All in All, Its Just Another Brick in The Wall
Why is our educational system so backwards?
Hmmm – that was a controversial start wasn’t it! Jump right in, boots and all! WAIT – don’t comment yet, hear me out first, please.
Our education system is not up with the times. It teaches us algebra, teaches us to obey, to be malleable, that lunchtime is 12.40pm. But where is the encouragement of the entrepreneurial spark? Why aren’t kids truly encouraged to lead in the face of challenges where the outcome is not predictable? Our kids live sanitised lives, kept safe from failure, where even grades are banded so they don’t feel like they failed. Yeah sure, they can be house captain (I was, 4 times). Yep, they can lead a sports team (I was Softball Captain). These are great opportunities, but this isn’t business leadership.
I think of Tom Cruise in Risky Business – not the underwear scene (pause – take a moment ladies, enjoy the memory, whilst the male readers out there can choose their own cherished pictorial memory to pass the time).
I mean the Risky Business Future Leaders program. It feels truly inspirational to me now. I wish I had done something like that at school. Ok – not the hooker bit (but hey, there are many legitimate biz models at there at the moment which aren’t so far from what Tom did, and politician’s business requirements, well, they leave Tom for dead). Oops – I digress…… to learn about innovation, thinking outside the square (rather than being confined to a little box where a squared +b squared = c squared), to be encouraged to let go of the familiar and grasp hold of the new, different, unexpected, what a fabulous treat that would have been.
To learn from trial and error, where the error didn’t mean a low mark, but a high mark for taking the opportunity and shaping it into success. How absolutely cool it would have been to be at a school where such programs were as important as writing the perfect essay on social culture in the 21st century. I am not saying in place of, but alongside. I haven’t in my life had many requirements to write a 5000 word essay since leaving school (the closest is my humble blog), but the trial and error, that has been a daily occurrence!
How great it would have been to emerge from school understanding how to write a business plan, and being able to identify cash flow problems. Instead I went to Bizness Babes to learn that, as a mum with an idea (well, it was just over 100 viable ideas at the time). Bizness Babes was instrumental in stoking the fire of my burgeoning awareness of the opportunities around me. In fact I blame them absolutely for the nagging bug that now sits on my shoulder, making me look at every action in my life to find the way to build a business out of it. Thanks to the WISE Foundation and Bizness Babes, I now see cash flows and risk analysis everywhere. I love it. The possibilities really are endless! I just wish I had been thinking this way 20 years ago, instead of now, as a mum with a family and a mortgage. But that is life, and I WILL make lemonade out of those lemons!
The lemonade of today (well – yesterday in fact, it came to me whilst dear Bethie Boo and I were out having a little girly fun), is a new entertainment concept I don’t believe has a place in the world as yet. I am very excited about researching it, it could be lots of fun and a great business for me to develop. There is already a business model to utilise, and it is a franchisable operation. Win, win, win. AND I already have a very cool name picked out that no-one has registered a dot.com for. Woo hoo – that in itself is like winning the lottery these days! Anyway – I will reveal more as investigations move along – stay tuned!
Back to my soapbox – education these days. I am not the only one disappointed in the educational systems of this world. I was reading Voyeur Magazine on a recent Virgin Australia flight, and was staggered at the number of mega successful entrepreneurs that had not completed a university degree. Some dropped out after developing their ideas and wanting to get moving whilst the iron was hot (aka Steve Jobs and Bill Gates), whilst others just could not deal with school regimentation (no surprise for entrepreneurs like John D Rockefeller, Richard Branson.) In fact, Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, paid 24 young entrepreneurs $100,000 USD each to drop out of school and develop their ideas instead of waiting a few more years. He strongly feels schooling is not necessarily the way forward. That is a big statement – formal learning channels are so very important, and sometimes life experience just can not replicate the resources of an educational body. I would rather have an education system that meets the needs of kids and gives them the skills to be successful business people if that is what they choose to do. In an effort to alleviate this gap, some enlightened individuals have started utilising shared learning online as an open structure to nurturing these skills, I do hope it catches on. In the mean time perhaps I should also be looking into developing a private school with an entrepreneurship stream – hmmmmmmmm – quick – add that to my list of ideas!
I am off to do some research and chat to some entrepreneurs online, catch up again soon!