Tired of Entrepreneurs Hating on Educators

When I went to school, they weren’t encouraging us to learn about entrepreneurship. They almost made it sound like it was something dirty that we shouldn’t be covering. You guys might have heard me talk to other entrepreneurs who started out selling candy in school and got shut down. Or they started out selling toys in school and they got shut down.

I’ve bitched about this, frankly, for a while in interviews with people who came on to talk about much bigger topics–with guests whose companies were sold for hundreds of millions of dollars and I start off by asking them about selling candy in school and discovering how they got shut down. It’s one of my pet peeves. That’s why I bring it up.

The guest you’re meeting today has been listening and she must have gotten frustrated because on February 25th she shot me an email with a headline that said “Tired of Entrepreneurs Hating on Educators.”

She said, “Look, I want to know what you guys are so upset about. What’s going on with the school system that you don’t like?” So, today’s guest is Katherine Roan. She is a Math and Science teacher in Melbourne, Australia.

She’s basically told me that I’ve been a little bit too harsh. I don’t think I have, but I’m willing to be open to that thought. I invited her here to talk about the issue.

Katherine Roan

Katherine Roan


Katherine Roan is a Math and Science teacher in Melbourne, Australia.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.cold–.cold? Yeah. I am still recovering from a cold. Apparently it’s still on my mind. But I am still here, still standing or sitting, still recording these interviews because I believe in the mission of Mixergy. The mission of Mixergy is to bring proven entrepreneurs on here to have them tell their stories so that we, all of us, all entrepreneurs can learn from them and build our businesses.

Part of the reason why I do that is because I know that when I went to school, they weren’t encouraging us to learn about entrepreneurship. They weren’t pushing it. They almost made it sound like it was something dirty that we shouldn’t be covering. You guys might have heard me talk about this in the past, where I’ve talked to other entrepreneurs who started out selling candy in school and they got shut down. They started out selling toys in school and the got shut down.

Anyway, I’ve bitched about this, frankly, for a while in interviews about people who came on to talk about much bigger topics, companies that were sold for hundreds of millions of dollars and I start off by asking them about selling candy in school and discovering how they got shut down. But it’s one of my pet peeves. It’s one of my pet issues. That’s why I bring it up.

As I’ve been talking about this, this woman who you’re meeting today has been listening and she must have gotten frustrated because on February 25th, 2015, she shot me an email with a headline that said “Tired of Entrepreneurs Hating on Educators.” You recognize that headline, Katherine?

Katherine: Yeah. I certainly do.

Andrew: Yeah. She made a point. She said, “Look, I want to know what you guys are so upset about. What’s going on with the school system that you don’t like?” You basically said that we were being a little bit too harsh. I don’t think I am, but I’m willing to be open to that thought. So, that’s why I invited you on here.

Frankly, when I invited you, Katherine Roan, here to do this interview, I didn’t think you’d say yes. I was so excited and surprised that you did say yes, that you were willing to come on here. I want to talk about the issue as I see it. I don’t want to attack you. I don’t want to attack the school system. I do want to bring up an issue as I see it. And I want to hear what you think about it.

Katherine, for all of you who are listening, is Katherine Roan. She is a teacher who teaches math and science to 13 to 17-year old students in Melbourne, Australia. Frankly, Katherine, I was kind of hoping you were in the US. I was hoping you were in New York because I could relate much more to that. But I think it’s good that you’re not here in the US so we can talk more globally and not have this narrow view of Andrew’s experience or American experience. I want us to talk about the experience of students everywhere.

This interview is sponsored by two companies that have no idea they’re about to pay for this kind of interview. They want to sponsor interviews with top entrepreneurs. Instead, they’re going to get a discussion about entrepreneurship from within the educational system. They’re great companies. I’ll tell you more about them later. For now, I’ll tell you if you want a hosting company, HostGator is your bet. If you need to hire a developer, go check out Toptal. I’ll tell you more about them later.

Katherine, welcome.

Katherine: Thank you again, Andrew, so much for having me on your show. I’ve been listening for ages. As you said, I’ve been hearing you bitch and moan about how the education system isn’t supporting entrepreneurship. To a certain degree, I definitely agree. I do see a push from it now, even globally that people are recognizing the fact that we need foster these skills in schools. But then I guess the question is: How do we do that, especially when we don’t have the expertise or we haven’t gone through that entrepreneurial–

Andrew: You mean the teachers haven’t.

Katherine: The teachers haven’t. I guess the question is in talking to you, I want to identify how we can support these students in terms of the skills they need, the mindset they would need to actually pursue something like that and say its’ possible to pursue something that’s outside of going to straight to uni and getting that degree of medicine or whatever it is that these kids have been drummed into their heads from when they were younger. I guess that was the purpose of me coming online to talk with you.

Andrew: Okay. Here’s where my frustration comes from. I actually did a little bit of research here on my own interviews to see where I got really heated. I came up with a few. Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee, you know the coffee that has a little bit of butter in it that everyone loves, I do too.

I interviewed him and he says that–here’s a quote from the interview. “I realized there was demand at certain times of the day for candy bars. So, I went to Costco and I bought cases and cases of candy. I did a little bit of analysis to figure out which were the most popular ones–hint, they’re the fattiest ones–Mounds and peanut butter cups were the top two, followed by Snickers. Then I just carried those around.”

“And I found out that I was making $60 a day in my high school, which at the time with minimum wage being, whatever, $3, I was making more than I could have made working a full day by just carrying a case of candy around with me. I did it for an entire year to the point that I had more money than I knew what to do with. Eventually along the way I used some cool psychology…” He keeps going with this story about how he ended up buying a $1,000 bicycle with the money he raised before he got shut down.

Look at the excitement. Years later, the guy’s got a successful business, a few of them and he’s still remembering fondly how he sold candy. He still remembers–he may not have the numbers exactly right, but he still remembers the $60 a day. There’s something very exciting about that. There’s something that just takes off when you do that.

I remember the first book I read that made me love reading for the sake of reading. You don’t forget that because it changes your life. You don’t forget these early entrepreneurial experiences. When I express an interest in reading, the school system supported me. The library had all these little reading contests that I could be a part of that would keep encouraging me to do it. When Dave wanted to sell his candy, the school shut him down.

Here’s another guy, Jeffrey Fluhr, the guy who founded StubHub, sold it to eBay. I won’t get into the whole thing. I won’t do a whole reading. But for him, he sold something called Snapazoo, a toy that he couldn’t find anywhere except in airports. He’s so proud even years later about how he called up the distributor–can you imagine a little kid, “Hi, my name is Jeff?” That’s the way I picture it.

That guts to have to talk to someone like that and to hear on the other end an adult talk to you like an adult and sell you something that you can then resell. That’s a rush and that’s a confidence booster that people remember for the rest of their lives. That’s why these entrepreneurs remember it when I interview them.

