A Literal entrepreneur school as an alternative education

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer


I remember sitting in Home Economics class in Middle School literally doing the math to figure out how many hours I had left until I was done with schooling forever…

That’s a true story…

And for some reason, it’s one of those moments that distinctly stands out in my mind.

Like a “Where were you when…” type of deal.

But you’d think this one wouldn’t qualify as those usually involve something fairly significant.

Things like 9/11, Michael Jackson’s Funeral or his sister’s Super Bowl wardrobe incident.

But the reality is this…

For many young folks, you just kind of know school isnt for you.

Like many, I’m an entrepreneur, I don’t DO entrepreneurship.

See what I mean?

Some people treat this thing like it’s a career.

But it’s not.

It’s 100% a lifestyle. 

And I often tell people it’s not for them if I observe they’re treating it otherwise.

So, for a youngster like me to appreciate who he was in the world, it indeed was a significant moment when you take it a level deeper.

And that’s why I was so excited to see Laura Sandefer pop up as a potential guest for my show.

Because I’ve LONG wondered what we can do for students like I was.

Do we just have to grin and bear it?

Truth be told, most of the work I do is actually rewiring some of the conditioning people received from school.

Because, while it’s not a BAD thing in terms of what we learned, it most certainly doesn’t always readily apply to starting and growing a business venture.

In my view, that’s 17-22 years then of opportunity cost spent in an environment you might know isn’t for you.


That’s a bloody lifetime.

Imagine how long you’ve been in business.

For me, I’ve been a Full-Time Entrepreneur for 7 years.

I kicked my job to the curb after only one year in the “real world” and haven’t looked back…

Not even for a second.

But for all intents and purposes, imagine if I had 27 years of experience doing this?


Imagine how much MORE I would know, how much MORE focused experience I would have and how much MORE I would have had time to actually feel like I belonged somewhere in the world.

Because, it’s not just the time spent, it’s also feeling like an alien.

I always THOUGHT differently than my peers.

Saw things through a little bit different lens.

And that sense of belonging has sincerely put me at peace.

Many struggles and near identity crises took place for me to arrive at that destination, though.

So, this whole “Entrepreneur School” thing is something I don’t think is just a cool idea, I think it’s desperately needed. 

Why are we using the same mechanisms for teaching, regardless of the audience?

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Acton Academy is filling that void and doing it QUICKLY.

In today’s podcast discussion, Laura (who Co-Founded this alternative school concept with her husband), told me they’re in that awesome phase where you can just barely keep up with growth.

And it’s not to say they’re FORCING entrepreneurship down kids throats.

I can just imagine my own desires for my future, yet to be birthed, children.

One of those baseball-type dads that decides immediately their son is going be a Cy Young Award Winner the minute he’s born.

Or a mother that vicariously lives through her daughter’s beauty pageants with the goals of landing her a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ridiculous, I know, but we all know it happens.

But Acton Academy is not for you or your child to get a jump start on the next Apple or Google straight from the cradle…

But more so for Creative Minds that maybe just aren’t fully fitting in with their peers.

“This idea is not about CRAMMING entrepreneurship down kid’s throats…”

 This maybe opens up an entirely new can of worms…

But just think about how many children are prescribed to ADHD meds now.

Having lived through that myself I can tell you it doesn’t end pretty.

Because, as I learned the hard way, it’s a band-aid for the problem.

And while it alleviated some focus and concentration issues, it wreaked havoc on my body.

I talk about that quite often throughout my content but here’s the best resource to go check that out when you’re done here.

We try to “fix” kids and never take into consideration the environment.

For real, think about it.

If you’re unhappy with your job and it’s not the right fit for you…

What do you do?

You go get another bloody job that is better for who you are.

So why do we just expect children to be one-size fits all with school and immediately just cram drugs down their throats to pay attention?

We treat humans like robots or little soldiers.

When maybe they weren’t intelligently designed (if you believe in that sort of thing…I do) to do what they’re being asked to do.

I personally always saw school as a prison.

Enjoying very little of it and ALWAYS pondering how I would EVER apply this “stuff” we were learning to the real world.

But, for many students, it’s not about the content of the message, per se.

It’s about basic life skills like being able to take information and instruction to then memorize and repeat when asked upon.

Sounds a lot like a job, right?

Learn this thing, don’t ask why you need it, and perform function “X” or “Y” when called upon to do so.

It’s what keeps the machine of many organizations turning.

But maybe you or your child was born to create the damn machine, not work in it.

Or maybe they were born to give birth to a new way of thinking that doesn’t even require a machine at all.

How is that not valued the same, if not vastly MORE, than the prior?

We need to be treating students critical thinking and tap into their creative thought process, not just training them like factory workers.

I say stuff like this quite often.

And, to non-entrepreneurs, I think they get a bit offended by it.

But I’m not here to de-value someone being a “cog in the wheel”.

In fact, were it not for people like that, people like me would be stuck in crazy land.

The only reason I position it the way I do is so we can at least appreciate or give thought to the other side of this picture.

So that students don’t have to go through the trials and tribulations of just trying to “fit in” and “be like everyone else”.

I’ve told this story many times but that’s semi how my story started to unfold.

In the midst of my first year getting into the University of Georgia, I had bounced around quite a lot to figure out who the hell I wanted to be in the world.

This time it HAD to work because my “flakiness” was starting to greatly irritate my parents…

Plus, I felt like I needed to prove that this wasn’t yet another poor decision I had made…to myself and to everyone else.

Within about a month, I found myself (yet again) miserable.

And despite the fact I had pursued all these various paths, I was seemingly right back where I started.

But this was different.

Because it wasn’t Middle School anymore where you’re not expected to KNOW what you’re going to do in the world.

I was 21…

The pressure was on…

My friends were graduating and getting good jobs.

And I had just transferred for like the 4th time.

Losing credit hours and still not really defining a Major.

En route to a Spanish 2001 Class (again, another one of those moments), I remember calling my mom and just crying…

I told her I was tired of being me and I just wanted to be like everyone else.

It’s actually still difficult for me to think about that moment.

I want to invent my own time-travelling DeLorean to go back and scoop that dude up to show him the way.

But the reason I tell this story is that there are kids and young adults suffering right now in the same manner.

Desperately trying to fit into a world that they just weren’t intended to be in…

At least not at the highest levels of their contribution to the world.

I talk about how entrepreneurship is way more simplistic than we make it.

It’s about identifying a BIG problem that you care about and developing a viable solution for it.

We try to make it sexy with our buzzwords and acronyms to sound like smart and savvy entrepreneurs…

But really, the ones that get it understand to just observe the world, identify problem areas and derive an augmented solution that people are willing to pay for.

I think it’s beyond safe to say that we have PLENTY of problems that require fixing.

Look at how antiquated our current solutions are, even in 2019.


The firearms police use is ANCIENT “technology”.

The planes we fly in aren’t all that different in terms of mechanisms from some of the initial commercial airliners.

People still live under bridges like stray dogs and we’ve yet to develop an affordable solution.

Isn’t it wise to think that maybe the problem isn’t the problem?

But rather the problem is that we’re not raising children to learn how to address and FIX these problems.

Because, in my eyes, that’s the power of entrepreneurship.

That’s beyond just having your child come home with good grades on their report card.

So, just maybe, that’s THE problem we want to start fixing.


Laura Sandefer


Courage To Grow

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