Reading this on Today online yesterday, made me want to run out to set up a Lemonade stand for K right outside our estate this weekend, and share tips with him on entrepreneurship.
Photo credit of Lemonade Stand – Pinterest
My only problem :
1. Most Singaporeans don’t drink Lemonade
2. The process of applying for a food shop license from National Environment Agency (NEA) will be too much of a hassle for profits of < $20.00
3. I might get complaints from some retiree staying in the vicinity who thinks that I am exploiting my 6 year old to earn money for me
How about selling packet drinks of local favorites on a really hot day. Now, I wonder if I still need to get a food license for that?
Book Smarts vs Street Smart
Mr Tony Wagner, a Harvard Education specialist put it very aptly in this article, ‘because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know…The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic knowledge. As one executive told me: ‘We can teach new hires the content, and we will have to because it continues to change, but we can’t teach them how to think — to ask the right questions — and to take initiative.’
There you have it. Most of us know how to use google search effectively, but how do you use that knowledge that you found or learnt?
Singapore children have no lack of knowledge when it comes to many things, and globally our country is a success story when it comes academic achievements. But with that vast knowledge that they have acquired in schools, how many are able to use that knowledge acquired from schools in real life?
Makes me wonder if these shortfalls in our education system have been the very reason our country has brought us to where we are today, to be so dependent on foreign talent for so many of our white-collared jobs.
Can’t find a job? Invent one.
Initiative, innovation and motivation do pay off for most who are starting their own business, however, Mr Wagner didn’t add that, everyone will need opportunities to present themselves. You can try to comb out the niches in every industry or be that blessed few to wait for it to come your way by chance. And I am certain it will help that your have tons of cash stashed away and are prepared to run losses in the first 1-2 years of the business.
How many Singaporeans are willing to take the path less trodden i.e., entrepreneurial path, and be willing to take risks and work hard for it? Making a quick buck don’t happen easily these days, unless you are planning some elaborate Ponzi scheme.
Has Singaporeans’ obsession with academic achievements blinded-sided our motivation, initiative, our critical thinking and collaboration skills? Is being comfortable-with-status quo and not-hungry-enough a problem for us?
Well last year, I needed a job. My first instinct was to look for one, simply because being an employee was perceived to be more secured, besides, a job under employment paid many times better vs a small work-at-home business. But there wasn’t any job available, so I invented one by myself.
Simply because I was at the right place, at the right time, it helped that I was hungry (i.e,. no choice) and had nothing to lose. Of course by taking chances meant that I had to make sacrifices and learn to live with less.
Why wait? Re-invent Singapore’s Education
Ministry of Education, have you read this article from Today?
Do learn from countries like Finland, which is ‘…one of the most innovative economies in the world…and it is the only country where students leave high school ‘innovation-ready. They learn concepts and creativity more than facts…all with a shorter school day, little homework and almost no testing.’
I think it’s about time that you re-invent our education system for our kids! Have a balanced curriculum where children have less rote learning and are given more opportunities to learn practical and creative life skills.
And ‘Tiger Mothers’? How many more tuition classes have you signed up for your kids this year?
I am no ‘Tiger Mother’ for sure and I am wondering if I can be successful in keeping tuition at bay for as long as possible, when K starts primary school in 2014.
As for helping him to develop his entrepreneurial skills, we are going to have to play Monopoly and open his snack shop a lot more in the coming evenings. The rules of the game? No sore losers, no cheating and the customer is always right. Learn through play first before we get to the real stuff.
Looks like we are going to be making some money very soon.
Here’s some useful articles on teaching your child Entrepreneurship :
Linking up with