Starting when you were young and in school, you were conditioned to follow certain rules that are now engrained in your mind which don’t apply in the world of entrepreneurship and business. While having these rules in place can be necessary when dealing with young children who may not be mature enough or knowledgeable enough to make decisions for themselves, some adults grow up carrying this line of thinking with them throughout their entire lives and it can hold them back when growing a business.
Let’s explore 5 of these old school ‘rules’ and how you can shift your mindset:
1. Copying Is Forbidden – In school, they teach you that taking someone else’s idea and building on it is CHEATING. You will go the office right now for being a copycat! In business, you are awarded and applauded for taking an idea and building on it. The assembly line? Henry Ford didn’t invent it, yet he become famous and rich for using and perfecting it.
In school, they teach you that you must do your own work. Don’t pay the smart student to do it for you, that’s cheating! But in business, you can pay others to do all the things that you’re not good at or don’t want to do. And for that, you make lots of money, employ others and again, get applauded for your good sense.
2. Attendance – In school, they teach you that attendance is important. A perfect attendance record is expected, sometimes rewarded with higher grades. Missed a week due to the flu, or the time you went on a trip with your parents? Bad student. Even if you are responsible From a young age you are conditioned to work 40 hours a week for someone else and any type of leave of absence is frowned upon. Get a job and work hard – healthy or sick – to barely earn a living. But as an entrepreneur, the reality is that you get to set your own schedule and your own hours.
As long as you are disciplined to get your work done, you can choose when to work that is most productive to you and work efficiently so that you are accomplishing more in less time, utilizing the rest of the time in the week to spend on non-work things such as family time, hobbies, your health, going to the gym, personal development, reading a book, etc.
3. Failing Is Bad – In school if you fail, it’s bad news! You must never fail! In business, you’re going to fall flat on your face now and then. If you don’t, then you aren’t trying anything new or taking risks. Everyone applauds the entrepreneur who keeps going despite failure and eventually succeeds in a big way. You learn from your failures and mistakes, that is part of the entrepreneurial rollercoaster.
4. Don’t Try Alternative Methods – In school, you’re taught there is one way to do things – the way you’re told to do them. Even if math, when you show your work, if you used a different method to arrive at the exact same answer, you’re told that your method is wrong and their method is right. But in business, thinking outside of the box and finding creative solutions will earn you a fortune.
5. Permission – In school, you’re taught not to do things until you have something called “permission.” This is when you are instructed not to make a decision for yourself and instead need to ask someone ‘higher up’ for their blessing on the action you hope to take.
“May I go to the bathroom?”
“May I proceed to the next grade?”
“May I graduate?”
Once you get to college or university, what is the one thing you’re chasing? A diploma. Because until you get that piece of paper, you’re told you don’t have “permission” to follow your dreams.
But as an entrepreneur, there is no one you need to ask for permission except yourself. Give yourself permission to do what needs to be done. If you’re waiting for someone to give you permission, why not do it now? Write down, “I hereby give myself permission to dream big, build my business, build financial freedom, and build the life that I want!”
You can benefit from this need for a “higher authority” that gives people the confidence and the green light to go ahead and follow their dreams, whatever they may be. Create your own online courses, in person workshops, coaching and more. Your job is to make them aware of how much they already know and the awesome skills they already have, while filling in any blanks they might have.