99% preparation. 1% inspiration. 100% perspiration.
Most of the common sense "business" requirements will be covered in Life Skills 101, so you’ll at least be professional and more than presentable, polite, and positive by the time you start your apprenticeship. And prompt. As Louis XIV quipped: “Punctuality is the courtesy of kings."
But we'll start with the John Wooden approach: tying your shoes right. No kidding. And pants pressed, belt, tie, blazer, haircut, and shoes–if not shined at least polished. Then, how to write a resumé, and cover letter. How to compose a hand-written thank you note; LinkedIn profile basics, and advanced upgrades. How to craft a blog article that has impact and interestingness. Learning the tricky art of navigating office politics, not taking anything personal, and letting go of any expectations. Always aiming high.
You'll discover the best ways to bring value to every job or challenge, no matter how mundane or seemingly demotic.
The entrepreneurial spirit will also be encouraged–for the passionate students burning to conquer the world, you'll be inspired to come up with an idea/technology/solution to a problem you may have in your life, or know about, and want to solve. Or maybe you've always wanted to create your own line of skin care products, or canvas tote bags made out of recycled army tents.
If that's the case, you'll learn the mechanics of starting your own business first-hand by diving right in–Minimum Viable Product, build-measure-learn, pivot or persist?
The Old's Cool "Store" is run entirely by the students, and you will learn all aspects of running a real-world retail business, from accounting, to inventory management, supply logistics, product photography and web design, marketing, shipping, and customer service.
Once you actually start your external apprenticeship, you'll continue to be check in with your advisor once a week to give progress reports, to ask questions, get advice, vent. You'll also be continuing your academics, with the same level of curiosity and focus (and hopefully intensity) as you've come to expect of yourself throughout your whole journey as a Wiseacre.
The apprenticeship book list includes: The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People; Liar’s Poker; The Prince.
"Desire predicts its own satisfaction."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we've already mentioned, the Academy’s comprehensive program includes a paid six-month apprenticeship out in the real world, in the field or career path of your choice, with one of our sponsors or partners.
We’ll spend a lot of time together mapping out a potential career path for you, based on your interests, strengths, and the direction you want to pursue. You'll be matched you with a company (and a mentor) that will nurture and guide you, teaching you the basic skills necessary to start your career, while you’ll bring enthusiasm and heart, as well as heaps of elbow grease and sweat equity to the table. A win-win for everyone.
And then you'll "graduate." What then?
A job offer at the apprenticeship that you ended up loving that turns into an unexpected and fulfilling career? Or maybe you want get together a dare of like-minded friends and dive into a crazy-sounding startup of your own. How about turning your passionate hobby into a business, like you always dreamed about? And change the world, a tiny bit for the better.
For some Wiseacres the path forward after the Academy could be to go back to (or to start) college, more motivated, mature, armed, and focused– ready to earn the degree that will be valued and appreciated. A career pivot, or even just back to your former life wisened and grateful.
We're always here to advise and guide you, no matter where you are on your journey. (We'll even post bail if you need it.) We have Old's Coolers from way back calling us regularly to check-in, laugh, reminisce, and share their war stories of hooking and jabbing, kissing and crying.
Seriously, you’ll tap into our welcoming worldwide community of like-minded go-getters and home-run hitters (hopefully!), who will also provide a life-time of support and foxhole advice. Old's Cool is a family.
Which you will add to as you make your way into the wild world of realing and dealing, sharp elbows, caffeine, and grind, grind, grind, to become the successful, and sane, and sought-after CEO you've always admired yourself.
The point is we can't teach you everything you need to know in one breathtaking year. But we can inspire you to inspire yourself–to be eternally curious and open-minded, intellectually-honest, and intentionally present every day for the rest of your life. How about them apples?
Nerve and verve, always.