How many times can you recall your parents telling you to do things so you won’t have to “learn them the hard way?” You probably heard it all the time, and what did you do? Well, if you’re like most kids, teens, and young adults, you completely ignored their advice and learned the hard way! And that’s okay! For so many years, we’ve been taught that learning the hard way was this terrible thing but the reality is that learning certain things the hard way is what made you who you are today… sometimes learning the hard way is what makes something real.
There are certain things where learning the hard way is something that you could have completely avoided and kept yourself out of trouble. From a business perspective, lots of home-based businesses will try to skimp out on getting business insurance… they don’t think they need it because they work from home. Well, those same home-based business owners had to learn the hard way that all of their business equipment wasn’t covered in the fire that destroyed their home. The lesson of that scenario is to get your business insured!
Aside from that scenario, there things in life that you just can’t avoid and simply have to learn the hard way, no matter how many efforts you take to prepare yourself for something, you just have to “bite the bullet” and learn the hard way. This is a statement that holds very true when talking about entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur Unseen Obstacles
When it comes to the art of running your own business, there are going to be challenges and situations you will encounter that, regardless of what you learned in business school, will not prepare you for what it’s like running a business in the real world, outside of the classroom and textbooks. Now, you can have a successful business and not have gone to business school just like you can go to business school and have a business that fails.
The lesson to be learned here is that nothing really prepares you for running a business until you get out there and do it. It’s like becoming a nurse… a nurse isn’t going to really know what it feels like to be a nurse until they have real experience interacting with patients, inserting IVs, and drawing blood, etc. The same thing goes with entrepreneurship. In business school, you’re going to learn the inner workings of a business.
It’s going to familiarize you with accounting, marketing, and problem-solving but even in acquiring those skillsets you need as an entrepreneur, there are still some entrepreneurial lessons that business school won’t teach you and probably never will… simply because they’re lessons you just have to learn from experience. Take a look at these entrepreneurial lessons you simply have to learn the hard way.
Lesson 1: Business School Doesn’t Teach You to Accept Failures
When it comes to running a business, it important that you learn to accept failure from the very beginning… and not just failure, but failures, because there will be more than one that you’ll experience. You see, in business school, you’re taught that failure is this terrible thing and you should avoid it at all costs.
Well, the reality is that failure isn’t as bad as business school makes it out to be. According to Linkedin, failure is a learning experience and a chance to things differently the next time around. So, just have it in your mind that when you start your own business, you’re going to fail at multiple things. But you’re not a failure even if you’re learning the hard way. So accept it now, learn from your mistakes, and watch your business grow.
Lesson 2: You Don’t Learn People Skills
People skills are something that you definitely won’t learn from a textbook or from a lecture. You can learn the basics of the different personality types that people have but how to actually interact with each different personality is something that you will just have to learn from experience. Just think about it, you’re going to be interacting with all kinds of people from customers to the clerk at the post office; web designers, marketing specialists, and even lawyers.
All of these people are in job sectors completely different from yours and in order for them to help you in running your business, your interactions with them need to be positive ones and you do that simply by communicating with them and getting to know them. Once you have an idea of the type of person they are, it helps you to better interact with them on multiple different levels.
Lesson 3: Business School Doesn’t Fully Teach You How to Sell
This lesson might seem like it doesn’t fit… like what’s the point of going to business school if it’s not teaching you how to sell, right? When running a business, you’re either selling a product or a service. And selling is ultimately what will keep your business alive. But you’re not going to learn how to do that in business school. It may be one thing, out of desperation, that may be one of those learning the hard way lessons.
In business school, you learn the fundamentals of selling… you’re learning how to position and market your product or service so that it grabs the attention of customers but you’re not learning the actual art of selling… and that’s because you can’t master selling in a classroom; you learn selling through hands-on experience. How many times have you walked in the food court of a mall and heard restaurants screaming “TRY SAMPLE!” You see it and hear it every time you walk through a food court. That approach to selling teriyaki chicken isn’t the best approach… it’s actually quite overwhelming to shoppers trying to decide what to eat.
Before starting your own company, consider interning or volunteering with a company to get hands-on experience in selling to customers… you’ll want to take what you’ve learned in business school and combine it with the hands-on experience from an internship and practice before starting your own business.