I’ll do two more–Ryan Westberg of Serengetee, the t-shirt company that has a little pocket that’s a different color, different shape, different pattern because that’s what they do to stand out. He also donates some of his money to good causes. I asked him what he sold as a kid. Here’s how he described it. “Black market operation in middle school–I was the guy to go to for selling candy.” So, it’s interesting that he even considered it a black market.

I’ll do one last one, Josh Turner, LinkedSelling, an interviewee on Mixergy, he has an agency that helps people find customers through LinkedIn. He tried selling candy. He was shut down. “Honestly, though, when I was seventh grade selling candy in between classes I didn’t have it in my mind that someday I would start a business, but I knew I wanted to make money.”

There’s something exciting about the idea of making money for the sake of making money, which is also one of my frustrations with what we’re doing today. As a society, we send kids out to sell candy in a very structured way with all the money going to charity, which I think is a mistake, a big mistake.

Katherine: Okay.

Andrew: These are the times when I got frustrated. When you hear me get frustrated with that, what are you thinking? Are you thinking, “Andrew’s going too far with this?” What are you thinking?

Katherine: It’s funny that you give some of those examples because I can look back at examples in my primary school where kids were selling things and I’d go, “That’s great,” and I would buy from them and they got shut down and I could never figure out why. To me, having that first experience as a negative experience, even though it wasn’t my personal experience, it sort of put me off. Even if I wanted to do something like that, I’d never be able to do it.

Andrew: Because someone else got shut down.

Katherine: Right.

Andrew: I didn’t think of that.

Katherine: It seemed like the system didn’t support me. Okay. Great. I guess if we fast-forward a little while, as we were saying earlier in the pre-interview, those decisions, you need to shut those kids down comes from the top.

Andrew: You’re saying it’s not a teacher like you saying, “I see this kid selling candy. I can’t wait to crush him.”

Katherine: No. Oh my god. If I was to see that now, I would actually smile because I thought, “Look at this kid go.” He or she is taking it on himself or herself to go actually go and pursue something they want to do and see if it’s going to work. That’s what school is supposed to be. We’re supposed to be able to support students in whatever it is they want to do and have some support structure to be able to do that.

Now, as a school, we’re not used to doing that. When it comes to money, it seems to get sticky. There seems to be a negative implication of if you were to sell something within school. So, I went and I spoke to some principles and I said, “What’s the problem?” I was fighting for you. I was fighting for those kids.

They were saying, “It’s not a good idea. What about the implications in terms of the legal implications of parents coming in and saying your son sold me that but it was on school premises and we’re going to sue you.” So, they were worried about things like that. They were worried about things like bullying where students will realize, “Okay, he’s making all the money. I can maybe just steal his candy or steal his toy and maybe I can make a profit for myself.” Then you get the stand over tactics where it’s like, “You’ve got a lot of money now. Here’s lunch time. I want my lunch money.”

They were a little bit scared about that. Upon reflection, I even had an interview with my principal and I actually threw out the idea. I said, “What do you feel about entrepreneurship in schools? How do you think that would work?” He said, “No, no, no. We don’t want to kids to start selling anything. No. We don’t want the money involved.”

It seems like it’s the money part, where you’re so passionate about it saying don’t give it to charity, make it the point is the students earn and it shows what you’re doing is working, keep going or maybe we need to pivot. But as soon as the money issue comes into play, that’s when it gets sticky.

Andrew: I think that’s a problem. I think that is a psychology that permeates the whole education system. As a result, I end up talking to people who do not know the difference between a profit and revenue. Profit, sales, revenue all those three words sound like they’re either the same or completely different and they don’t know the connection.

We will teach math when it relates to the Pythagorean theorem. We will teach math when it relates to complicated math equations that we’ll never use again. But if it comes to even teaching math–forget about putting dollars into kids’ pockets–we can address the bullying issue in a minute and the theft and legality of it in a moment–but if you just say, “Here is the same math problem. We’re going to change the numbers into dollars.” That already puts off the school system.

That already seems to say, “We are now touching something dirty and profane and we might as well have naked people holding up the triangles in school if we’re going to go to that direction, right?” It’s something about money that just scares them off and that’s a problem. That’s why you end up with kids who are scared of money when they’re adults. Have no idea what they’re doing when they borrow money on credit cards or otherwise and have no sense of the difference, for example, between a $30 stock and a $100 stock.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to grown people who will say, “How can that company be $30 when this other one over here is a $100 stock and the $30 stock is a bigger company? It’s a better company. The market doesn’t know what it’s doing.” They have no sense of number of shares influencing the overall market cap or what market cap means. It’s because it’s not being taught in school. To me, this is the real problem. It’s not bullying. We can address that. I will in a second. It’s not taking someone’s lunch money.

The real problem is that the schools system is afraid of money. It’s dirty to them. As long as they have this fear and that it’s inappropriate, kids are going to leave the school system with that. Kids are going to leave the schools system worried they shouldn’t be talking about money, that if they love something they shouldn’t sell it because it corrupts it, that sense of corruption.

Katherine: Yeah. I agree with that. As I said to you, I like to put my money where my mouth is. My brother is just out of high school. So, he’s 13. I thought what a better social experiment than to do it on my brother.

Andrew: What are you going to do with your brother?

Katherine: We’ve already done it. He started up his own little business. He realized the school that he’s in. They use Macs. Have you seen the Mac stickers recently where the stickers coincide with the Apple sign.

Andrew: Oh no. I’ve seen them on one of the Apple presentations where they give you new Mac stickers that look different.

Katherine: Yeah. They might be a running man or a mouth looking like it holds the apple. It’s something fun. I said, “How about you sell that to school?” He was a little bit hesitant to start off with and said, “I don’t know…” He made it a business and he’s made some profit.

We went through the whole process of writing down what you bought it for and what percentage profit you’re looking for, how you’re going to market. He thought it was so exciting. For myself as his sister, I was like, “Yeah, you go for it.” Even in the back of my head, I’m thinking, “If I was a teacher at this school, I think I would shut this down.”

I even said to him–he had the fear of, “I better not make it too obvious at school because I think the teachers will yell at me and I think I’ll get in trouble.” My sisters felt the same thing. I’ve got two other sisters too who have both finished school now. They said, “You better be careful. You’re going to get in trouble.”

Andrew: Right.

Katherine: Everyone has that connotation. Everyone has that belief that if it was something that was sold at school purely for profit, even though the kid is going out of his way to go and buy it, to go and deliver it, to go and put it on their laptops. These ideas are ideas that he came up with himself, the fact that it’s a profitable business in school for students, that scares everybody.

So, I’m thinking if you were to say all those examples you gave for yourself–you’re at school. You found a little niche. You found the toys. You found the candy. You’re like, “Great, no worries. I’ll get myself that $1,000 bike afterwards.” If we think about who calls the shots on your side, how do you think your parents would have felt if the teachers at school were saying, “Go for it, Andrew.”

Andrew: My parents would have been excited about that. My parents would have been totally supportive. They were totally supportive. As I went through my old transcripts, I can see that Ryan Westberg, his dad took him to Costco to buy those things. I think it was Jeff Fluhr from StubHub whose mom helped him understand where he could go find these Snapazoo toys. I think there are a lot of parents who are still supportive and that’s another problem we have.

We have really entrepreneurial parents like mine who see entrepreneurship as this thing that just exists and they either want to pass it on to their kids or they see it as natural as breathing. So, they’re naturally going to pass it on their kids. Then you see others that aren’t exposed to it. There’s a big difference in the way they both end up treating money. The problem is if the school doesn’t do it, then you’re only going to have the people who have this externally from their parents who are benefitting from it.

Now, this thing that you’re talking about how your brother wants to sell or did sell those stickers and the sense of shame, the sense of doing something wrong, that starts out in school and then it ends up translating into an adult who has a new business who wants to call on a customer and is now a little afraid because you shouldn’t be calling on customers. That was a feeling of a sense of dread about calling someone instead of feeling the opposite. Imagine if a kid from the beginning is supported and told, “Yes, you absolutely should sell this. I can’t believe how much money you made. Let’s talk about how to save it and spend it properly. That’s all part of the conversation.”

Imagine if you take someone and you treat him that way or you encourage her to understand what entrepreneurship is. Then you end up with someone who sees positive connections with selling, how says, “I have this idea. I can’t wait to pick up the phone and talk to someone about it.”

Just like a musician who knows they’ve got a good voice and can’t wait to stand up in front of an audience and sing because they know they’re going to get applause, a sales person who knows how fun selling can be is excited about the potential of applause on the other end of the phone is excited when someone sees this new product they have to sell. That’s the difference. We need to do that. We’re encouraging kids to sing. We’re encouraging them to make art. Those things are fine.

We should also be encouraging them to express their entrepreneurship. When they want to be deejays, when they want to be musicians and rock stars and hip-hop artists, they do it because they’ve been clapped for years doing it in front of school. If we encourage the same thing while kids are in school, they’re going to want to grow up and pick up those phones and make calls. They’re going to want to put themselves out there in business.

Let me talk about why not charity.

Katherine: Okay.

Andrew: That sounds really harsh. I actually remember running on vacation, this little town that Olivia’s family, my wife’s family goes to every year. I’m running along the beach and I see these kids with a lemonade stand. I was so excited. I stopped my run and I bought some lemonade. It was helpful.

I thought this was going to pick me up for the run, not just the liquid I just drank that was going to refresh me, but the idea that these little girls are now selling lemonade like in the old days. I thanked them and I thanked the mother and the mother says, “It’s going to charity,” almost like to excuse this whole thing. “Don’t worry, we’re not just trying to rip you off with this lemonade.”

And the reason that I have a problem with it going to charity is that I think that kids need to see the fruit of the work. In fact, let me come back to it in a moment. First, I should say a word about my sponsor.

My sponsor is Toptal. If you need to hire a developer, you want someone who’s sharp, who’s been thinking about code for years the way that you and I, if you’re listening to me, have been thinking about problems in business, how do you get another customer? How do you hire better? How do you get promotion? All this stuff is what we think of as entrepreneurs and we can’t stop thinking about at night, which is why our ideas are more creative, because it’s nonstop.

What you’re looking for is a developer who thinks that way about code, who thinks that way about problems in engineering. The reason you want that is they’re going to be able to, having worked in it for years, come up with solutions you never could have. We are going way too far, I think, when we’re hiring, in the world of these quick freelancers who just to exactly we tell them. Those are great. We need them. We’ll never stop needing them.

But when you really want someone who can think, who can change the course of your business, who can help you solve problems that you have in a way that you never could have anticipated, help you think about your business differently, work on your problems harder than you even could, when you want those top of the top people.

The only way up until recently to get them is to have a friend who was that good or have a friend who could introduce you to someone or do what my friend did, poach his friend’s company and now they’re no longer friends anymore because he went and he hired away from his friend. Or you pay a recruiter. We’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars. All those were the old ways.

We’re talking about the new way. It’s called Toptal. They have a network of these developers. 97% of the people who want to be part of this network of developers have been turned away and now have a little bit of resentment, I think, towards Toptal, but that’s okay because Toptal only wants the best of the best. That’s what they have, a network of the best of the best developers.

If you need a developer, you contact them. You let them know what kind of developer you want. They hook you up. If you’re happy, you could get started within days. I’ll stop talking after I say this. To go get your developer, go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. When you do, they’ll give you 80 free developer hours when you pay for 80.

So, why not charity? The fact that you say to someone work hard and you have to give the whole thing away to charity almost is saying everything you’re doing, all that hard work, the only way you can clean yourself off is by giving it away to charity. That’s what that mother was kind of doing. She was kind of apologizing, “I’m sorry my kids are actually selling in front of my house. It’s not that we need the money. I swear my husband and I can actually provide for our family.”

It’s much better if you let the kids actually get to enjoy the money. Let them go and spend it on something stupid. Make your stupid spending mistakes when you’re a kid so you can realize, “This money is going to disappear if I buy something stupid.” It’s also kind of fun to build up some money, to see what you could do with it, even if it’s only in your mind when you start to dream of the cars you could buy, the new business you could buy.

I remember making enough money in high school where I had $20,000 in the bank and then I start reading all these real estate books about how you can buy real estate no money down or buy it low money down. Then I started looking at real estate. I’d just pick up the paper, see what was available and knock on doors and take a look at it and person. No one took me seriously. So, I didn’t get very far with it. But the imagination, the ability to think that, “This is a world that’s accessible to me,” it’s priceless.

That’s why we shouldn’t do charity. My vision is–and I wonder if anyone out there is listening to me who thinks this way too–my vision is imagine if you have entrepreneurs go into schools to help teach this stuff because this is the issue that you brought up, Katherine, that you don’t want to teach this stuff on your own.

An entrepreneur should have a place to go and remember what was so exciting about entrepreneurship back when it was in the Play-doh stage, when it was just fun, when it wasn’t about making a mortgage or live or die with your company, go in and teach it to kids who are much younger and then let them sell stuff, sell candy, sell something and tell them to keep 100% of the money.

Then talk about what happens with that money. What do we do with it? Do we put it all in a bank account? Do we open up our first bank account? I think for a lot of kids, opening up their first bank account would be pretty freaking exciting? Do we give some of it away?

At that point, it’s much more interesting to talk about. And then how does this translate into something bigger? How much bigger could we make it? What would happen if we got it as big as, say, if we’re talking about candy, what would happen if we would discover the guy Hershey, behind the Hershey bar, what did he do with his money, how did he change lives? There’s so much to open up in that.

