A Note to the Aspiring Entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t the easy path, but it can certainly be rewarding. The business world is vastly different now than it was 10, or even five, years ago. In this digital age, starting a business doesn’t look the way it did for our parents. More people are trading in the traditional corporate path and opting to start their own companies instead. It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 35, your age doesn’t limit your ability to become an entrepreneur. According to this Forbes article, entrepreneurs are getting increasingly younger.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, honing your skills in a variety of areas will be important. Why wait until college to start honing your entrepreneurial mind? You can start now.
Here are the top seven courses that every aspiring entrepreneur should take in high school:
Leadership expert and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, has found that 80 percent of success is due to psychology and only 20 percent is due to strategy—which means any brand that hopes to succeed needs a CEO who understands how our minds work. Psychology helps young entrepreneurs understand what makes their future employees, customers, and other stakeholders tick. Making everything from interpersonal communications to how you manage your personal mindset easier to navigate.
Understanding how a country’s economy works allows you to grasp how changes in that economy cause major ripples for individuals and businesses. For an aspiring entrepreneur, recognizing how the fluctuations in the economy can affect industries is paramount to making smart fiscal decisions that lead to a healthy business. Learning how your business could fit into the economy early on can save future entrepreneurs ample time (and money) in the long run.
It all starts at the individual level and never is that truer than with personal finance. Learning how to budget your expenses, do your taxes, apply for loans and invest in stocks and bonds helps you stay cash-positive enough to fund a future business. You will also be able to use your newfound financial knowledge as a springboard for your business’ finances. Knowledge is power and so many people enter the business world without even a basic understanding of how the financial world works.
Even the best business ideas can’t survive without the vision and example of a strong leader. A leadership course will teach you everything you need to know about leading by example, managing conflict, and using your reasoning skills to make complex decisions. This course is a key asset in managing future client relationships and current interpersonal relationships.
It almost goes without saying that this course is one that all blossoming entrepreneurs should take. What does it mean to build a business? What are the steps to creating a brand? How do you turn your passion into a revenue stream? A course about entrepreneurship will likely guide you in answering these questions. More and more universities are recognizing the importance of offering entrepreneurship courses — by taking one in high school you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Communication may be key, but it’s especially crucial in business. With money on the line, how you get your point across makes all the difference. A communications course will teach you how to be clear and concise in all forms of communication (written, verbal, in front of a group, one-on-one and everywhere in between), no unnecessary misunderstandings included.
Similar to a philosophy class, an ethics course will challenge your perceptions of right and wrong, while making you consider your own integrity and values more deeply. Most businesses today actually start off by first establishing their core values. These values are meant to permeate everything they do and serve as a guiding force for the decisions they make. As an aspiring entrepreneur, this course will help you combat the desire to make money over doing what is right while inspiring you to start a business that aligns with your personal values system.
The good news for high school students? All of these classes can count towards required credits for graduation! If your school doesn’t offer them, you can consider taking a few online to supplement your schedule.