Who is an entrepreneur?

Who is an entrepreneur? As you may have noticed from its odd pronunciation, the word comes from the French–it means someone who takes something on by him or herself. In French, entreprendre means to endeavour. So perhaps its meaning could be clarified if we re-coined the term as an endeavouror.

Sounds more bold and courageous, no? It certainly takes a bit of bravado to be an entrepreneur. But what else does it take? A fantastic idea, a super talent, money, time? All of those things?

If you have business students who are endeavouring (ha) to develop their business vocabulary, this Crash Course on entrepreneurship is a great place to start. The presenter goes through all the basics: what it is, who is likely to identify as such, what are the advantages, what are the disadvantages. All this with a cheeky style that kept me entertained for the full 10 min. The narrator is a fast talker, so I would suggest turning the CC on and slowing the video down. Also, please feel free to use this note-taking handout.

Click to get handout

Warm-up

  • Do a word association Mind Map with the word ‘entrepreneur’
  • Have you ever tried to start a business or a side-gig?

The Video: Who Even In An Entrepreneur by Crash Course

Discussion Questions

  • Do another word association Mind Map and compare it with the first.
  • What are some examples of entrepreneurship? In other words, what examples of ideas, products and business does the presenter give to help illustrate what an entrepreneur is?
  • Who is not an entrepreneur?
  • What does the presenter say about failure?
  • What is the “gig-economy”?
  • Steady employment can be fulfilling because…
  • Entrepreneurship can be fulfilling because…
  • What are some of your thoughts on entrepreneurship? Do you see yourself in this description? Why or why not?

Are you a “multipotentialite”? Wait? What

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Personally, I wanted to be a teacher, a veterinarian, a filmmaker, a programmer, a social worker and then a teacher again. The prospect of choosing one single thing was super hard for me. But choose I did, and I never felt entirely happy doing what I was doing.

Is it possible that we don’t have one true calling? That we have more than one talent? One gift? That is the question that Emilie Wapnick asks her TED audience. She is a self-proclaimed “multipotentialite” which is to say, she has many potential careers and gifts.

I must say I got a little emotional watching this talk. I too am someone who has been constantly looking for my one true thing. Wapnick’s premise of the multipotentialite is a very freeing concept that really got my students thinking and talking (and using lots of job and skills related vocabulary).

Today I am a teacher who programs games, uses film and the web to build materials. Many of my students have alternative learning profiles like dyslexia and executive processing issues. I am considered an informal dog whisperer and on the weekends, I go horseback riding with my two daughters. So, somehow my multi-potentials came to fruition. How about you? When you compare what you wanted to do to and what you chose, did you find room for everything or did you concentrate on a few of your interests?

Pre discussion

  • What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  • If it changed, why did it change?
  • Have you changed your areas of interest as you grew older?
  • Why is it ok for children to have many career paths, but adults must choose one?

The Video: Ted why some of us don’t have one true calling by Emilie Wapnick

Post Video Discussion

You can use this handout to help the students focus their attention on certain areas of the talk. Remember, you can slow the video down and add subtitles if it helps. First, do a Tell Back.

  • Do you see yourself in Emilie’s concept of mulitipotentialite?
  • What is the problem of the “narrowly focused life”?
  • What are some of the problems Emilie encountered (4:00)?
  • What are the multipotentialite’s “superpowers” (6:30)?
  • What are the advantages of exploring all our interests?
  • How are those skills relevant in today’s job market?

Have a good discussion!

Are billionaires a good or bad thing?

I don’t know if any of you buy lottery tickets, but I don’t. I suppose my logical brain tells me that the chances are so low that I shouldn’t waste my money. Still, when the jackpot goes up high, I can’t help my thoughts wander to odd fantasies of what I would do if I had that much money.

I’ve often heard that we need billionaires because they create wealth for everyone. In the financial terms, this notion of trickle down economics  is rooted in the idea that over taxing the wealthy will do more harm than good. Forbes magazine poses this very question and ask famous billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates about the consequences of a wealth tax. The answer may surprise you.

This article is a vocabulary rich text, appropriate for intermediate to advanced learners.

Pre discussion

  • What would you do if you were a billionaire?
  • Which billionaires are philanthropic (use their fortune to better the world)?
  • Do you think billionaires are a good thing or a bad thing?

The article–Forbes Bill Gates gets why people are doubting billionaires

  • Pull out the economic related vocabulary
  • Do a Tell Back of what Gates says about over taxing billionaires

The article is pretty intense, so I will leave it at those two points for now, but if you have a question suggestion, please don’t hesitate to add it to the comments.

What was better then, what is better now?

Do you ever find yourself thinking “things were better in the old days…simpler, less stressful.” Well Coca-Cola knows that you are thinking this and has made a funny ‘then and now’ video depicting the changes in our daily routines.

The video is short and has no dialogue, but I think it might be fun to have students describe the actions in the video. You could even ask them to do in the past and present tenses–for an added language challenge.

Pre discussion

  • Think of your daily routine (work, transportation, what you eat, how you relax), what did we do differently 40 years ago?
  • What was better in the past?
  • What is better now?

The Video: Coca-Cola Advertisement Grandpa-Living a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Tell Back all the actions in the advertisement.
  • What are the common elements?
  • What is the advertisement trying to tell us? And do you think they are right?

Let me know how it goes…

What makes you say yes?

This post is devoted to all the students who are in the business and sales field. But if you are like me and enjoy a little behavioural psychology, this presentation will fascinate you.

Pre discussion

  • What is it that makes us say yes to one person and no to the other?
  • What are the elements that make us trust in a product or a person?
  • Have you ever bought a good or service and was disappointed? What about the opposite?

The Video: The Science of Persuasion

I would divide the video into 2-3 min segments and stop after each principle to do a Tell Back.

This would also be a great presentation to do a comprehension mind map (video to come). That is to say, write down the 6 principles and ask students to say what they remember about them.

Ask students if these principles conjures any memories of times they were convinced of something. In other words, ask them about times when they trusted something or someone and why.

Finally, what do you think the author means by “ethical” persuasion?

Have a great discussion…

 

 

 

How do you ask for a raise?

Life changes. And more specifically, it gets more expensive. Yet sometimes it can take time for your employer to catch up. So how can you tackle the prickly question of asking for a raise? Barbara Corcoran gives some rather poignant insights on how to orchestrate this discussion. I think it makes for a great ESL discussion launch pad. Not to mention a more generalized reflection on gender differences in the work place.

Pre discussion 

  • Have you ever asked for a raise?
  • How did you approach it?
  • Do you have any good or bad practices to share?

The Video: Barbara Corcoran Explains How to Ask for a Raise

  • What are the steps you need to take to set up the meeting?
  • What are some of the differences between men and women when asking for raises?
  • If you are timid (and Corcoran says “woman,” but I think this applies to anyone who is timid) what should you do to overcome this?
  • What are Corcoran’s recommendations on how to use an outside offer to initiate a positive discussion about compensation?
  • What are her parting ideas about loyalty?

Have a great class!

Mel

What body language should you avoid?

The 11 Worst Body Language Mistakes Professionals Make

An interesting article to get you talking about non verbal language.

Do you do any of these?

What body language bothers you?

What are some of the things people do that inspire trust?

What are some of the things people do that inspire distrust?

For more on this topic see Body Language and the Brain