2020 has been a turbulent year in all senses. Most businesses suffered from the effect of the pandemic restrictions in one way or another – especially small businesses and startups. So, many of those who’ve been thinking about trying entrepreneurship are now unsure if they should.
Yet it’s always worth trying to do something on your own. Who knows – maybe your small startup will one day grow up to reach the scale of Facebook, Google, Netflix, or Amazon? “Think bigger”, they say… We’d also add – start early!
The best time to begin are probably your college years. Let’s look a bit closer at why it is so and what are the best ways to grow as a businessperson while being a student.
Why Think About Entrepreneurship While at College?
You may be wondering why you should spend your time at college on such things as trying a hand in entrepreneurship. Well, here’s a number of reasons:
- You’re young, so the stakes are not as high as they will be later on; what’s more, young people tend to be more inspired and enthusiastic;
- You’re also supposedly free, meaning you have no family of your own, no kids, and not many responsibilities apart from college ones;
- You most likely still have support from your family and can ask for advice and some financial help;
- You have access to the college infrastructure and all the knowledge of your professors; you can also choose electives that can be useful in promoting your business venture.
All this looks convincing, doesn’t it? Now, let’s move on to how you can grow your entrepreneurial skills while still being a student.
Work on Your Critical Thinking
Critical thinking and logical skills are crucial for any entrepreneur – and for every successful student, too. So, there’s no escaping the fact that these are the qualities you should cultivate through all your years at college.
The surprising thing is, those “boring” essays you do as college assignments can help. Take a narrative essay: isn’t it a brilliant way to hone your logical thinking and structure your thoughts? If you don’t know how to write it, you can find narrative essay topic ideas here and see for yourself: writing essays really improves the way you think!
Other ways to teach you critical thinking include doing well in math classes, being interested in science, reading serious non-fiction and learning from people promoting critical thinking – like, for example, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Draw Inspiration From Your Environment
Colleges and universities provide a perfect environment for developing all kinds of skills, both hard and soft. So, don’t miss your opportunities – be proactive, inquisitive, and take part in every networking event you find interesting to any extent.
Also, use your college’s infrastructure to the fullest. Once you’re out of college, you won’t have such easy access to the lush libraries, as well as to the wisdom and experience of your professors. It also won’t be as simple to reach the successful alumni that usually visit their alma maters to share their experience and to inspire the new generations of students.
More than that, the very atmosphere of a higher educational institution can be inspiring. Colleges and universities probably have the highest concentration of young and talented people eager to do something important and to be someone important. And while it may not seem obvious, there can be no successful business venture without inspiration.
Visit You School’s Entrepreneurship Center
Entrepreneurship centers are getting increasingly popular in higher education institutions all over the world. And it’s no surprise, as both business and academic communities find such centers highly beneficial for students as well as for the industries.
Among the positive impacts of these centers are:
- Learning teamwork;
- Learning to handle “productive failure”;
- Being at the forefront of the emerging trends, and more.
So, if there is an entrepreneurship center in your college, don’t hesitate to make advantage of the opportunities it offers to the full extent. You’ll hardly be able to have such a brilliant chance to develop your entrepreneurial skills as this one after you graduate.
Find an Internship at a Startup
Still, there is another way to develop as an entrepreneur if you don’t have a specialized center at your college or simply want to get some more practical experience. You can find an internship at a startup.
While this may be bad advice for those wanting to pursue a traditional career, it’s a perfect chance for young aspiring businesspeople to learn the ropes and see how things are done in real-life circumstances.
Moreover, you never know how things will turn out – maybe, what is a startup today will grow to be serious business in a few years! In this case, you’ll certainly have benefits as someone who’s been on board right from the start. And even if it doesn’t grow, you’ll always be able to use the experience you’ll gain while working there for your own future ventures.
Try Your Hand in Real Business
Finally, you can always try to put theory to practice and do something entrepreneurial while still in college. Of course, it doesn’t need to be something grand, because you don’t want to get yourself into debt, do you? But something that will let you get a taste of what it is to be a businessperson will do perfectly.
As for the specific fields and businesses that you, as a student, can try – there are lots of ideas out there on the internet. You can do anything that doesn’t require big investments – from a writing service to sewing clothes to web design. Just be sure to take care of a proper business plan in order to make the most of such an experience.
As you see, you just can’t miss an opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur while at college if you are interested in starting a business of your own. So, don’t make excuses like having no time or no money just now.
Make advantage of where you are at the moment and do everything you can to gain experience, hone your skills, or even secure your place as a student entrepreneur while you’re still young!