Entrepreneurship Should Be Principle-Based
Stephen Carter
June 17, 2024
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Entrepreneurship Should Be Principle-Based

“Principles are concisely worded statements of truth that transcend circumstance” (quote from Alex Judd of Path for Growth) and as a result, it is imperative that, as educators, we work to point out principles for our students and teach them to leverage these principles in their lives.

In other words, principles are always at work regardless of our acknowledgment of them—consider the principle of compounding: every single thing we do adds up over time to define who we become. This can work for us (become healthier and happier) or against us (lose our health and sense of purpose), but once we identify the principle and how it works, we are better poised to use it to our advantage.

In the space of entrepreneurial education, there are four guiding principles that should not only be recognized but should be embraced and taught and practiced. The practice of recognizing principles involves identifying the principle for the students and then explaining how it operates. By doing this over and over, we ingrain not only the principle but also a mindset of principle-based thinking. Out of this, we help our students grow in wisdom.

Principle One: Belief Drives Behavior and Behavior Drives Results

All too often in our society we fixate on results and grow impatient if the results we desire are delayed in coming. Results, however, stem from behavior and in order to create the behavior that drives the desired results, we need to examine our beliefs. If we believe that engaging students in the entrepreneurial mindset is a worthwhile pursuit, our behavior will drive the results.

Principle Two: Consistency Compounds

There is no lasting entrepreneurial mindset without an understanding of compounding—whether it be understanding compound interest (what Einstein called the “8th wonder of the world”) or the role of habit formation, compounding is the primary determining force behind success or failure. As James Clear says, “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become.”

Principle Three: Time Can Be Spent or Invested

Time is truly our most precious resource, and we can be intentional about its usage. The default setting is to spend our time but with focus we can learn to invest it—investing carries with it the connotation of expected return, and when time is invested, the return is often magnified. This can impact our health, our relationships, our finances, our intellectual growth, our spiritual wellbeing, and our occupational status.

Principle Four: Constraints Breed Creativity

There are few certainties in life and education, but one is for sure—we will face constraints. Not enough time, not enough money, not enough resources, too few people, and so on. Schools especially face constraints on a regular basis. The beauty of this principle is it enables us to embrace the constraint and see it as an opportunity to get wildly creative and think so far outside the box that we forget the box even exists.

When we, as educators, become principle-focused, we start to help students identify how these principles work. Once they are identified, students are able to leverage the principles to reap enormous growth in all areas of life. This is central to the spirit of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset.

The Future of Education is Bright Indeed!


The Principles of Entrepreneurship

Announcing the Dates for the 2025 CHCA Entrepreneurship Symposium

The wait is over—mark your calendars and get ready because the 2025 CHCA Entrepreneurship Symposium will blow you away. Whether you will be a first-time attendee or a three-year veteran, you’ll find clear takeaways and actionable items along with a big dose of inspiration.

March 6 and 7, 2025, we will be hosting school leaders from around the nation to come together around creating meaningful and impactful entrepreneurship programs to engage students, rally communities, and supercharge donors.

This event sold out last year, so don’t wait to get your tickets—any schools who register by the end of July will receive early bird pricing. Email Stephen Carter ( to RSVP.


❝  Imagine your culture infused with growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking. Imagine your team acting and thinking like entrepreneurs.

  Stephen Carter


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