“I can sell anything to anybody,” he announced to me with obvious pride.
I was substitute teaching in the local high school a few weeks ago. There was not much to do in class that day so the students were talking quietly with one another. One of the more verbal kids began chatting with me and wanted to know, “Mr. C.D., what do you do when you’re not subbing?”
I responded, “I am semi-retired and have a couple of businesses.”
I must have hit a nerve as he responded, “That’s just what I’m going to do: I am going to college to get a business degree so I can start a business. I can sell anything to anybody!”
“You don’t need a business degree to start a business,” I told the boy. “If you know what business you want to start, just go downtown, pay the $20.00 for a license, and start your business.”
He sat bolt upright and nearly shouted: “What! $20.00 to start a business! Oh, no. You have to go to college and get a business degree to start a business.” This boy considered himself quite knowledgeable regarding the path to a successful business career.
In his book, Start-Up Nation, author Dan Senor researched the reasons Israel has been so effective in creating more successful business start-ups than virtually any other nation in the world. And this, despite its tiny size and the attention it must pay to self-defense issues.
Senor asks the question, “What kind of nation causes entrepreneurs and inventors to thrive?” His answer, “One where young people are allowed to reject educational requirements that they know have no value; to express themselves freely even when wrong; freedom to experiment and fail; access to funds to try out new ideas.”
Have you ever wondered why business and political leaders do not send their children to public school? It is because they understand that public schools exist to create employees. Not business or political leaders. Employees.
There is nothing wrong with becoming an employee as long as we never hide from our youth that they have another option.
I told the boy, “My youngest son had saved up his money to purchase an expensive camera and was ready to order it online. He had an idea that he could take pictures during performances at our community playhouse and sell the pictures to the performers for their portfolios. I told him to come up with a business name. Then I took him downtown to our local courthouse. There he paid $20.00 and was granted a business license for his new business. The business then paid for the camera so that he never paid tax on any of the money he made from taking pictures and selling them to the performers.”
When I had finished with my little story, the boy asked, “How old was your son when he did this?” I answered, “Exactly your age.”
Just then the bell rang and everyone stood to leave for their next classes. The boy waved his hand as if to dismiss what I had just said. “No way!” were his parting words as he left the room.
Two days ago, my oldest son told me he and his new wife are planning to spend the next few months traveling around Europe. He and his wife are entrepreneurs. So are my other two sons.
I ask every homeschooling parent the question: Are you educating your children for a single possibility: future employment? There is an alternative for which most never consider preparing their children: entrepreneurship.
See my new book here: Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally.