Category Archives: learning

Summer jobs

What did you learn? 

It’s time to get back to school soon and the kids are enjoying the last few days of their summer jobs. Remember those days yourself?

Summer jobsFun in the sun, hanging out with friends, pool parties, BBQ and beer, working on your sun tan and hitting on the other cute kids. Is that what you remember?

But it was not all fun. It was a job and it may have involved garbage collection, cleaning toilets, digging ditches, mowing lawns, making beds, hauling heavy loads or serving hostile customers. All while avoiding boredom, exhaustion and a demanding and difficult boss.

But there were important life lessons learned.

Simple lessons, but important:

  • Show up on time, work hard.
  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Be responsible for your actions.
  • Pay attention to the customer, the boss and the environment – in that order.
  • Use the right tool for the right job, be aware of safety and security issues.
  • Get your priorities straight – personal, work, family and social.
  • Better performance leads to better jobs.
  • Save your money.

Let’s hope these kids are learning them too. They will be better employees, bosses and entrepreneurs, if they learn from their summer jobs.

Be better. Do better.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

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Read more articles at:Learning Entrepreneurship Blogs. 

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Who are you listening to? Why?

Only very smart people. Because they agree with me.

But are you learning anything new?

Do they make you think or act differently?

That’s how you can tell if you learned anything.

It doesn’t seem to matter which mainstream news source we read, watch or listen to, they all seem to agree on what is important to us and what we should be angry about. Then theybad news insist on pushing the same story and analysis, over and over for days, with too much mind-numbing repetitiveness.

Whether it’s current affairs, politics, sports or business, it is hard work to dig deeper and get the whole story or find any thoughtful and perceptive analysis that goes beyond the initial impressions. But we need to do it, if we really want to have things change.

We need to be less passive and more selective in where we go for news, information and analysis. That means avoiding the easy choice of following those sources and analysts that we agree with or we have something in common with.

It also requires making an effort to listen to people that you don’t like or don’t agree with and avoid simply dismissing them as ignorant or evil. That’s not easy either. Especially when the tactic is so widely used to effectively stop discussion.

Remember: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey includes “Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood.” That is a much better process for seeking compromise and achieving agreed solutions.

Keep on the path for knowledge and wisdom and continue to learn, make changes and make a difference.

And thank you for including me among your resources.

Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson

Read more at:Learning Entrepreneurship Blogs. 


Join our mailing list for more ideas, information and inspiration for entrepreneurs.

Click Here to check out Uncle Ralph’s books, “Don’t Do It the Hard Way” and “The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide to Business Plans” Both are available online or at your favourite bookstore in hard cover, paperback or e-book.



Check out this video and tell me if you agree that it actually promotes the most negative stereotype of entrepreneurs as greedy and manipulative – in it for the money and part of the problem in our consumption based economy.
“Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs …”

The video at the end of this TED presentation is a more positive and inspiring view of entrepreneurship but most of the commentary seems to be focused on his own version.

Thought provoking, but not convincing that this is what we should be teaching kids in school.

The start of a new year is a good time to look back and plan ahead. (Sounds dangerous. May explain the pain in my neck.)

However, looking back at 2007 can you conclude on the mistakes you would rather not repeat or the things you would like to do more often? Or maybe the issues and ideas that were completetly neglected? Select your priorities and include them in your plan for 2008.

Is it time for a radical new strategy or simply continuous improvement of a well established formula for success. Don’t forget to look outside your business at your personal priorities. Is it time to fix the foundations of family, friends, physical and financial health?

And don’t try to do too much. Small successes will usually add up to more than a few big ideas that don’t get finished. Good luck.

My next teaching challenge is to present the subject of Entrepreneurship in the Continuing Education program at Concordia University.

Can you really teach entrepreneurship? What if you have to be born that way? What about all those stories about “delivering papers when I was nine years old”…? I didn’t, so am I disqualified?

My own theory is that an entrepreneur is simply a creator of businesses to meet an opportunity. Anybody can do it anytime; if they have the marketable skills, relevant knowledge, and determination to succeed.

So what can I teach? Having reviewed a number of textbooks on the subject, I have concluded that the expectation of those signing up for the course is to learn some basic business processes and principles that will help them to evaluate their choices and make the decisions necessary to develop an idea or opportunity into a valid business model and business plan, finance it, start it and make it grow.

Sounds simple.