How school ruined your business

25th March 2020


Do you remember sitting in class huddled over a test? 

Your arm curled around the top of the paper so your neighbours couldn’t see your answers?

Remember the HSC/VCE/SAT (or whatever yours was called), with the equally spaced desks that were just a bit far for you to see someone else paper, the oppressive silence and stern looking exam monitor pacing up and down?

The point of all this was to make sure you didn’t cheat. And that was important at school, because the tests were designed to do two main things;

  1. Identify whether you as an individual you could apply yourself, learn, and make use of concepts facts and knowledge.

  2. To test the success of teaching methods employed by the school.

You can’t get an accurate reading on these two things unless everyone is tested individually, so ‘cheating’ by copying someone else’s answers is considered very bad.

From a very early age we’ve been conditioned that cheating is bad. From first grade through to university it’s usually a punishable offence.

So is it any wonder that often, when people start a business, they try to do everything themselves. They tend towards trying to ‘work it out’, or test and fail fast (as is popularised lately).

Well, screw that. I cheat all the time.

I don’t want to get a law degree or even read legal books. When I have a legal problem, I go straight to the best lawyer I can find.

I haven’t go time to learn how to use Autocad, so when I need plans drawn I go to a good architect.

I’m definitely not an interior designer! So when I need colours picked for the walls in one of my venues, I hire an interior designer.

The point is, I cheat all the time. I literally pay for the answers!

Business is a team sport. You don’t need to have all the answers. It’s ok to ‘cheat’… fact, I think it’s essential.

It’s because of this conditioned tendency business owners have to try to do it all themselves and not ‘cheat’ that I see many businesses fail.

They don’t get a book keeper or accountant to help with their books, can’t manage their cashflow and run out of money.

They sign a contract without seeing a solicitor and sign up for a disastrous deal that ruins them.

Or they don’t talk to someone else who’s done it all before and they make rookie errors.

Now I realise of course, that this post is completely self serving…. I’m a business coach and my advice is to get advice…transparent right?

But I live by this too. I still have a business coach, I always have. It’s someone playing the game at the next level up from me.

I’m trying to tell you the actual secret!  Which is, ‘cheat’ as much as you can. Pay for answers, copy, and talk to people who have already made the mistakes for you!

You don’t have to ‘fail fast’, when you can avoid failure altogether.

You’re not the first person in business, so go find a coach or mentor who is playing at a level you want to play at and get them to give you the answers.

Don’t let your school years ruin your business. Start cheating as much as you can today.

Brett Baker :)
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