Market Day is something everyone in Bohol Child Head Start looks forward to. Our students love the opportunity to create and profit from their products.
In school, we put premium on the application of knowledge through practical ways. And we believe that entrepreneurship is one skill that our children should possess. The mindset, attitude, and behavior of an entrepreneur need to be learned even as early as elementary. Doing so would prepare our kids to look at the world in a different lens, and not just someone who study to prepare oneself for a job someday.
I never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. Although I grew up with my parents engaged in a small business, I did not fancy following their footsteps. Primarily, because I saw how difficult it was to run it. There were days of bounty and poverty. I was afraid of the uncertainty.
Almost every day, they were frantic. The house was abuzz with activities (we operated a machine shop). It appeared to me as a never-ending life of thinking and looking for ways to improve process and outcome. Again, I concluded I can never become an entrepreneur.
And so, I set my sights on getting employed and have a stable job. Indeed, it was not as difficult. I easily cornered a teaching stint. But soon I began to feel restricted by the job’s predictability. And then I remembered the frantic life I was in when I was still younger. I thought it must be exciting to be thinking and becoming creative every day.
And that is when I ventured into starting my own enterprise. And indeed, it’s a different world that requires a different kind of mindset and aptitude. But how different?
Not everyone can become an entrepreneur and of course, entrepreneurship is not the only career pathway that leads to a sense of satisfaction. Many others are framed to become employees who are adept at making the system run smoothly. Still many others venture in between, both an employee and entrepreneur, like me.
As I have said, the very nature of the entrepreneurial venture requires a different set of thinking and behaving. For one, an entrepreneur needs to be CREATIVE. The seed of entrepreneurship is the ability to see things differently. Entrepreneurs ask the “what ifs” that drive inquisitiveness and they are able to let go of what they already know to source fresh information and new ways of thinking about a problem.
Entrepreneurs are also OPPORTUNITY ORIENTED. An employee mindset says,” I will start doing business when I have the money.” But an entrepreneurial mind argues, “Let us start the business and finance the business from our profit.” When we focus and are limited by resources, we cannot be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs focus on opportunities and grab them.
Entrepreneurs BUILD NETWORKS of people and organizations and manage the business through them. An employee mindset manages through hierarchies and built-in structures. Because entrepreneurs value leverage to upgrade the business, they need to reach out to others and work with them.
Entrepreneurs are COMFORTABLE WITH UNCERTAINTIES. And because of this, they are able to take risks. They are not daunted much by market data but they are more driven by their desire to experiment, test, and retest their products and services.
I can go on and on with my learning as an entrepreneur and an employee. But obviously, what stands out is the distinct thinking process between the two. And as I discovered, both thinking processes can be trained and re-programmed given the right environment and exposure.