2008-01-13-were-you-educated-to-be-an-employee-and-not-an-employer

Were you educated to be an employee and not an employer?

While recently reading this article from SmallBizTrends.com (a great website, if a littly heavy on podcasts), one statement in particular stood out: 

"most of us were educated to be employees and, because of that, many have trouble coping with the unsupervised nature of independence and self-employment"

The author is applying this logic in citing the rise of business and personal coaching but the facts are so clear.  A majority of successful business owners are, in fact, also failed business owners.

It takes a couple of tries to get it right.  Failure is a great teacher.  For many of us, mistakes lead to enlightenment, i.e. "I'll never do that again" or "I would have approached that differently had I known then what I know now."

I, myself, was definitely not educated formally to be an employer.  Informally, my parents set great examples by both being in business for themselves by the time I had reached an impressionable age.  But school?  There was just one time.  While in grade school, we had the opportunity to attend Exchange City at the Learning Exchange but that was about it.  I was put in charge as owner (or manager, I can't remember) of one of the fourteen businesses.  Actually, it was the soda shop.  I distinctly remember preparing a budget, setting very high prices so I could cover my operating expenses, then succeeding during the course of the day (i.e. I was able to lower prices once I had met my initial targets of profitability).  One day alone does not make a formal education.

It's a shame really.  We should be teaching students about the ups and downs of life in their coursework, particulary the failures.  I really doubt students today are asked to adapt to change in their studies, they are most likely just following the teachers plan for achieving the federal, state and district goals.  Each day is one step closer to the end game of passing some mandated testing, whether it be for graduation, college admission or simple funding of the district itself.  This is an education in "falling in line" or "accomplishing someone else's goal."  If we were teaching students adaptability, we might be teaching future business owners.

P.S.  I should give props to the author of the article mentioned above, Dawn Rivers Baker, who publishes an excellent blog as well.  It can be found here.

free web stats