Schoolies week is here, again. Year 12's from all across Australia descend upon travel locations across Queensland and Victoria like the Gold Coast, Noosa, Airlie Beach, Rye, Torquay, and internationally to places like Bali and Fiji to celebrate the end of a very big chapter in their lives. As Schoolies Week comes along this year (2015 celebrations started 21st November to 12th December), business owners are left with time to consider that, as yet another year has almost passed, is there something that we could learn from this years school leavers? Are there any lessons that you would tell your 18-year-old self and what, in turn, would your 18-year-old self tell you now?
Plan for the future
Have a plan and execute it. School leavers have worked for their entire education to achieve a singular goal. At the age of 14 or 15, students put their class preferences forward to start their year 10 studies which sets a course for their final year, this in turn sets the bar for what Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) they are working towards to meet their potential university dreams. They set a plan in place and work unit by unit towards executing that plan.
Business owners tend to be reactionary in most of their day-to-day activities. They respond to market changes, new business opportunities or branch out into new markets as they see required. Often times this is in response to competitors activities and are made to provide short term gains in cash flow, these are very important to ensure that a business stays relevant and keeps up with market demand however business owners could learn from school leavers how important it is to plan for success. It's as important in education as it is in business to prepare for success and a flexible plan on how to achieve it.
Have a backup plan
Of course, every year 12 student plans to achieve their dream ATAR scores, but every student is taught to have a backup plan if they do not meet their required score to attend the university or course of choice. If a student hasn't met the required ATAR score they apply for their backup choice, whether it's a different university or a different course with the lower score they achieved. As a business owner having a backup plan is logical and necessary. Consider sales options that may be a little easier to achieve or in a different stream to your usual sales to help keep business going.
Take a break
The United Kingdom has a tradition of celebrating the completion of formative school years by having a year off before starting up their University education. This is called a gap year and is a fantastic opportunity to unwind, learn, relax, travel, experience new cultures and in some cases even work abroad. Having a break could offer business owners new perspective. You may not be able to have a full year to travel but even a little time away from the desk can give your body a chance to recharge and your mind the chance to relax. This may even provide new ideas and a fresh perspective on your business future.
Congratulate your peers for their own success
Finishing year 12 is a collective effort. Teachers, teachers aides, librarians, principals, parents, siblings and extended family all have some part in getting a student through this particularly tough year. The completion of the year is marked with a number of celebrations. Students spend time together during numerous school rituals: award ceremonies, muck up days, formals, assemblies and school leavers dinner celebrating each other's achievements. Congratulating each other on their efforts and recognising individual success in numerous fields whether academic, sports based achievements or extra curricular activities is a right of passage. As students are awarded for their own skills, business owners could learn to spend time identifying and celebrating all skills of each of their staff not just sales achieved: spend time celebrating with peers.
Students take time to really celebrate, more than any other time in their lives, not only the scores they have achieved but also the completion of a huge chapter in your life. You as a business owner can take a page out of the their books and celebrate all company wins in a great way, whether the launch of a new business stream, creation of a new product, a new location, welcoming a new staff member or simply sales success.