When I was younger, most of my friends including myself aspired to be doctors, lawyers and teachers when we grow up. Those were the only professions we knew then so it made sense that’s what we wanted to be.
If you pose the same question to kids today, a lot of them would want to be entrepreneurs and be their own boss. They want to start businesses and change the world for the better.
Some would argue that entrepreneurs are different than small business owners. Both of them start businesses and companies but an entrepreneur disrupt industries and aims for exponential growth.
But instead of nit-picking on the definition, we should focus on the common thread between them. To be an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you have to be entrepreneurial.
That means you need to solve problems and learn on the job. You have to be willing to risk failure. You have the self-discipline, perseverance and confidence to pursue seemingly impossible goals.
You will need to sell and market your product. You also need to work with others and build a team to go further. You will need to be creative and come up with innovative ideas to outsmart your competitors.
These are the skills we should focus on and teach our kids in schools. The point isn’t just to groom entrepreneurs, but to arm them with the necessary skill to survive in the ever-changing economy.
Not everyone should raise funding and start disruptive companies. We still need people who create jobs and improve the local economy. There’s no shame in being a small business owner.
Some of them could even lend their entrepreneurial skills to companies by working as intrapreneurs. Focus on learning to be more enterprising as entrepreneurship is a skill rather than a job title.