That’s the vision I have. I wonder if there’s anyone out there who’s frustrated with their school who’s willing to make a stand and try to take this approach.

What did you think now that I’ve been on my soapbox for a while? I’ll hit the cough button so you can talk.

Katherine: No, you’re okay. I love that you’re so passionate about it because it reminds me and I guess it consolidates why I’m doing this and why I’m reaching out to you and I why I want to make this move of this sort of skill set, I guess, into a school. It seems like the perfect place to do it.

So, before I forget, when you were talking about Toptal, I did contact your contact in Toptal and the funniest thing was he said to me, “Love your idea,” that sort of stuff. “You know what the funniest thing is? I feel that I’ve succeeded in my industry in spite of school.”

Andrew: In spite of what?

Katherine: In spite of the education system, in spite of school. From what I can feel like he was saying was that the teachers are like, “No, what you’re trying to do is not great. I’m not going to support that because it’s not mainstream.” It seemed like he was like, “Yeah and I did it.” That’s not what school is about.

School is about supporting the students no matter what they do, whether that is pursuing entrepreneurship, pursuing a mainstream job after university, whatever that may be at the end of the day. I thought that was very interesting that even someone like the guy at Toptal is saying, “I see there was a problem. The reason why I’m here was because I wanted to show them as an in your face that actually I can make it.”

So, when you were talking about charities, I can see that happening so much. I definitely agree. Anything that we do anything at school to raise money, the only way we’re allowed to raise money is to raise money for something.

Andrew: Right.

Katherine: It’s never to raise money for your group, for your business. It’s always the idea is we’re going to startup a small business, but you will be donating it to whatever charity you choose. You have to meet that requirement to sell in the school.

Andrew: Imagine if they said that to the music class–you can play any instrument you want, but you can’t listen to it at all. You can’t enjoy it. You have to put earplugs in your ears and only play the music for other people. There’s something in that feedback mechanism of listening to your own music that makes your music better.

There’s something in the acceptance that you should be able to enjoy your music that makes you appreciate the process of making it better. They do that only when it comes to entrepreneurship. They would never say to a writing class, “Hey, everyone, you can write, but you can’t show it to anyone in here. You have to give it away to a charity. Don’t worry, they’ll send you a form letter thank you note.” It just shouldn’t be that way.

It’s not like they don’t even give you the fruits of the labor, right? They give you a junkie bike that you never wanted. Your parents could have gotten you a better bike for a lot less work than that, right? Or they give you some junkie toy that you don’t need at that age. That’s the way they want you to see the world. “Don’t worry. You do the hard work. Someone else will keep the money. You’re going to get handed whatever little toys we deem are right for you.” That is not the way we should be doing it.

I would like to see it–I would like somebody in the audience to go and do this and I’d be happy to help support it. It doesn’t have to be candy. I can see schools might have a point with candy. Maybe candy isn’t healthy. Frankly, candy is not healthy. Stickers, that you had as an idea–fantastic.

There’s something out there that we can never think of. I could never have come up with the idea of stickers from the Apple box to be sold. I’d like to see them sell it and keep that money for themselves. When they get resistance for their teachers, here’s the thing that’s interesting about entrepreneurship, when they teach us politics, they teach us all about arguments. They always lionize the person who was put down by some system and often really shouldn’t have put down, who stands up and fights and often is a really heroic person for fighting.

What it teaches us is when you are finally pushed back up against the wall, you have got to fight. Here’s the thing about entrepreneurship. It teaches you in those times when you’re pushed up against the way, not to fight necessarily, but sometimes to go and negotiate. Go in there and charm. So, an entrepreneur wouldn’t act like a rebel leader or wouldn’t act like a resistance fighter and go into the school and say, “I’m not leaving this until you do right. Here’s what Andrew Warner said. You have to let us do this.”

You’d say, “Here’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to hurt your whole school system, I’m trying to build something out of myself. You’re here because this is your goal too. You didn’t take up this job because it was the easiest job on the planet. You could have swept floors probably and make more money.”

“Who knows? You’re here to help people like me. Here’s what I’m trying to do. Let’s find a way to do this so that it doesn’t have to be an underground system here.” Maybe even bring me on the call. I’d be happy to do it. But find some clever solution where you’re negotiating with them. I’d love to see that happen.

Katherine: I really think that as you keep saying, money is that thing that’s just dirty. You bring the money into it and then the kid gets to keep it, you mean that they’re not helping a charity? They’re actually keeping it for themselves? That’s ridiculous. Even if a student was to come up to me–and I will admit that I would have my reservations because I would be scared for the student as to what would happen from the school perspective, from the leaders who actually make those decisions where we have to shut this operation down because god knows why. They have their reasons.

I know that there are some programs in Melbourne at the moment, something called the $20 Boss, for example. They’ll give students or groups $20 and they come up with their own business plan. You make some money. Depending on whatever it is, we’ve had things like working with canteens to selling and growing things from the vegetable garden. But again, you look back, okay, this group and that group has made all this money, now where’s it gone? It’s gone to this charity. Still the same result.

Andrew: I’m looking up $20 Boss, but if it ends up with everything going back to some charity, it’s a no-go for me.

Katherine: There are some. I guess that’s upon the students to actually make that decision. But I guess we’ve primed that, we’ve nudged that for so long that you can’t keep the money for yourself to keep going and reinvesting. Rather, you need to make some sort of social change by donating that money to a charity or something that’s more worthwhile than giving it to you so you can have a personal gain. That’s something that’s embedded in our psyche, embedded not only as teachers, but even in the students. We bring them up and we say, “Money, bad, money, bad, money, bad.”

Andrew: Right.

Katherine: Money is bad. Money is bad. So, even if someone like myself, who, say for example listens to your podcasts or listens to other podcasts where entrepreneurial people and minds really flourish, I think, “Why can’t I push that in my own students?”

Andrew: Why can’t you tell them stories of entrepreneurship?

Katherine: Yeah. I can tell them stories, but why can’t we live it ourselves and see what the fruits of your labor could be if you were to go through the experience. If you love it, great. If you don’t love it, at least we tried. How do I go about supporting these kids? I’m not in the space like you are. I haven’t gone through those.

I guess I was shot down so early, not from my own personal experience, but seeing other people being shut down, I’ve never even pursued something like that. I don’t want to be one of those people who outside of the field saying, “I have the solutions to your problem because I listen to these people and I know best,” right? I don’t know what it feels like to have gone through that process.

So, I guess what we would need as teachers is for someone to actually go these are the sorts of skills that now that I’m out of the system and I’ve succeeded or haven’t succeeded regardless, these are the sorts of things I wish I had in school. I wish my teachers helped support these skills in me, develop these skills so I can get a head start in a safe environment, in a supportive environment, right? I wish I didn’t have to do it on my own when I left.

