Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18 2013 10:50 a.m. MST
Clarification: former Mormon missionary links Mormon missionary service to
entrepreneurial skills. Working at a small company or going to school for those
2 years would also be linked to entrepreneurial skills.
Ken,You are trying to down play the skills LDS missionaries develop
while serving non the least of which is foreign language abilities and people
skills. Can't fathom your objection to this article.
Of course, Ken, but missionary service kills two birds with one stone.
@KenI think that the point is he feels he gained those entrepreneurial
skills through the work he did on his mission. He may or may not have gained
those same skills working for a small company or going to school during those
two years.Some people would gain those skills by working, and gained
nothing in that regard from a mission. Everybody has different experiences,
different ways of learning and different work ethics.
Buff, No, not trying to down play the skills they develop. Just pointing out
that skills are developed by people 19-21 who stay home, go to school, and learn
about starting businesses. Can't fathom your objection to my simple
If a man cannot serves two master, it might be a good idea for a prospective
missionary to give a bit of thought as to why he or she would accept a call.
The full-time missionary learns a unique blend of communication skills, personal
discipline, teamwork, and creative thinking that I can vouch for is difficult to
replicate. Having served in the military, been to college, been an entrepreneur,
as well as a manager in a Fortune 500 company - I can say that I learned more
applicable 'entrepreneur' skills on mission. The chief reason is
because the missionary lifestyle calls on the participant to have to work with
many varied and difficult circumstances that it is very hard to learn in other
places, in the same way you are sort of dropped into the deep end for such
extended periods of time. You are going into homes and dealing with all extremes
of emotions, social issues, living circumstances and education levels of those
for which you serve, and every day you have to think on your feet (literally),
while having to work with a peer who may not always be naturally in sync with
Ken- because people don't write articles about how doing what we would
normally do gets us what we would normally expect. An article or comment to this
affect would imply a motive that makes more sense. Disparagement or descent in
From my point of view, the one really valuable skill many, not all, missionaries
learn on a mission that cannot be duplicated in a classroom is a 2nd language.
Spoken as the people of that particular country or culture speak it. Not
textbook French or Spanish, for instance.
I would love to have access to their language skills. How do they do it?
2020, I totally agree. I think you can agree that many people could read this
and potentially make an incorrect conclusion in that going on a mission(as
opposed to staying home and working and study entrepreneurism) leads to more
entrepreneurial success. I am simply pointing out this is not what the article
says. And the fact that so many people had issues with my simple and correct
statement further makes me believe as I do.
The foreign language skills and sales skills probably help in a variety of
I once worked on a political campaign with a 22-year old and couldn't
believe how immature he was. He was educated and had been sent in from a major
national political organization to work with us. After a while I finally
realized what a contrast it was between him and the 22-year olds I was used to.
I was used to 22-year olds who had served missions. They were light years ahead
of this guy. Missions make a big difference. They turn kids into grownups and
give them all kinds of experience and skills they wouldn't have gotten
anywhere else. This is just one example but there's no question about it.
Well it makes sense (btw, I don't mean this negatively), trying to get
people interested in your church is not that far off from trying to get people
interested in your product or service.
I can see vaild points and discussion about building your work skills on an Lds
Mission. Especially for young men and women on Lds missions. When they finish
their lds missions. The young men and women have to be adults in the real world.
The flip side of this article, is this what the Lds church/forbes magazine
is promoting. Its like making a business deal with the lost and lonely souls of
the world. Who also live in Gods lds kingdom.Who need help/support and prays for
their spiritual journies.I really hope and pray there can be a balance in
Lds missionaries around the world. That these young men and women , will be all
rounded sons and daughters of Heavnly father kingdom. God to Serve in Heavnly
So then I suppose there must be a lot of billionaires who are returned LDS
missionaries, or Nobel Prize winners, or something?Maybe somebody
can provide a list for us?
Coming from a background of serving a mission, having a business degree, and
being an entrepreneur, I must say that the most important business skills that a
mission taught me was communication, sales, a language, critical thinking, and
maybe most importantly, time management. Ken and 2020 - I agree with a
lot of what you both said. However, it isn't always a choice of "do I
go on a mission or do I go to school and work in business?" It is possible
to do both, which I have done. I have a good friend that did not serve a
mission and went into business instead. He now owns a successful business and
is very happy. However, I still think that if he served a mission he would be
an even better businessman because there are experiences out in the field that
you won't get anywhere else. But these are just by-products and
aren't the reason that you should serve a mission anyway.
We are encouraged to "learn by study, and also by faith." An LDS
mission is an excellent training ground in developing the most crucial skill in
business, which is the faith to seek answers to our problems in prayer.
I've spent countless hours on my knees as a businessman, and have found
solutions to problems that could not have been solved any other way. This
provides considerable help in every other facet of my life.
I don't know about it making me a better entrepreneur, but it definitely
improved my study habits to get me through college, as a married family man, who
also worked full time. It also helped me learn a third language.
Nice Forbes article about a businessman's reflections on his personal road
less traveled experience. And why do we as a society make the jump
that success equates to millions or billions of dollars ? Can't doing well
enough to be more than a going concern, and doing good for your customers be
profitable enough for all involved, and call the day good ?
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