We don’t need a society of more entrepreneurs; we need a society of hungry minds

As we continue discussing The Future for Youth, we’ve come up with some interesting ideas about what that looks like. One of the key ideas that has come up again and again is that parents should raise entrepreneurial children with the aim that everyone is and should be an entrepreneur.

Should we teach young people to be entrepreneurs?

Learning is a prerequisite for entrepreneurship

I don’t think that’s the right approach because not all people are built to be entrepreneurial. And if we assume everyone, with the right methodology, will become entrepreneurial is ludicrous. Instead, we should teach people how to learn; that is a prerequisite for entrepreneurship.

In many countries, mine included, people are taught to look for a job, not create a job. Non-entrepreneurial families are ubiquitous, having a job is all they know and that gets communicated to their children.

There is also the idea that all entrepreneurs are alike. Not so, because being an entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you are a non-conformist. We don’t want to teach young people to be conformist, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the entrepreneurial journey eliminates conformity from their mindset.

So, we don’t need a society of more entrepreneurs; we need a society of hungry minds.

Learning is a habit

I believe that learning is the key to success. Learning is supposed to be fun, the sad thing is that nowadays for most people it seems like a chore; we have to change that. And the reason it’s a chore for most people is because they’ve not developed the habit for learning; it’s more of a thing you have to do instead of something you always do.

This has great repercussion in how we raise our children, the youth of tomorrow. To raise entrepreneurial children has become a topic of conversation, but I think that’s the wrong way to look at this.

Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest gift in life is to keep your mind young.” For youth to thrive it matters how we teach them to view failure. So, the greatest thing schools can teach these days is how to learn.

Empowering students to try new things, take chances, make mistakes – discover what they are well and truly good at. A lot of this learning will need to take place outside the classroom.

Just like employees are motivated by a higher purpose and connection to their work, students learn better when they have a mission. The more of this we can get into our education system, the better.

Instead of educating the creativity out of students, we need to start educating them creatively.

Bottom line: Instilling a passion for learning is more important than aiming to be the next Steve Jobs. Before being entrepreneurs, all great innovators are learning animals. Let’s inspire young people to do be that.