I guess that’s the reason why came on. I want to know what it is that you wish or your community wished you had that I can actually bring in to my classroom and convince other teachers to do the same because you’re right. Listening to what you were saying, making those analogies with all of the different subjects, it’s like you do whatever you want because it’s got something to do with money, but we’re going to give it away anyway.

The skills that I see that entrepreneurs have are fundamental skills, fundamental skills that–I know this is going to sound bad coming from a teacher–but transcend all of the topics that I teach, all of the little algebra and Pythagorean theorem and all of these things, I just feel like sometimes I feel stuck because I can see what’s happening out there and see where it’s going, but I don’t feel like I’m constructing to that in any way. I’m teaching these students that will look back on school going, I had a lot of fun with my friends. I did get to do some subjects that I liked, but none of that stuff is actually relevant.

I know that students ask me all the time, “When am I ever going to use this?” We have to come up with those answers to say, “When you are doing at this micro-moment in time,” again, pushing them into those streams where it’s like, “This is what you’re going to go to university for and these are the slots that you can slot in. I’m not even thinking about, “Actually, what if you were left of center. What if you wanted to pursue something on your own?” I feel like to me that’s what’s missing.

Andrew: I think there’s a lot to unpack in that. When you’re asking what’s the most needed–what did we wish we had as entrepreneurs in school? The number one thing I think I wish we had is just encouragement. It’s so hard to imagine there’s incredible discouragement about this, that you’re supposed to wait until you’re later in life to start a business.

You’re supposed to wait until you’re later in life to do all these things that are really fun. You’re discouraged along the way from doing it, like these guys who were shut down when they were trying to sell candy. So, if there’s someone out there who’s trying to do this encouragement is by far the best thing you can give them.

The next thing you were asking is I feel like you’re trying to find a way to involve business education within a classroom.

Katherine: Right.

Andrew: I don’t think that it’s easy for you to do it on your own. I don’t think that would make sense. I think we need to find ways for you to do it. That would mean I would love it if there was part of the curriculum understanding finance 101, like here’s what sales or revenues are and they’re the exact same thing, but once you take these expenses away, you end up with profit. This is what that means.

Here is how to–even like how to calculate a bond payment is so much easier than people imagine, how to calculate the value of a stock or how to understand is so much easier than people imagine. That, though, I think we need a textbook, even a light textbook and some support for. I wonder if there’s one already out there.

If there is, you have an agenda with your class already, right? Can you say, “I’m going to teach you guys a little bit about business. You can now tell me how to help your lives. I don’t have to persuade you. You can see how it would help your lives.” Would you even have time to do that?

Katherine: Do we have time according to the curriculum that we have been set? No. But I like to think about what can I do that I’m in control of. I don’t set the whole curriculum throughout our national curriculum, no. But I do set what I do in my class. If I feel like something as important as this is something that I need to pursue, I’m more than willing to wear it should there be some sort of consequence.

I’ve done that sort of thing before, where I ask for forgiveness and not for permission. I know what will happen if I ask for permission. I will get shut down and I will be watched. I know that if this is what toy feel, the community feels that these are the sorts of things that need to be in school, I’m more than happy to do it, even if it means I’m behind.

I know whatever skill that is I’m trying to support, that’s going to make sense to them in the future. And if that makes sense to them, they will connect with whatever it is that we’re doing in class much, much more than just saying, “Today’s topic is algebra. What’s A? What’s B? What’s Z?” So, we do have that power.

But as you were saying before, with entrepreneurs coming in to teach the schools, that would be great, wouldn’t it, to have someone who’s done it before go back and go, “These are the sorts of things we know we need to have now. If I structure it this way, then the students would feel…” That’s something that I can’t support my kids with. I don’t have those skills. I don’t have that experience. What we can do is I guess we can work together to actually form some sort of program or curriculum. There are business subjects in schools. There are business subjects.

Andrew: What subjects do you guys have in your school? I’ve been looking online trying to see if there are any business classes that high school students in the US take. I don’t see them. I see foundations of English. I see Gothic literature, creative writing, public speaking, journalism, American literature, honors American literature, I see literature analysis and composition. Let’s go into math–pre-algebra, algebra, geometry. I don’t see anything that’s business related, at least in the schools I saw here in the US. What do you see?

Katherine: We have subjects like accounting.

Andrew: For high school kids? Okay.

Katherine: Yeah, for high school kids.

Andrew: What else?

Katherine: Small business. The funny thing about that is we’ve got I guess sort of two streams, one’s mainstream where it’s targeted, I guess, at the students who want to go to university to pursue those mainstream careers. Then we’ve got other programs where the students are a little bit more hands on, more left of center. That’s where small business fits into play.

So, they talk about business and about profit and about those words, but from our school, I’m not too sure how far they go in terms of, “Now you’ve got that. Let’s set something up. Let’s be entrepreneurs about it. Let’s sell something and see how that works. Let’s see the fruits of our labor. Now that we know about the theory, let’s go into practice.” So, we do have subjects like that.

Again, I know when I was at school when we had small business as an elective, one of the assessments is you start a business, see how much you make in a business, but again, that money doesn’t stay with the students. That money gets sent back to charity, as you said. I know that’s a pet peeve.

When you first said this, I thought, “This guy must be a prick. He doesn’t want to help charities.” But you were explaining it to me, I thought, “That makes more sense,” because you’re saying no matter what you do, it’s for somebody else. It’s never for you. I guess that’s the wrong message, isn’t it?

Andrew: I think so. I think there’s a lot of satisfaction to seeing that money come in. I would like to see them taught that there’s an option to give to charity and encouraged and I think if they take out of their own personal pockets and give to a nonprofit, they’re going to get a lot more ownership over that decision. When I sold candy in school as part of the school system, I don’t even know what organization got to keep my money. Did it go to the school to help with school maintenance? Did it go to some nonprofit that someone in the school system supported? I have no idea.

But imagine if they put it in my pocket and then they had to tell me, “If you give, there’s something about giving that makes you feel like you can always earn so much more. It’s a very powerful feeling. Let’s experiment with it.” When you give, you also get to have more impact than just getting another treat in your belly when you go and buy something with the money that you made. Those persuasive arguments will get kids to donate money.

Let me do this, talk about my second sponsor and then at some point, I’d like to open up these packages in our interview because I never open up packages. They keep building up unless it’s in an interview, which kind of pushes me to do it.

So, first the sponsor–the sponsor is a little company called HostGator. I say little company, but in reality they’re huge. I’ve had emails from people who have heard me talk about HostGator and say, “What about this other company? I’ve heard they’re better.” I say, “Look it up. HostGator is owned by them or owns them.” We’re talking about a company that’s way bigger than you realize. That’s why they can afford to give you guys incredible customer support.

When you have an issue with HostGator, you’re not talking with some mom and pop hosting company that is bothered by you calling them. When you have an issue with HostGator, you get to talk to somebody who’s there, who understands, who wants to help you and who will stay on the phone with you and support your problem so that your website is up and your business gets to continue to run. If anyone is looking at that camera, the camera froze. Katherine, we’ll bring you up in a moment.

