I never really did well in school. In all honesty, I sucked at school. From an early age, I was extremely bored and did everything possible to get out of going. I always thought it was just me… other kids seemed to like it and do well. I was the odd one. I wasn’t dumb, I actually got good grades (when I showed up). My senior year I had a 3.66 GPA despite being “absent” over half the year. They didn’t like the part about me being absent all the time.
I always thought something was wrong with that. I had better grades than most of the students and spent only half the time there. Sure, if I was there every day I might have made a 4.0, but who cares? Is the difference between a 4.0 and a 3.66 really worth half a year?
You might say I was just lazy. Why spend all your time sitting in class when you can find better things to do? While others were sitting in class, I was learning to design, running a printing press, or something else I thought was interesting.
I didn’t do well in college either. By the time I graduated high school, I was already dabbling in different business ventures. My senior year I took an internship and the only thing that saved me was that my boss (one of the coolest bosses I’ve ever had) made it pretty simple… as long as I did my job and met my deadlines I could come and go as I pleased. No set hours.
I was in heaven. I would work until 3am some nights, and not show up for days. For a Fortune 500 company, this was odd to say the least. I think my boss got a good bit of push back from management when HR noticed my odd time logs. She didn’t care, I was getting the job done. After the internship was over I was offered a full-time job in another department, but it quickly turned downhill. I was expected to be there “8 to 5” and was punching a clock whether there was work to be done or not. I was miserable, and quit to start 2BigFeet.com shortly after that.
I started 2BigFeet and college at roughly the same time. It was obvious which I was more interested in, because I’d excuse myself from class to take calls from vendors or just miss class altogether because I was busy. It didn’t last long, and I left college after just over 2 years. (Side note: 2BigFeet just turned 10 years old in April)
I’ve always thought I was an oddity… I know I’m intelligent but I never quite fit in to the stereotypical mold. Society tells us to do well in school, go to college, and get a “good job.” I always thought that was bullshit… who wants to work for “the man” for 30 years and retire with nothing to show for it?
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that way. I found this Ted talk by Cameron Herald about education and entrepreneurship. I got chills down my spine watching it. It’s nice to know there are others like me out there…
I know I’ll be giving a lot of thought to what I teach my children (now 4 and 6) about business, finances and entrepreneurship. They’re already earning money (I don’t believe in an allowance) and they’re required to save some and give some away. It’ll be interesting to see if they get the E-gene like I did.
If your children don’t fit the stereotypical mold in school, instead of disciplining them or labeling them as “ADHD” why not take a step back and think about how you can nurture their differences?