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Dave Lukas, The Misfit Entrepreneur_Breakthrough Entrepreneurship

The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the breakthrough entrepreneurship strategies and actionable advice to accelerate your success! The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncover each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now. Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!
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The weekly podcast with serial entrepreneur, Dave M. Lukas, devoted to giving you incredibly useful and unique insight from the world's top entrepreneurs with a focus on their non-traditional methods for achieving success, their Misfit side. Misfit was created to give YOU the best, actionable advice to accelerate your success!

The show's open format and Misfit 3 concept, combined with Dave's intuitive and engaging interview style quickly uncovers each guest's key tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can start using in their lives right now.

Learn more about the show at www.misfitentrepreneur.com and become a member of Misfit Nation by signing up for the Misfit Minute, the FREE weekly email with specific resources from the week's "Misfit 3," and actionable tips and items from the world of Misfit Entrepreneurs. It is delivered every Friday to your inbox!

Jan 27, 2021

This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Karim Abouelnaga. Karim is CEO of Practice Makes Perfect (PMP), a Public Benefit Corporation that partners with K-12 schools to help narrow the opportunity gap.

Karim founded PMP at 18. He is an author, a TED Fellow and Echoing Green Fellow. At 23, he was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Education, and at 24 was named to Magic Johnson’s 32 under 32 list. In 2016, he was ranked in the top 3 most powerful young entrepreneurs under 25 in the world. Karim’s TED Talk was named one of the 9 Most Inspiring Talks of 2017 and his Forbes day-in-the-life feature is Forbes’ most viewed video of all time, collectively garnering over 5 million views.

If you’ve listened to this show for any length of time, you know that I believe traditional education is important, but self-education and learning to think independently is paramount to success. I’ve brought Karim on to talk about his experience and what he’s learned in creating PMP and in his entrepreneur journey.

www.KarimAbouelnaga.com

You have to know where you are from to know where you are going.

Karim’s parents were both Egyptian immigrants. His father had a dream to come to America to create a better life for himself. He was an entrepreneur that started from scratch. He drove a cab and the later started importing Egyptian collectables and selling them at street fairs. Eventually, this led to starting a little thrift shop. Karim spent a lot of time working in the shop helping the family business.

Karim and his siblings attended some of New York City’s most struggling schools. And early on school wasn’t that much of a priority. Then his father got sick with terminal cancer. It was then things changed.

As a kid, he hard that education was his way out. He hadn’t thought much of it, but after his father passed and he got into high school, he began to see what this meant.

He had some luck in that he had a series of mentors that helped him. He graduated at the top of his class. He went to college for business and management.

As he started furthering his education, the disparities in education became more apparent and he found his mission and purpose. He graduated from Cornell and started PMP as a way to solve the education gap with low-income schools – what he calls narrowing the opportunity gap.

10 years later, the company has grown and is a multi-million-dollar education enterprise.

What are some of the principles you learned from your father that have helped make you successful?

  • Show up early. Be reliable.
  • Foster an incredible work ethic.
  • The importance of learning to work for yourself.
  • Learn from those around and get mentors to help you – don’t stop learning.

At the 12 min 12:30 mark, Karim and I have a conversation about nature vs. nurture.

What is the challenge and opportunity that you see right now in education?

  • Money doesn’t solve problems, people do.
  • It is what you do and how you use the money to create the environment to succeed.
  • If you figure out something that works and prove it works, then the more money you put into, the more successful it can be.
  • So, the big challenge and opportunity is how to better use the money to really make sure it is being used effectively.
  • There is also a lot of bureaucracy and interia.
  • We also make assumptions that the problems we all see are being worked on already – and many times they are not.

How does entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ways of thinking help in education?

  • Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They see a problem and design a solution.
  • There is no shortage of problems in education.
  • One big constraint is always limited resources and entrepreneurs are great at succeeding with limited resources.
  • Entrepreneurs are always great at addressing problems that they are intimately familiar with.

How do we better foster independent self-education in our education system, so student realize the importance of it alongside their formal education?

  • Humans respond well when we have purpose.
  • It comes down to intrinsic motivation and how we foster it in kids in school.
  • You have to kids understand what their purpose is.
  • The easier we can make the connection between what a kid will learn and the results it can have for them, the better.

At the 26 min mark, we talk about teaching entrepreneur principles in k-12.

  • It can possibly help.
  • The bigger thing is being able to customize education to each kid’s personal needs.
  • It is taking the large bureaucratic system and making it more nimble to cater on an individual level.

Tell us about your routine and what you’ve learned on how to be most productive….

  • Routine is key – it takes the thinking out of things.
  • Prioritize sleep and don’t compromise on it.
  • A lot of evenings are spent just wasting time and not productive – by going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, you will have more time to focus during the hours that matter most.
  • Constant learning and work on skillsets is also part of routine, doing them in your own way.
  • The hardest part is being focused and sticking with it.
  • The biggest difference between the most successful and the others is their ability to cope with boredom and continue along a same routine day in and out, as boring and same as it may seem.

Tell us about your new book and its mission…

  • It is all about purpose.
  • The goal of the book is to help people figure out their clarity of purpose.
  • There are key questions that help people understand and figure this out.
  • It is a great book for people who are starting something new and for people who are thinking about changing careers.
  • It is called the Purpose Driven Social Entrepreneur.

 ​Best advice for a young entrepreneur starting out today?

  • Start! Don’t get stuck.
  • Much of entrepreneurship is learned as you go and through learning from others.
  • Going through the process is the best way to succeed.

 

Best Quote: You have to know where you are from to know where you are going...

 

Karim's Misfit 3:

  1. Your attitude determines your altitude – Zig Ziglar
  2. Less is more. The root of success is focus.
  3. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help on your journey.

 

Show Sponsors:

WorkSocial (2 FREE Months): 

www.WorkSocial.works/Misfit or 201-589-0302

ROI International:

www.ROIINTL.com/Podcast 

 

 

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