So, if you have an idea and you haven’t yet started a business and you’ve heard me talk about students needing to start a business, I’m going to tell you, you should start some kind of web business right now. Don’t overthink it. Start it as simply as you can and you’ll learn by doing. The fact is once you get your first domain, once you have it and you can start messing with it by putting a different theme on it, by putting a different product to sell, by trying different things to see if you can get traffic, you’re going to slowly start to get entrepreneurship feet underneath you.

So, if you haven’t started a company yet, do it. Go to HostGator.com/Mixergy. They’ll give you 30% off so you can get started. If you already have a company up and your website is running–I know that’s a majority of people by far, the majority of people that are listening to Mixergy interviews.

My suggestion to you is if you’re not happy with your hosting company or if you’re not happy with how much they charge, go to HostGator.com/Mixergy and just switch. HostGator will treat you right, keep your website up and give you a phone number so you can contact them if you ever have any issues.

Before the commercial break, you were asking me–you were saying where do you get started with schools. My sense is that there’s something missing in the way that entrepreneurship is taught or expressed right now in school. I don’t want to say, “Here’s the ultimate answer,” because I’m not in high school.”

I’d like it to be you asking high school students, “What do you think is missing? What are you trying to do in entrepreneurship? What do you wish existed for you right now? Is there something you want to sell right now? Have you had ideas for business you want to start? What do you guys want to do? What do you want to understand? And then what’s stopping you? What’s holding you back? Is it that you have an idea but you’re being told by your teachers you can’t sell? Is it that you don’t have enough time? Who knows?”

But if we find out what they really want to do and what’s stopping them, then we have a to-do list that really matters.

Katherine: Okay. I’ve got a couple of comments to make on that. I tried that. I had a group of [inaudible 00:43:59] students where all they could talk about was business and making money. I thought, “Beautiful. Perfect. Perfect place to be able to start.” We started easy. I got the template off $100 Startup. We were going to follow that because it was a little bit more structured. We think about ideas and we go through the process.

However, what I saw was they dropped off quite early. Now, I don’t know if that was… It was a little bit foreign to them to think they could actually pursue something. We’re talking about everything.

There was a student who dabbled in about skin care for males. He had so much information. I thought, “Why don’t we turn this into something? Why don’t we setup a channel and then we can have sponsors. You can use all these products and you can review.” He was really, really excited for a little while and then it sort of died off because he thought, “Why would I do that? I’m in school.”

I had other students where his dad owned a phone shop. I said, “How about we branch out from that business?” He said, “My dad could be doing this, this and this and he’d sell much better.” I thought, “Let’s go with that. Let’s run with that. Why don’t we talk about it.” He was passionate, but it sort of fell through the cracks because I don’t think he thought I was serious. I don’t think the students thought I was serious. Maybe it seemed like another gimmick of, “This is so can get your attention so we can do real work.”

Andrew: Ah, yeah.

Katherine: So, you’re saying ask the students. I love doing that. We get the first ideas. I must admit I learn more form the students than they learn from me. I get the best ideas from them. There was recently a couple of years ago some high school students in Sydney who felt, “I have a burning passion for entrepreneurship, but why isn’t it taught in schools? Why isn’t it taught in the school system?”

I know things for example in America, Tim Draper, has Draper University, where he takes university kids and they go through the whole process and it’s beautiful. There’s the African leadership program where they have that age group. What about the high schools? The universities are coming out with so many courses for entrepreneurship. They’re trying to–

Andrew: Finally, they really are.

Katherine: They’re trying to bombard the students with, “Masters of entrepreneurship, you’re going to make a great business…” My thinking is we need to start earlier. It needs to start in high school. If they get used to that, they can really use that course in university. It can actually make a difference. I’m not saying it will, but if they had a leg up, a head start, at least they know where they’re going and not just saying, “I have no idea what this is. I’m going to do it for fun because it sounds great and everyone is doing it.”

These students actually setup their own startup weekend, hack-a-thon type event purely for high school students and they run it for that. I’m trying to do the same. As I’m saying, I like to put my money where my mouth is. I don’t just want to be one of these people who wants to say these good ideas. I want to do something for it. We were talking in the pre interview and I’m trying to organize, I’ve got some people on board that want to create almost like a hack-a-thon for high school students for these very reasons.

I want to see students actually go through the entrepreneurial experience even if it’s only 48 hours, even if they get just an idea. But to have something tangible at the end of that, even if it’s a website, if it’s a very simple add, I don’t care what it is. This is where we can start. Can you give me ideas to keep going, right?

So, now I’ve contacted people within our education department. I’m trying to get the stamp of approval. We’re getting there to make it sound a little more legitimate. They had the same resistance. I give them the brief and said, “We’re really excited. Let’s go for a phone call.”

We had the phone call and I explained what it was. I said, “At the end, maybe we won’t push with the startup weekend? How much can you sell within the weekend before we actually finish?” That’s how you win. I said, “How about we not push that too much? How about we get the kids to go through those stages and at the end, maybe the price is they can be a part of an accelerator program or a workshop.

Andrew: I’ve love to see them still sell because that is a little bit of a gut check. I think once you conquer that fear and you start selling, you end up with a super power that will serve you for the rest of your life. If they’re up for it, I’d love to see them sell. I don’t want to ever have any students be pushed into business anymore than I’d want them to be pushed into anything else. Btu if they’re up for selling and bringing in money, I think that would change the dynamic of the program. If you’re up for doing that, I’d love to see that happen. I’d love to do what I can to help make that happen.

Katherine: I would really love your feedback and your support. That was the reservation they had. I’m trying to convince people to come on board. I know I can’t do this on my own.

Andrew: On board how? What do you need?

Katherine: I’ve been trying to get people for developers and designers to actually mentor the students through the process. The kids have no idea what’s going on in terms of what’s expected and how we should go about doing something like that. I’ve had some people from the industry actually put out their hands and say, “I’d love to support what you’re doing.” So, a group of us teachers are trying to push for this. I’m trying to get the government on board so I can see there’s a purpose for something like this in a school.

Andrew: Okay.

Katherine: If I can get them there and they can say, “Great. Okay. Maybe it’s something that we should look at.” At the moment, in America, anywhere around the world, innovation, STEM is a massive push in education. There is huge scope of that. I went to a talk by Tony Wagner–I’m not too sure if you’re familiar with him–he’s from the states at the Harvard Innovation/Entrepreneurship School, that sort of stuff. He was talking about it as well. The coolest thing that he was saying–I know it’s a side note–some teachers have the access to programs.

