I recently met a gentleman who was born and grew up in Japan. As an adult, he returned to his original birthplace but was now living in America. He was a successful entrepreneur in his own right as well as being a high-level executive with a multi-million dollar company. He was also highly educated and held a degree from Harvard University. He did not, however, have a college degree himself. In addition, he said he never felt comfortable studying for exams or taking challenging courses. This didn’t stop him from pursuing his goals, however.
In my time travelling, we have met hundreds of different people from various parts of the world. I have found that most people with college degrees are extremely comfortable studying for exams or taking challenging courses. This doesn’t mean they like to code, however. In fact, they may not enjoy doing so. It’s usually only those who never attended college who are the ones who seem to want to cram for their exams rather than take a class that might challenge their abilities or give them a chance to learn more about themselves.
This is a pattern that consistently surfaces in conversations I have with entrepreneurs. Most of these individuals will brag about what they have accomplished while others are less enthusiastic about sharing. This pattern is prevalent in other areas as well. I have heard many business owners say they did not like to talk about sales or marketing. This was a pattern I heard from service providers, sales staff and financial backers too.
What I found interesting was that many of these individuals are extremely secure about their personal achievements. They are also very insecure about their business success. This is a pattern that is prevalent in the larger business communities as well. A lot of people are scared to tell their boss about problems, concerns or challenges. Many of them will hide behind a mask of bravado or they will just not bring it up.
I asked this person if he had a college degree. He replied that there was no reason to go to college. I asked what he liked best about his work. He replied that getting his paycheck every week, making money and spending time with his family was what he enjoyed the most. I asked what he liked least about his work. He replied that he didn’t always like doing some of the more complex tasks. He answered that he had been trained to become a manager by his father, who had been a manager.
This pattern was so interesting that I have found myself repeating it in my conversations with entrepreneurs. This pattern is so fascinating that I have taken the time to go back and re-read several of my posts to remind myself of the patterns, and the importance of observing them. It reminds me that my job is to observe and document the behaviour as it is occurring. It is my job to be aware of the behaviour and to document it so I can share it with other entrepreneurs, and then it is their job to apply what they have been taught, and use what they see to solve their challenges.