Two Things for All Students to Learn

Two Things for All Students to Learn

Stephen Carter
January 21, 2024
Share this post

A conversation with Dr. Tim Holcomb, the Director of the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Farmer School of Business at Miami University, yielded some fascinating insights.

Dr. Holcomb began by saying that much of their work, in college-level entrepreneurial studies, is undoing the methods that schools have taught students to adopt.

“We don’t use textbooks and we don’t do tests,” said Holcomb while explaining their approach to “learning by doing.” He explained that often students come in with a standardized test mindset and see everything as multiple choice, but life doesn’t package problems with “A, B, C, D, and E” answers.

“It comes down to giving students more opportunities for shots on the goal,” he said. The first time they take a shot, they miss. The second time, they get closer. The third time, they get closer still. The fourth time, they make it, and by the time the fifth time comes around, they approach the shot with the confidence that comes from experience.

In the end, Holcomb explained, there are two things that all students must learn. First is how to solve problems—and these should be real-world problems, not just case studies. They need to see how problem-solving works and how it can be applied to every area of life.

Second is “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

When students get out of their comfort zone, they get into situations where failure is more common and this leads to faster learning and adapting, skills which will serve them well in an uncertain future.

At Miami University, entrepreneurship is treated as a co-major in order to encourage the interdisciplinary approach. Students may be going into engineering or education or global business, and yet the mindset taught through the learning by doing method of entrepreneurship will give them skills applicable in any career.

This is why entrepreneurial education is vital for today’s K-12 students—when we teach students how to think like entrepreneurs, we are setting them up for success in all areas of life.


Our students getting “comfortable with being uncomfortable” during a practice mixer in our foundations of entrepreneurship class.



Whether you are a teacher, administrator, parent, coach, or business executive, it’s worth checking out my newest book, Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Over the last ten years, my team and I have explored how to meaningfully engage students through growth mindset, grit, redefining failure, and opportunity seeking, and these attributes are thoroughly explained alongside real-world examples of the life-changing methodology of this style of education.

Get your copy of Teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset today!


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

Stephen Carter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want increased engagement from students and teachers? Bring the entrepreneurial mindset to your school today.

Launch a high-impact entrepreneurship program at your private school

Interested? Let’s schedule a free, 30-minute discovery call.