Warning: This is a controversial post.
If you are easily offended, click away. Go back to your safe place, it's okay.
This is all about the reasons why Traditional Education does not bode well for the would be entrepreneur, or really anyone looking to do big things.
In fact, I would go so far as saying traditional education equals poverty.
Interested? Read on...
For starters, let's take a look back in time.
About 200 years to be exact.
For the previous 2 centuries, the primary purpose of school has been to train us to either work in a factory or become bean counters, engineers, doctors, or lawyers...
Just think of what you learn in school and how you are graded.
95% of school is basically testing your rote memory, your ability to memorize a fact and regurgitate it.
Or you learn how to solve abstract math problems which have no relation to the real world.
What does school train out of you? (or into you?)
The very first is the fear of failure.
If you don't think like everyone else, if you don't remember the same facts as Bobby and Suzy, you fail.
That makes you stupid. You must be slow. Go sit in the corner and wear this dunce cap. (Like this kid)
Obviously failure is a perfectly natural thing in the real world. It happens.
The lesson comes from learning from failure and adapting for the next time.
(By the way, this post isn't a solution for our current school system, that's way above my pay grade.)
I'm not even going to touch on how ineffective most of teaching is. Trying to remember facts logically, as every copywriter knows, is highly ineffective.
School trains you to sit still, not speak up, follow the rules to the letter, and think like everybody else.
That's why they're diagnosing kids with ADHD and giving them ritalin if they are too energetic.
If you look at most high performing entrepreneurs, you'll notice they weren't the A or B students.
They usually had the C's and D's. They were the ones who couldn't sit still. They constantly questioned why they were being taught this, what the point was, and they might have dropped out early.
They were also the natural leaders, they were the ones who convinced all their friends to mow lawns, or sell gum, or deliver the papers.
One predicting factor of a successful entrepreneur is high energy. After all, it takes massive amounts of energy and effort to run a business.
These are the same kids getting drugged today and forced to fall in rank and file with everyone else.
It's pretty sad when you think about it.
Sure, Ipads and constant access to electronics might be partially to blame for our utter lack of attention, but go back in history and you'll notice the trend isn't new.
The skills that traditional education values and the skills that are valuable in real life aren't even close.
Memorizing facts and figures? We have google for that.
In fact, most of the stuff I learned in school I never use today.
What are the skills the real world values?
There's creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, pattern recognition.
Things that are barely touched on in school.
Sure, I learned a little bit of problem solving and critical thinking in college when I took mechanical engineering...but that doesn't apply to everyone.
Not even close.
The trouble is, school teaches us to be copycats. It doesn't teach us to think for ourselves and look for solutions "out there".
In marketing, it creates "me-too marketing"...also known as marketing incest.
Here's an example of critical thinking which school breeds right out of us.
In 1939, a few months into World War 2, Britain was getting hammered by Germany.
German U-boats were sinking British cargo ships left and right.
The Brits were starting to get desperate.
They didn't have the resources or manpower to devote to building ships, all of their engineers and people were being diverted to the war effort.
Plus these cargo ships took a year to build in the best of times.
So they started going to non traditional sources for help.
America wasn't involved in the war at this point. Pearl Harbour hadn't happened yet.
And the Brits were getting desperate.
If they ran out of cargo ships, they would run out of supplies and Germany would starve them out.
That's when they came to the famous industrialist Henry Kaiser.
(Google him if you want his background, I ain't your history teacher.)
Kaiser wasn't a shipbuilder, but he did have a reputation for getting things done.
And at the time, the British couldn't even afford to send their experts to consult with Kaiser.
Luckily it didn't matter. Henry Kaiser in his complete ignorance of ship building started applying his problem solving mind to the task at hand.
He broke up the task of shipbuilding into small, manageble chunks.
When he encountered a problem he didn't know how to solve, he innovated around it.
Kaiser had the luxury of not knowing the "proper way" cargo ships were built. That's what let him build cargo ships not in 1 year, but in one month.
Instead of riveting the ships together, he cut the sheets of metal with an acetylene torch. Something the Brits had never considered, because that's not that way they had always done it.
Had Henry Kaiser not used his powers of problem solving, the war might have gone in a completely different direction.
And so you see, the real valuable skills aren't taught in school. But they CAN be developed.
Unfortunately I don't have the answers on how you can develop your own critical thinking, creative problem solving, or pattern recognition.
That's not my job...
All I can do is encourage you if you've been labeled a failure because you weren't smart in school.
If you didn't get good grades, that's probably a good sign for you.
Of course if you did get good grades, that doesn't seal your fate by any means either... There's still hope for you too.
What can you do now?
Well, you can start your "alternative education" by reading my newest book and getting on my daily mailing list.
Hopefully this helped.