In my humble experience, higher education students in the 21st century are graduating with degrees that provide little to no substance in overcoming barriers, real-life experiences, and no pathway to think beyond remembering a formula. The higher education curriculum is still based on the notion that students should store enough information in their brain in time for the exam and then forget all the info once the semester is over.
That is why the entrepreneurial mindset needs to be introduced to all students in higher education. The entrepreneurial mindset is best defined as the skills that provide a person to overcome and learn from setbacks, look for opportunities, and succeed in any setting. Let me explain three ways instructors can offer an entrepreneurial mindset in the classroom.
Provide real-life examples
In real life, students make decisions daily. However, in the classroom, students may be asked hypothetical questions not related to real-life scenarios. Students will look for the easy way out of the questions or remember enough information to pass the exam.
When I am teaching, I provide students with a real-life scenario, and I ask them to answer with “what would you do in the situation?” For example, if you are the CEO of Amazon, what would you do to ensure that Amazon beats the competition in two-day delivery? Now you have the student thinking of opportunities and how to overcome a potential setback. When you allow students to lead in a scenario, they consciously want to decide because it’s impacting their life.
Provide Solutions, not Answers
At times students want the quick answer to a question and do not struggle with finding the solution. Today’s technology has given anyone access to a phone or computer the ability to find the answer to almost any question. However, instead of answering, as an educator, provide a solution or show students how to find the answer. If an educator answers right away, how is a student supposed to come up with solutions to overcome a setback?
For example, instead of answering a case study question, I provide students with the proper online resources to answer the question. When you provide solutions, you allow students to solve their questions.
Write Down Goals with Plans
In life, there will be setbacks, especially when you plan on achieving a specific goal. When I was pursuing my Ph.D. I had the intent to graduate within three years. I wrote down my goal and made a plan for how to get to the goal. I was close to achieving my goal, but I had to wait another two semesters because my dissertation committee did not pass my dissertation proposal.
Had I not built an entrepreneurial mindset of overcoming a setback and coming up with a new opportunity, I would have been devastated and never earned my Ph.D. Teach students to write down goals with plans because it’s easy to write down a goal, but how will you achieve your goal no matter the circumstances.
An entrepreneurial mindset looks for opportunities, not willing to quit when obstacles happen and succeed in various settings. How will you help students build an entrepreneurial mindset in the classroom?
Connect with me today if you are interested in taking the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile survey or innovator mindset snapshot.
Dr. Jay Fulgencio
Certified Practitioner of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile and Innovator Mindset Certified