For example, Polaroid will do a program where a teacher can actually go and shadow in their company for a year, experience what it feels like to be in that environment so that we can come back, we can bring those experiences and we can use that to teach, to support, to foster these skills. We didn’t really have that in Australia. If someone said to me, “I’m an entrepreneur or I own a business and this is how I work, I would be more than happy for you to come and shadow me so you can bring it back to the classroom.” I’d be, “No worries, let’s go.”

Andrew: I’m sure I can get someone to do that. If you wanted to go and–how do you make a living for that year that you spend going and shadowing them?

Katherine: I guess that’s the thing. I don’t want to do something where I’m working with ideas and all these dreams that I have from my head, right? I want it to be practical. I want it to be skills from experience. As you said, we learn by doing. If I want to be able to teach these kids these skills, I need to do it.

Andrew: Who’s your idea entrepreneur to meet in Melbourne, Australia?

Katherine: I’m not too sure.

Andrew: Think about it and email me. I’ve got incredible access because of Mixergy. I’d be happy to introduce you to somebody who could at least bring you into their world a little bit so you have someone to talk to about this.

Katherine: I would love it.

Andrew: I personally just like the simplicity of what you did with your brother, “Here’s a thing, let’s go sell it and see what happens.” Let’s go sell it is hugely powerful. Let’s see if we can come in and keep the revenue as really powerful. I think hack-a-thons and startup weekends are really good, but in many ways, they’re so big that you’re so disconnected with the result you’re almost playing in a theoretical world. But those are positive. I’d like to see you do it in a way that actually brings money into the students, that lets them take that cash home.

If it’s a battle that we need to fight, I’d love to find a way to battle it. I’d love to be there with you to find a way to make this work. They should be supportive. If they’re not supportive and they have to go outside of the regular school system and do this as an after hour thing, we’ll find a way to do that too. It’s not the end of the world. I’d love for the school system to be more supportive of it. My frustration, what brought us here is that they aren’t more supportive of it.

When they brought up things like bullying to you, I wrote a note to make sure to come back to that. Bullying can happen over anything, right? It can happen over a nice dress, but no one is going to tell anyone to not wear good clothes because they can be bullied. It can happen over lunch money someone’s going to steal from you. But no one is going to say don’t bring any money into school for lunch money. There are ways to make this work.

Katherine: To be honest, the money thing, I see it as a slow fix. I see it as okay, this is my foot in the door. This is to prove that these types of activities, entrepreneurship, has a place in our system. When I can convince them of that, when it’s successful we do part two, let’s start introducing some of the other things.

On the judging panel, for example, I want a whole vast number of people. I want principles. I want someone from the department. I want an entrepreneur. I want someone from industry to all come together and see that if we work together we can make this happen.

Andrew: I do believe that. The reason I believe it is when I went to college, they did not offer entrepreneurship. The names on the buildings were all names of people who were in entrepreneurship or in real estate, at least at NYU. They still wouldn’t teach entrepreneurship or real estate to undergrads. It just was this one class you could take. But you could also take a circus class. They were essentially the same. Literally you could take a circus class at NYU.

Today that’s not true. Today we’re seeing that entrepreneurship is taught that the startup world is being brought into universities. If it’s brought into universities, we can bring it down a little bit lower to younger students, to high school or even before high school students. The vision is there. I’d like to see more people who are into this follow up with me, follow up with you and let us know that they want to be a part of this.

Katherine: Anyone in your community, if they want to give me feedback–that’s why I tried to contact your contact at Toptal to help me setup some sort of way in which the people in your community can contact me and give me some ideas, give me something–I’m saying give me the solution. We know there’s no one solution to this.

But if I can get enough information, if I can get enough data, if I can get enough feedback, at least I have something to work with so that if I was to go to someone and develop a program for it, which could be started to be implemented in my school to start off with, I’ll start small and see how that works, but the more feedback I get, the better I can make that program, I can talk to the people that have done it and I can also talk to the kids because I have access to the kids.

I don’t have access, as you said, to those entrepreneurs where I can ask those questions when I can experience those things. You’re right. If I was to take a year of sabbatical and go around the world and talk to entrepreneurs and what they wish they had in schools, for example–

Andrew: I don’t even know if you’d end up with the answer from it. I wonder if you’d learn more and your students would learn more and you said, “Let’s go to Alibaba and let’s buy something right now really on the cheap that you guys are going to be willing to sell in a couple of weeks when it arrives here from Alibaba. In the school, we get to all pocket the profits. Andrew’s going to front us the cash to go buy this stuff from Alibaba.” That kind of thing, that simplicity, I think, would just go so far. I think that–we’ll see.

Let’s leave it up to people who are listening to us. I’d love to hear people as a follow up to this–the follow up to this, complain about anything that’s bothering them right now, especially if you’re a student or teacher, if you’re in the process, please complain to me. Tell me about the one time your teacher shut down or the one thing you’d wish that they’d or the one thing that the school just won’t allow you to even think about or talk about. Tell me about that.

If you’ve got a student who’s in school, maybe you’ve got someone who’s 10 years old who’s just at the point where they’re starting to give them those boxes of candy to sell and give to charity and you like the approach I talked about, let’s see if we can find a way to make that happen for you. I don’t know where the answer is, but I’d love to hear more people be a part of this conversation.

My ideal is for someone to say, “Andrew, I’d really love to sell this in school. The school isn’t allowing me to,” let’s see if we can figure out a solution for any problem that comes up. If a teacher tells me not to do it, we’ll talk about how we can get around that.

Katherine: That’s the thing. You say that there’s no answer, but the one thing you did with you had was encouragement, right? This is someone from within the system crying out and reaching out and saying there are people in the system who want to help you who believe in what you do, but again, we’re trying to look out for you and also for what happens in the school.

In the end of the day, we’re all responsible for that. The kids don’t have to see that. It will be the actual school that has to face whatever comes with that, right? With those connotations that we have at the moment of what entrepreneurship is and money and those things that we discussed about, that gets dangerous. That’s what my job used to worry about, right? I worry about that.

Andrew: You’re going to solve the danger problem? You want to take it on.

Katherine: Right. I’ll push that aside so students have, “Here’s the space, let’s do it. Don’t worry about all that other stuff that might happen, that could happen that’s bad as a result of what you’re doing. I want to be in the space where now go.” That’s the message. The message is you can do it. I want to help you do it. I’ve just got to figure out how and make sure you don’t have to be scared of, “What if I get in trouble? What if so and so sees what I’m doing and takes it away from me?”

I asked my brother. I said to him, “How’s it going at school?” At first he felt bad for selling to his friends, but then I said, “You’re giving them something they actually want. You’re not forcing anything on them. If they don’t want it, they don’t want buy it. You’re actually making them happy.”

So, he sort of saw that other side of it and then loves the fact that he gets money now that he can buy his comic books or whatever he wants to do. Thinking about marketing, I said, “How about we market from outside of your friends? How about the senior kids that have money, how about we approach them?”

Andrew: Yeah.

