Entrepreneurship and Intelligence
I did my undergraduate studies in psychology. For some reason, I was fascinated by IQ tests. I was intrigued by the concept of measuring a person’s intelligence. I quickly learned three things about IQ tests:
~ IQ tests only measure a person’s intellectual performance on a given test.
~ IQ test are vocabulary driven.
~ There are many things which IQ tests do not measure.
IQ tests only measure a person’s intellectual performance on a given test, they are driven by vocabulary and there are many deficiencies relevant to the scope of any given IQ test. That is to say, an IQ test can be helpful in terms of discerning if a person is a good candidate for law school, seminary or graduate studies in such disciplines as English, history or political science. At the same time, because of the very nature of the test itself, it is not necessarily a great barometer in terms of predicting whether someone might succeed as as a farmer, carpenter, potter, tour guide . . . or entrepreneur.
For similar reasons as those given above, grades in high school and/or college are not necessarily a good predictor of a person’s ability to succeed as an entrepreneur. The “old timers” used to call what transpires in high school and college as, “book learning”. That is actually a pretty accurate description of what transpires in high school and college. You are given an assignment to read a chapter in a history book for example, and then you listen to the teacher or professor lecture about the things which you just read, after which you are given a written test wherein you are evaluated on your capability to recall what you read and what you heard the teacher or professor say.
Hearing and reading and then remembering what we heard or read are helpful life skills; but, there are many other necessary abilities required to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Before I enumerate some of those many skills, it is important to note that fundamentally the greater problem is that our institutions of education focus on preparing a person to get a job. The problem is that our educational system does not intentionally prepare a person to become a “job creator”. Our system simply assumes that jobs will be available for qualified individuals without designedly facilitating creative environments to nurture our future entrepreneurs. Moreover, universities and colleges are producing graduates who have collectively amassed debt in the billions of dollars, while rarely graduating and finding employment in their chosen course of study.
But, I digress . . .
There are many abilities which our educational system either cannot or does not equip a student with, which are vitally necessary for the entrepreneur. Following is a short list of some of this abilities:
~ An Appreciation And Respect For Capitalism
~ Risk tolerance
~ People Skills
~ Good Business Instincts
The true entrepreneur is not at all discouraged by an average or below average IQ, or average or below average grades. For the entrepreneur somehow knows in their heart, that one way or another, they will succeed. The entrepreneur knows in their “knower” that intelligence as our culture defines it, and as our institutions of higher learning cultivate it, is not the determining factor in their achievement. There is something inside the entrepreneur that bids them, “Go forth . . . engage . . . problem solve . . . learn . . . innovate . . . accomplish”.
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