Episode 19: Pioneering the World of Education | Jeff Sandefer

Today we get to talk to Jeff Sandefer. Jeff is a billionaire entrepreneur, and a pioneering teacher. He started his first business at age 16, and has gone on to found five other successful companies. In 2002, right here in Austin, he founded the Acton School of Business. This is a very unusual, highly intense, one year MBA program that focuses on case studies, where all of the instructors follow the Socratic method (meaning that they can only ask you questions, not give you answers). The program also does something really unusual for the world of money — it focuses on a life of meaning.

In 2009, inspired by his success with the Acton School of Business, Jeff and his wife Laura launched the Acton Academy, a radically different K-12 school that combines the traditional one room schoolhouse with the Socratic method, and encourages students to build a life of meaning as well. The have already launched 26 schools and will launch 26 more in 2017. Jeff has a lot to share and we hope you enjoy this interview.

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Key Takeaways:

[2:20] Jeff came to Austin to attend the University of Texas in 1978.

[2:50] The business Jeff started when he was 16 was a success with high profit margins and lots of fun.

[4:38] Jeff majored in Petroleum Engineering in college.

[5:20] After great success starting his own oil firm, Jeff decided to become a professor.

[7:28] How important is luck in determining the success of a business?

[8:54] Time is your most precious commodity.

[10:39] The Acton School of Business’s MBA program is like a Navy Seal program for entrepreneurs.

[14:37] What’s the fallout rate at the Acton School of Business?

[15:17] Thank you to our Sponsor, the Papasan Properties Group.

[17:00] Acton Academy encourages kids to develop a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset.

[18:44] The Hero’s Journey is an integral part of what is taught at the Acton School of Business.

[20:26] How did Jeff and his wife become inspired to being the Acton Academy?

[22:33] The Acton Academy has grown from only seven students to 26 schools, with 26 more schools set to open this year.

[28:15] What excites Jeff about the future of Austin?

[29:29] Jeff goes to El Chilito everyday.

[30:34] Next week we’ll hear from Ashley Clauer of Wanderlust Studios.

The Taco:

El Chilito | Black Bean, Chorizo and Cheese

Mentioned in This Episode:

Acton Academy

Acton School of Business

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

Download link | iTunes | Stitcher Radio | TuneIn | Google Play

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