Luke Johnson’s book, Start It Up: Why running your own business is easier than you think, is recommended reading for all edupreneurs. Johnson’s plainspoken views and insights help me find the courage to move on with our little, Hong Kong learning service company. This book will most definitely be passed on to my fellow directors, starting tomorrow.
Below are a few tidbits, connections and realizations that I found most meaningful. Direct quotes from Johnson are in bold and italics:
- Eduprenuers are in the business of supporting families. There is no getting around this fact. We must embrace it, listen to our clients’ individual needs, and then act.
- Our company will be successful only when we give impeccable service unmatched anywhere else.
- I need to listen to my partners. I need to move even slower.
- “Intellectuals rarely make great leaders” Thankfully, no one will accuse me of being an intellectual!
- Startup entrepreneurs are rarely motivated my money. My sole reason for working on our project is to put good money into outstanding teachers’ pockets.
- Hire nice people. Finding excellent tutors has been the easiest part of the labyrinth of starting a learning service company. I am a firm believer that there are no better people in the world than professional teachers.
- “Everything has to be learned from scratch.” This is so true. I would add that everything takes twice as long to get done, than previously planned. That said; starting a business is not that difficult, in the grand scheme of things.
- …there is no single gene for success… I would add that there is no single gene that makes an effective teacher, either. The parallels between business and teaching are more clear with each passing day.
- Entrepreneurs have a mission and a skill that they have an overwhelming urge to pursue. I can begin to tell you how many hours we have put into this project. Our faith that families will love our service keeps us moving forward. Overwhelming is the perfect adjective in this instance.
- Do not go ahead if your spouse or partner is against it. My wife has been the backbone of our company. My partners’ spouses have been amazingly supportive, as well.
- Entrepreneurship can be a lonely affair, and that is one reason that I work with partners my entire business career. The smartest move that I made was to go into this venture with fellow directors. I will not make as much money, perhaps, but it is entirely more fun when we make moves together.
I highly urge all fellow teachers looking to start their own business to read this book.
Johnson, L. (2011). Start it up: Why running your own business is easier than you think. London: Penguin.
The author is a founding director of www.Gobelearning.com Gobe Learning is a Limited Company based in Hong Kong.
- Luke Johnson: The public view of entrepreneurs needs to change (standard.co.uk)
- The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den bad for business, says ex-Pizza Express man (standard.co.uk)
- 6 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Always Do (forbes.com)
- What makes entrepreneurs succeed? (profitableandmoral.com)