True entrepreneurs are born. It really boils down to a specific “DNA”, where they just can’t see their life going any other way. That said, everyone can benefit from the entrepreneurial mindset, which makes for the best entrepreneurs AND employees. These skills, and this mindset are created. They are shaped by the conditions from which they are exposed and the various choices that they make. Successful entrepreneurs are different from everyone else because they think unlike anyone else.
The conditions that shape your child into who they will become is completely determined by you. If you want your child to be a step above the rest, if you want them to embrace who they are, turn their passions into a career, spend their young days doing things that matter - things that prepare them for life, do not send them to traditional school. Here’s why:
The traditional school has a curriculum that heavily focuses on left-brain development and suppresses the creativity of students. The same writing principals, essay structures, rules of “proper writing” that are enforced in public school are hardly utilized in the working world.
Traditional schooling does not exist as a journey of self-discovery but that’s exactly what childhood is supposed to be. The end goal of school is graduation, and how many students leave not knowing what they truly want to do next? Or, if they do know, how do they know they’ll actually enjoy it or be good at it?
Every individual has their own idea about what success means. Success looks different to everyone, as it should. For an entrepreneur in the business of selling furniture, their goals are going to be completely different than that of a marketing startup. Then why should we put our children in an environment where success is the same standard for all? Would you continue to go to a doctor who gives the exact same prescription to every ailment, regardless of the symptoms?
The internet is riddled with jokes that run along the lines of “I can’t do my taxes but at least I understand the Pythagorean theorem.” It’s the unfortunate reality of traditional schooling. Children have no opportunity to learn basic life skills such as good communication, the value of money or money management, self-awareness, self-direction, time-management, and personal responsibility.
Traditional schools plan their students’ schedules for them. Daily, weekly, monthly goals are set for them. When they can talk and when they can’t talk is determined for them. Where they sit in the classroom is often determined for them. In a world where basic freedoms simply don’t exist how can a child ever learn basic self-direction? Furthermore, how can they be expected to manage themselves once they are removed from that environment upon graduation?
In any educational organization worthwhile, the “curriculum” needs to focus on Self-Awareness, Self-Confidence (from having actually pushed through some obstacles), and Personal Responsibility. How we facilitate those traits may vary, but the traditions of standardization, rubrics for everything, arbitrary grades, and age-segregation, are all recipes to ensure that this entrepreneurial mindset doesn’t develop the way it should in the 21st century.
Matt Beaudreau is a father of three, a keynote speaker, author, and founder of Acton Academy Placer. He has spoken to over 250,000 people across the globe and continues to help families transition out of the school mindset, and into the reality of life-long education in the 21st century.