Entrepreneurship has lessons for us all

In the past few weeks, I’ve begun writing a series of 15 blog posts for Quarter Zero’s Idea Board. These articles all target major challenges facing anyone trying to teach/coach teenage entrepreneurs.

They have been pretty easy to write because frankly, there are a lot of challenges.

For example, #1 is about Abolishing the Passive Learning Mindset. It’s hard to foster entrepreneurship in teenagers when they are accustomed to “learning” by lecture, notes and textbook. Our first job is to un-teach much of what they have learned about learning.

#2, published just yesterday, is about Finding the Right Problem. How do we help aspiring entrepreneurs identify meaningful problems they want to solve? It’s not easy, and traditional brainstorming isn’t much help. So how do we guide them?

Next week’s topic, #3, is Responding to Bad Ideas. I know — you’re tempted to say “There is no such thing as a bad idea.” But that’s not true. There are plenty of bad ideas. Fortunately, in most cases, the lean startup process will help students sort out bad ideas on their own.

Whether or not you teach/coach entrepreneurship or design thinking, I hope you’ll take a look. Every classroom, no matter what the subject, would benefit from an infusion of some of the teaching strategies incorporated in entrepreneurship — like divergent thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.

Not only do students enjoy it — and grow tremendously — but it’s a lot of fun for teachers, too. Once you get past the challenges.

Martha Rush is a teacher, author, curriculum developer, speaker — and occasional blogger. She has finished her second book, a joint project with Quarter Zero to bring lean entrepreneurship to more high school students. Visit NeverBore.org or like the NeverBore LLC Facebook group for more information on Martha’s projects. @MarthaSRush #beatboredom