One of the buzz words that reverberate across schools in many parts of Indonesia is entrepreneurship. The government is encouraging the school and universities to include entrepreneurial skills in their curricula. One of the prominent businessmen has been propagating the importance of entrepreneurship, saying that it is high time the Indonesian young graduates opened job opportunities for others rather than just relying on employers and big bosses to give them jobs.
Some people may not welcome the idea warmly. They might think that the entrepreneurial skills may not suit every young person. I used to think the same way, until I came across a moment of deep introspection which somehow has changed my mind about entrepreneurship.
I am not an entrepreneur. I am a teacher, and my daily jobs and personal predisposition are probably far from the entrepreneurial fields. But upon rethinking about the whole concept of entrepreneur, I believe it has at least four benefits for the young generation.
First is creativity. Being an entrepreneur calls for creative and innovative ways of thinking. How could one succeed in getting the public attention if he or she only follows what has been very commonplace in the country? Entrepreneurship lessons force the young people to think in a different way, to adopt different viewpoints about certain things that other people have perceived uniformly. Entrepreneurship makes them adopt a lateral thinking, i.e. the thinking of “why not?” in order to turn out unique services or products that people have never known.
Second is grit. This is a short word that means a lot. It is not only about passion, but also about the endurance and this enormous drive and resilience that will help them back on their feet again after facing a loss or failure. Entrepreneurship teaches them how to develop their grit.
Third is patience. Once investing some amount of money and effort in a certain business area, one has to be patient to see the result. Good entrepreneurs always maintain their patience, avoiding impulsive acts, but at the same they also nurture this sense of knowing when is the best moment to take a decisive act.
Fourth is interpersonal skills. This translates into being able to listen to people, being able to persuade them, being able to tackle problems assertively and maintaining good control of emotion while dealing with all kind of pressure.
I believe there are some more values that the spirit of entrepreneur can offer, but as far as I can see, those are the four top reasons why we need to start infusing the spirit of entrepreneurship in the young minds. Upon graduating, some of them may not become entrepreneurs, but at least now they are armed with the skills and mentality of an entrepreneur. They may be engaged in different occupations, but I believe wherever they go and whatever they do, those four aspects will make them capable and reliable individuals.