Katherine: He thought, “How am I going to do it so the school doesn’t find out?”

Andrew: That’s the shame of it, that the energy is going to, “How am I going to protect myself?” like he’s Al Capone. Meanwhile, he’s just selling stickers. That’s what I love about the simplicity of it. I wonder if what we could do is just have–you know how schools will give you candy? I wonder if we could give people the option of candy they could buy directly from us and sell like they would any other candy that the school system gives them except they keep all the profits.

I wonder if it can be as simple as that, that plus maybe some educational component where we talk about why keeping profits is important, what you can do with the money as opposed to just spending it. Could you invest in temporarily? What are some long-term actions? Maybe you could take some of this money and put it in the stock market and actually buy a stock or two, like literally a stock in one company.

All right. I’m going to look to see what people come back to me with. To me this is a problem. But if no one else cares, no one else in my audience cares, it’s not worth pursuing, but if someone else out there cares enough about this to want to do something with me, let me know.

All right. Let me open this up. This is from Dr. Manuel Astruck. He sent me something. Let me see what this is. He told me he was going to send me this. You recognize this book? It’s a pretty weird cover. Seth Godin’s book–

Katherine: Oh, Seth Godin, I love his books.

Andrew: I do too. I don’t know why I never thought to get this one. Maybe it’s the weird cover of the woman staring at the camera. “What Do You Do When It’s Your Turn? And It’s Always Your Turn” is the name of the book. It looks like it’s meant to be browsable. What an appropriate message for this conversation.

Here’s one from Memika Kuni. I won’t hold it up because her address is on there. She took the best freaking photo of me. This one right down here is my favorite photo of me. She came into the office. She took some shots.

Katherine: Cool.

Andrew: Let’s open this up and see what’s in here. What’s this? Oh, it’s a USB with all the photos that she took super hi-res so I can actually use them online. Look at that. I’ve never seen a USB card like that. I guess it pops out. I don’t want to break this.

Katherine: It’s like Christmas every day for you.

Andrew: Right? Except I don’t ever see it as Christmas. I see it as, “I better respond. I better open it up now. And then this becomes this thing that I don’t want to do because it’s something I feel I have to do. Something about it opening it up within the interview. I saw Casey Neistat open up boxes in his video and I thought, “Why don’t I do it on camera? It would be so much easier.” Memika, thank you. Doctor, thank you for this.

All right. This was a really good conversation. I’m curious to see where people take this. I’d love to get all the feedback that I possibly can. Here’s my email address for anyone who wants to respond, please give me a little bit of time respond if you’re going to start flooding my inbox. Here it is, it’s Andrew@Mixergy.com. Somebody’s got to be bothered by this. Somebody’s got to be moved by this.

We have to bring entrepreneurship earlier into the school system. If we do, then we will not have adults who are afraid of money. We’re not going to have adults who are afraid to ask people to buy something from them like they’re ripping someone off or doing something wrong.

We’re going to get people to feel comfortable selling stuff to the point where they’re actually enjoying it, where they get excited about making a sales call and building a business. When they get that excited, then their finances are more in their hands, they can start building companies that are much more creative and the world becomes a better place and everyone loves each other and no more war and no peace.

Katherine: I know you’re saying you might get flooded emails. Do you think it would be easier to setup a page where people can leave feedback where people won’t personally be bombarded with all this stuff?

Andrew: That would be interesting, but I don’t know where we should put a page up. How about if we do this?

Katherine: I think I’m going to have a call with your contact in Toptal so we can discuss to see what we can do just so that you can get inundated.

Andrew: I don’t know if we need it to be that elaborate, just put up a link. Maybe the link could be to a Facebook post where people can have some back and forth conversation about this. That way that’s better than email because people can all see each other’s feedback on it. Why don’t I just say right now the link to that will be http://Mixergy.com/sellingcandy. What do you think?

Katherine: I was going to say something like I Wish School Taught Me…

Andrew: And then that would take them over?

Katherine: And then they can leave a comment, entrepreneurship, you know how you just finish the sentence.

Andrew: I like Selling Candy, but maybe that’s taking away.

Katherine: Let’s do Selling Candy.

Andrew: You like it? Mixergy.com/SellingCandy will lead you over probably to a Facebook post where you can talk about this. Cool.

Katherine: Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Andrew: Thank you for being on here. How can somebody follow up with you? I don’t have a website or anything for you.

Katherine: If you want to contact me, my email is my name backwards, so Roan.Katherine@Gmail.com. Anything, that would be beautiful.

Andrew: Cool. My sponsors for this interview are HostGator–if you need a company to host your website right, go to HostGator.com/Mixergy. The second sponsor is a company called Toptal. If you need a great developer, go to Toptal.com/Mixergy. I’m grateful to them for sponsoring. To all of you, if you like Mixergy, please subscribe to the podcast so you get every single episode directly delivered to your phone or whatever device you choose to listen to me on. Thank you all for being a part of it. Thank you, Katherine for being on here. Bye, everyone.

Katherine: No worries. Thank you again. Hope you feel better.

Andrew: Bye.

  • Keith Kritselis

    Thanks for doing this episode Andrew.

    These issues are at the top of my mind lately.

    In Austin TX, they are starting a Entrepreneurship program that is k thru 12 and my middle school daughter has applied to join it next year.


    Personally, I have started 5 companies in the last 20 years, but my hangups around money have been a real limiting factor for me.

    As I am gearing up to launch a new business this year, I am taking a hard look at how my perspective on making money colors that.

    When I was a kid, fundraising sales at school or through Boy Scouts really gave me a negative association with selling because it felt like begging. Using guilt to sell things to(primarily) family and friends that they didn’t really want.

    I was a shy creative kid, and the whole aspect of the money transaction was downplayed. It was all about selling a box of things. If you sell 1 box you get this, if you sell 3 boxes you get this… etc..

    There was never a discussion about how an individual sale was helping the buyer… How value changed hands… There was never even talk about how much money the school earned on the sale. What are the margins? Why did we choose candy bars and not trail mix?

    The organization looked at it as merely a fundraising opportunity, and not a learning opportunity.

    This was a disservice to generations of kids, and I hope with these new insights into the changing economy that educators like Katherine can get the support they need to correct it as we move forward.

  • Ashley Jane Casey

    Katherine, here’s a group you need to speak with, if you haven’t already … http://www.clubkidpreneur.com/
    They have an awesome business which the kids love. Just checked and they are in Melbourne too!

  • Keith Kritselis

    Here is an interesting (but not positive) take on College and University entrepreneurship programs…


  • elinoresiegel

    It’s been 1 yr since I quit my previous work and i couldn’t be happier now… I started doing a job over internet, for this company I discovered on-line, several hrs every day, and I earn much more than i did on my last job… Check i got for last month was for 9000 dollars… Awesome thing about this gig is the more time i got with my kids… http://chilp.it/728813e

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