The 5 Skills Taught in School that Cripple Future Entrepreneurs

So I recently came across some crazy statistics that made me squirm a little bit.

Are you ready for these?

The percentage of students who read every day has fallen by nearly a third in the past 25 years and the percentage of students who claim to “never or hardly ever read” has more than doubled. And with the recent turmoil in Chicago, the US Department of Education found that 79% of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading and 80% are not grade-level proficient in math.

How did this happen?! What else is going on!

Skills like initiative reading are foundational to entrepreneurs across the world. Mark Twain put it best – “The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.”

But are there other skills necessary for future entrepreneurs? After all, small business used to make up just over half the economy. In the past decade though, its share has fallen below 50 percent for the first time, and the decline has been accelerating. A lot.

Thankfully though, schools are designed to help students unlock their personal talents and address these future economic issues. Right? Well, maybe not. Maybe actually the opposite sometimes. Let me tell you what I mean.

Small business owners with less than one year of experience usually earn an annual salary ranging from $34,392 to $75,076. Those with more than 10 years experience, on the other hand, earn upwards of $105,757 per year. Plus you make your own hours.


Finances aside though, entrepreneurship, whether its owning a company or inventing a new gadget, fulfills a fundamental human desire – the desire to create. Think about it. EVERYTHING that is most fulfilling in life in connected to the act or idea of creation.

Now, you may ask: Is there a secret formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

That answer is as broad as the number of small businesses out there. However, there are some things that are consistent through all of them. If you implement these 5 tasks, you’ll be on your way to laying the cement for a successful life as an entrepreneur.


1. Initiative Reading – Asking anyone who is successful “what are you reading right now?” and they’ll always have an answer. Henry Ford, inventor of the Assembly Line and the modern-day automobile enterprise, said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” By reading every day, whether it’s for an hour or only 20 minutes, is what sets you apart. Think about – 15 minutes a day of reading for a year is equivalent over 91 hours of learning

. And adding just 5 minutes to that changes it to an incredible 121 hours of learning! You see the pattern here.

2. Other-centeredness – Any good entrepreneur recognizes that the most important thing in a business is not themselves – it’s their customers. Sam Walton, iconical founder of the corporate giant Walmart, explained it this way: “We let folks know we’re interested in them and that they’re vital to us. ‘Cause they are.” In schools, we are taught to work alone and not talk to anybody (especially about emotional, “outside-of-school” stuff). This is counter-productive to the job of an entrepreneur.

3. Self-RespectIf you wake up in the morning and go to school looking much the same as you did when you rolled out of bed, you’re telling the world: “Hey! I don’t care about how I look or my personal hygiene.” How disgusting! Yet people continue this mentality sometimes throughout their entire life. Stop it now! Change your appearance. Change how you behave. Change how you talk to others. Collectively, these are what drives your own self-image and, in turn, the image others have of you. Schools don’t teach this. So you must teach yourself.

4. Being a Yard Stick of QualitySteve Jobs, whose name needs no introduction, said that we should “be a yardstick of quality” because “people aren’t used to being in an environment where excellence is expected.” Did you get a 90% on that test? Well, what was the 10% you didn’t know. Did you get a 99%? What was that 1% that you missed? You get bonus points for turning it in early? Turn it in early. Little steps like these are what separate successful entrepreneurs from company flops.

5. Creativity – This is perhaps the most under-taught concept in schools. Have you ever heard of a class that “teaches you how to be creative?” Yet this is a vital key to being a successful, young entrepreneur. We don’t know what the world will look like 5 years from now, yet we’re supposed to be learning the tools that enable us to handle it. We can’t do this without creativity and innovation.

In a huge study done by IBM back in 2010 with CEOs of 1,000+ companies, the CEOs said that the most important skill for a future CEO to have was creativity – even over integrity, teamwork, and management skills.

At Launch Academy, we actually have a recursive program designed to boost your creativity and, if you’re interested, you can contact us about it.

So, in short, take the initiative! If you want to be the boss of your own life bad enough, you will take these steps seriously and deliberately. Deliberate action is the most necessary component – without it, all the other 5 skills fall through. Go out, and create your world.

Stay Smart.


Check out our great education partner below about business schools:
Top Business Schools By Microedu
A full list of top business mba programs in the united states. Listed by state.

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