Sunday, September 7, 2008

Three Things an Entrepreneur Needs to Thrive in a Mobile World

Will online education create entrepreneurs for America?

Entrepreneur Magazine says that there are six things an entrepreneur needs to make his or her business move. I agree with three of them, and I think that those three speak to the rules that high school students already practice, or are aware of, in this mobile technology world.

They are:

1. Spend money on technology as an investment--not as a cost.
2. Social media is no joke.
3. Mobile technology can boost productivity.

Here's how they play out in a story from Arizona. Almost 27,500 high school students a year use online education, according to the report at

Students are given an opportunity to split up their time and re-organize their schedules into unconventional parcels of productivity. There may be a future for these kids as entrepreneurs. All an entrepreneur needs is technology, a weird schedule and room to grow.

Four years into it, the Tucson Unified School District program has about 600 students signed up for online learning.

Stuart Baker, TUSD's principal of distance learning, said students likely will experience some form of online learning in postsecondary education, so early exposure is helpful.

``Virtual education is the wave of the future. It's exploding everywhere, and it's being looked to as a real way to deliver education quickly and efficiently to kids all over the world,'' he said. ``I don't know what form it will take ultimately, but it's not going away.''

Seventeen-year-old Ronquillo sees no downside to the choice she made in her sophomore year to go wholly online. It allows her to work full time, and while she initially was wary of computers, she now considers herself solidly technologically literate.

Image courtesy of Darton College site

More Arizona Students "Attend" School on the Web

How do these entrepreneurial rules work in high school?

1. Spending money on your education gives you the feeling that you have put time and yourself into something that is going to make you better in the end. That's always a good ROI.

2. Social media, as any high schooler can tell you, teaches you the value of communicating. Without communicating, we can't learn. And business is about learning.

3. If I am mobile, I can work, when I want to, and how I want to. I focus on the things that bring me enjoyment while I do them. If I can do that at my aunt's house, or at three in the morning, while I listen to the Cure, then that's what I am going to do.

The world looks different when you are allowed to work differently.

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