Comments about ‘Forbes article links LDS missionary service to entrepreneurial skills’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 18 2013 10:50 a.m. MST

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Sandy, UT

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.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT


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.

Herriman, UT

I 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.

Sandy, UT

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 comment.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

Kaysville, UT

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 you.

Happy Valley, UT

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 this case.

clearfield, UT

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.

slc, ut

I would love to have access to their language skills. How do they do it?

Sandy, UT

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.

American Fork, UT

The foreign language skills and sales skills probably help in a variety of situations.

Somewhere in Time, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

South korea, 00

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 father kingdom!


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?

Provo, UT

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.

Houston, TX

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.

Glendora, CA

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.

Plano, TX

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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