As we start a new year, we should once again review the purpose of education. One common purpose is to prepare students for the future. Let's take a brief look at the current economy. In Canada we seem to be following a trend of limited manufacturing (How could we possibly compete with the low wages of workers in India, Mexico, and China?), lots of natural resources and a huge growth in small businesses and service industries. Just look around your neighbourhood and count the number of small spas, yoga studios, photographers, artists, cleaning services, daycares, website designers, graphic artists, electricians, business coaches, experts of many kinds, and many other services that did not even exist ten years ago. The future is the property of the entrepreneur.
How are we preparing our children? What are the skills that they will need? Let's ask an entrepreneur. I'm sure you know at least one. First, they must be able to think outside the box. They must have the organizational skills to put together all the pieces to make a business successful. Many unsuccessful businesses happen because the passion is not coupled with the details. Business plans, finances, market research - all necessary. They must have the self-confidence to believe that they can succeed. Without that, there is no sense to even begin! They must be critical thinkers, be able to look at an idea from all sides and see the advantages and potential weaknesses. They must have learned that failure is as necessary to success as falling down is necessary when learning to walk. They must have the confidence to deal with failure and move on. They must be empathetic so they can imagine what their clients will want. They need to have strong interpersonal skills to deal with customers and employees. They need to be firm in their convictions and respectful of others.
For your New Year's Resolution - why not give your children the education that they deserve?