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There’s a common narrative surrounding America’s most successful business people that charts their singular and self-driven journey from a nobody to an industry leader. And while that may be in some ways a romantic notion, the truth is more complicated, and more inspiring. Success doesn’t come from raw talent alone, and it takes a village to create a true entrepreneur. That’s why it’s important to make the skills of entrepreneurship a fundamental part of our education system.

By Example

The notion of the self-made millionaire driven by raw talent and genius is an overly simplified one. Teaching children the value of entrepreneurial spirit means teaching them about the hard work and challenges that are part and parcel of that lifestyle. That means showing them not just the highs but also the lows. Our struggles define us far more than our successes, and letting your child know that failure is both instructive and necessary can help them develop the self-confidence they need to succeed. Teachers need to lead by example, presenting both the challenges and the rewards of entrepreneurship without pressuring their students into pursuing a path that doesn’t interest them. After all, self-motivation is essential to success in the business world.

Role Models

Studies suggest that having positive role models can significantly encourage that sense of self-drive. When students are able to draw a direct line between what they learn in school and how it can be applied to their lives in the real world, they’re more likely to be engaged. Entrepreneurship is about perseverance and talent, but it’s also about passion. One of the best movements in modern education, and one focused on improving the knowledge of entrepreneurship, is the Genius Hour. This is a movement that gives students the time to study and discuss specific subjects that interest them, and that can help them connect their talents with how they can be practically applied in the real world.

Regardless of the approach an educator takes with their students, the advantages of teaching entrepreneurship are vast. Learning about the struggles of business owners can help instill in them an appreciation for the value of money and a more meaningful work ethic. Fostering their passions without pressure can instill a sense of creative thinking that can help them for the rest of their lives while also improving their skills of socialization. Whether or not students become successful entrepreneurs, the values they learn with such a program can serve them throughout their lives.