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Do you have a school or a business ?

Do you have a school or a business?

By Ian Simpson


This is the question many school owners ask themselves at one point or another. It’s also a necessary question to ask yourself before opening a school. In short, the answer is both.


Recently on I had the privilege of interviewing LTP President and founder of David English House, David Paul.


“ This is what I learned from David Paul “


Watch the full interview on this link, click here.  Go to the You Tube “ Description Box “ to get detailed “time markers” of our conversation.



Before I get into my discussion with David, let me first lay out the stall for what scenario any new school owner faces. Most people fall into one of three categories of skill set: –


  1. Technician – The person who loves doing the technical side of their job so much, like teaching, that they think what a wonderful idea it would be to open a school!
  2. The Manager – The person who is more comfortable in the office, writing lesson plans, curriculums, creating schedules, filing documents and organizing things! An addition to this is the person who is a good “people manager” ( or, not !!)
  3. The Entrepreneur – This is the person with the company vision, the next great idea and the drive and enthusiasm to ignite the business. 

What category do you fall into? Most school owners start as one of the three. Having only one of these skills presents problems, most of which you can probably guess, so I will leave these details for another blog. Suffice to say, a successful school owner should strive to have an equal weighting in all three skill sets, or at least be aware that all three are required and appoint the right staff to the right positions.


In my interview with David Paul, we discussed at length this dilemma, and the effect it had on the David English House business. David has a very strong opinion that education must come first. He also acknowledges however, that the business side of things is also important and cannot be ignored.


David English House was tremendously successful and had a massive impact on the early days of English education in Japan and Asia, but it was David’s decision to put education and people management in front of business that ultimately lead to the fall of David English House, a decision by which he still stands by.  To this day, the influence of David English house can still be seen in the English school education community in Japan.  In the present day with LTP and ETJ, David Paul is still focused on giving to the education community, his philosophy, “Education is about  giving to and supporting others.”

To listen to David’s opinions on this topic and many more, please go to the link above and watch this fascinating interview.


I would love to hear your opinions on the question: –

“ Do you have a school or a business? “


All constructive feedback is welcome.


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