An overabundance of elbow grease

My assumptions

What I think students think when they hear the word entrepreneurship:

  • Silicon Valley
  • flip flops and jeans
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • billionaire

What I think parents think when they hear the word entrepreneurship:

  • risk
  • profit
  • innovation

When I read about teaching young innovators, I get excited for the future. But whenever the next step in the conversation turns out to be “teaching entrepreneurship,” I fizzle. Where does the student fit among the bullet points of these assumptions about entrepreneurship? Where’s the curiosity? Where’s the passion?

“Teaching entrepreneurship” in these terms sounds like something so hollow that it doesn’t belong in my classroom, and for as long as these assumptions (misguided or not) linger, I am uncomfortable with the suggestion that it should.

Here’s how I would like to define entrepreneurship:

  • the happy byproduct of combining optimism, passion, and an overabundance of elbow grease

If schools are going to teach entrepreneurship I want it to start there, not with the leadership or statistics classes that I see praised instead.  Continue reading