Ignorance. The recipe for success?

When a bright eyed, energetic student starts a business, there is a certain level of ignorance.  Heck, there is a certain level of ignorance when an adult starts a business too. I always advise new student business owners to, “Embrace your ignorance.” No one can know everything and that’s a good thing. Ignorance is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because no matter what you choose to pursue as your business, you will put a new spin on it. A spin that is unique to you. Who says everyone has to do everything the same way? When you are young and new to something, you don’t know what you “can’t” do…or what you are “supposed” to do. Maybe your way will become the new industry standard. That same ignorance will also breed energy and hope as well as foster confidence. Why would ignorance foster confidence?  Well, if I gave each student the statistics on failure rates among ANY business start up, especially started by a teenager, that confidence may not be so high. Screw the statistics. You aren’t a number. You are going to be a success no matter what the doubter says! Let the ignorance reign!


Of course while ignorance can be a good thing it can also be your demise. Stay ignorant too long and it will catch up to you and snuff your business out. Refusing to learn from your mistakes or take other people’s advice isn’t smart. Ignorance naturally dissipates with education and experience. When I started working for myself at age 17, I didn’t have an extensive business background. (Unless, of course, you consider “collecting” on my paper route extensive business experience.)  I did have confidence in myself, tons of energy and a goal of paying for college. By the 4th summer of me working my business, the ignorance was gone. I had learned and seen so much that ignorance at that point would have been detrimental. The confidence that I used to get from ignorance was now confidence from making well informed decisions every day.knowledge-ignorance

Maybe ignorance is the false hope we all need to start. Maybe ignorance is the courage for us to take the leap. Maybe ignorance isn’t as bad as we all thought. Now go home and tell your parents you are going to start a business this summer because some tall bald tall author said you can…and you are going to be ignorant about it.day.


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