originally published on 5/12/17
‘the most dangerous thing you can do in life is play it safe’ – Casey Neistat
Sit down. Don’t talk. Raise your hand. Stay in line. Don’t be late. Quiet down. Put that away. Share. Read this. Watch that. You can eat now. Play like this. Don’t speak out. Settle down. Be prepared.
This is what our kids are told…time and time again. What must become slowly and steadily ingrained is the idea that they should all conform, follow the crowd, learn how everyone else does, choose a career, spend a lot of money to study within that field with a college education, find a company to work for, and work…so that you can afford things like a car and a house and a latte…then, they will be successful.
Are we introducing and exposing our children to enough entrepreneurial ideas to truly let them know about other options they may have? At Concord High School, I can remember one single unit within I believe an Economics class. Mr. Denoncourt worked so hard with us to help us pronounce the word en-tre-pre-neur. I said it wrong until college. I don’t remember a single thing from that unit we studied however…but I’m sure it was thorough in explaining the option for citizens to…yippee! start your own business! You could make and sell cookies with your mom, or you could design a t-shirt, and sell it out of the trunk of your car. I’m sure the text book detailed some of the easier fields to enter as a business starter, like construction, landscaping, or dog walking. I’m sure one of the bolded subject headings was ‘be your own boss’, and we probably discussed as a class the pros and cons to running your own company. Mr Denoncourt was genuine in his efforts, I am sure. But all I remember is äntrəprəˈnər.
Considering the loyalty once involved in working for a company, and the lack of commitment and loyalty in present times, we owe it to our kids to expose them to more. One unit is not enough. I’m sure there was more within my high school curriculum and I just missed it…I was in a fog most of the time. But I know there wasn’t enough.
Years ago, one could be very secure in choosing a company to work for, sticking with that job for many years, and then retiring with a good sized pension to ride off into the sunset with. It is not the same today. It’s predicted that our youngest workers will hold around 12-15 jobs in their lifetime. It’s also commonly noted that the average worker will make 5-7 career changes during there career. It is simply a very different workplace.
Speak out. Hustle. Grind. Don’t sleep. Find a loophole. Challenge authority. Follow your gut. The time is right now. Make your own line to stand in. You are creative. Develop grit. Ask more questions. Better questions. Come up with ideas. More than that. Start something now. Take the risk. Don’t seek comfort. Don’t listen to me. Do whatever the #%@$ you want to do, whenever the #%@$ you want to do it.
What if these were some ideas we showered our kids with? That’s it…I’m starting a school, and the paragraph above will serve as the uncommon core curriculum. The mission statement will have to be, ‘do whatever the #%@$ you want to do, whenever the #%@$ you want to do it’. When I step back and think, that phrase can simply define success like no other. Children and adults alike could find so much happiness and success by first searching, finding, discovering, and identifying their own passions and loves…and then working, playing, and living within those areas as much as possible. I’m not sure our schools, our communities, our parents, our culture is set up for that.
I want my daughter Matilda to know that there are many paths. And that she has many choices. She’ll be able to pronounce entrepreneur this year. I’m going to introduce her to my uncommon curriculum…though I might leave out the do whatever you want part for now. I’m still figuring this parenting thing out. She will though, be able to dream something up, take a risk, and even fail, knowing that she’ll have help to get up and find a different way.
In the short term, we’re starting a small farm stand called The Grower’s Daughter. Matilda is very excited about this. She’ll be selling some plants we started from seed, some breads that we made, cookies, vegetables and honey in the Fall, and whatever else comes to mind. The Grand Opening is tomorrow from 11-1pm at our house…so please stop by to say hello! I’m hoping that this new adventure will play a small part in helping her develop some skills, passion, and even some hustle.
Music: Here is a beautiful song called Cherry Wine by Hozier. It actually raised awareness and funds for domestic violence. Enjoy!