits are actually the teachers and parents. As a parent or a teacher, I will like to show you how guilty you are in killing the entrepreneurship spirit in children and sentencing them to a life time of dependency on salary and pension.
Kids are born entrepreneurs but societal perspectives, standards and expectations most times encroach gradually on their innate entrepreneurial abilities and sentence them to a lifetime of strong dependence on salary and pension.
I have drawn out some correlations between kids and entrepreneurs and how parents can ensure that the fire of entrepreneurship is continuously renewed and not dimmed in children.
ENTREPRENEURS QUESTION EVERYTHING:
Kids were born with a lot of questions inside them. An average child ask between 100-200 questions every day. By the time they get to school, they were taught to listen and probably stop asking questions. By the time we become fully grown adults we hardly ask up to 10 questions in a day as the society malignly see this as an indicator of maturity!.
I have observed that great entrepreneurs have grown over the years to still keep this childish virtue intact. Every business is a response to societal questions, struggles, and problems. The real purpose of education is to actually train us to question everything, but it is sympathetic that the kind of education we have today trains us only to accumulate and assimilate facts.
Albert Einstein once said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”
ENTREPRENEURS CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO:
Kids can be so confrontation, a new term coined for this by the society is being disrespectful! I remember growing up with special objects attached to all the alphabets. We grew up with ‘A’ for ‘Apple’ and ‘B’ for ‘Ball’. It is appalling to know that many years after children still learn the Alphabets this way without any significant change to this very old and archaic order.
Why can’t kids be asked to evolve their own ingenuous pattern of learning the alphabets. Why can’t I learn my own way by saying ‘A’ for ‘Ant’ and ‘B’ for ‘Bread’ and probably another kid say ‘A’ for ‘Antelope’ and ‘B ‘for ‘Bucket’.
The purpose of education should be to help children become independent learners. Steve Jobs significantly disrupted the technology space when he told everyone that cared to listen that he was going to put the whole PC(Personal Computer) in a phone! Today, courtesy of Jobs’ defiant nature, the mobile phone can do what a PC does and even more.
We must not kill the confrontation spirit in children, though we can make them more enlightened on how to be confrontational but not rude. Entrepreneurs confront the status quo by looking out for better ways of doing things. Thomas Edison said, “There is always a better way, find it!
ENTREPRENEURS ARE ADVENTUROUS:
Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Kids love adventure! It is actually the way they’ve been wired but it is sympathetic to know that most parents see this virtue as being hyperactive, a vice that seriously need to be curtailed. When we do not allow children to navigate their environment, we beat them into an artificial world that is just too small for them.
Parents are meant to provide guidance to help children navigate the world around them in a healthy way, but most parents only succeed in killing the adventurist in every child. We believe that a child that stays right where we ask them to stay are obedient while those that navigate away from the spot are disobedient.
I listened to a very pitiful discussion between a child and his mother on an airplane one day when the mother forces little John to sit down or be spanked. Little John sat for close to 10 minutes sweating profusely in the air-conditioned airplane when he finally looked at his mother.
John said, “Mum, I am sitting as you said, but inside of me, I am running”!
ENTREPRENEURS EMBRACE AND LEARN FROM MISTAKES:
Children are programmed and wired to learn from mistakes. My mother once told me a story of how I was unusually attracted to candle light when I was a child. She did everything she could to prevent my hand from getting burnt but all to no avail. Until the day she watched me reaching out to touch the candle light without restraining me. It was the hot wax and flame that actually got me corrected. Making mistakes is an integral part of success.
Tony Robbins said, “No matter how many mistakes you make. You’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying”. In life, the fellow who never makes a mistake takes his order from the one who does! Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
When we were in school, the smartest people are always those that don’t make mistakes in class. I’m sure you remember them, they always get the good grades and sometimes even 100%! As time goes on, you suddenly realize that the real smart people are actually those that make enough mistakes and learn from them.
Bill Gates once said, “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
Mistakes are integral part of the learning process. Any learning process that does not accommodate making mistakes will always short-circuit the learners’ capacity for innovation. Abraham Lincoln said, “The man who is incapable of making mistakes is incapable of anything”.
ENTREPRENEURS TAKE RISKS:
Children are ruthless risk takers. Our frequency of risk taking decreases from childhood to adulthood. Entrepreneurs take risks while salary earners play it safe.
Denis Waitley said, “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” In today’s rapidly changing world, the people who are not taking risk are actually the risk takers!.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go. Jim Rohn said, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
When your kids turn your room upside down, don’t be too mad at them. They may be finding out ways to express their curiosity and ingenuity. Don’t shout down your children when they are expressing themselves, you may be killing their initiatives.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The greatest tragedy of life is not that we die but what dies in us while we live”- Normal Cousin