Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit? Are you passionate about change, innovation, and growth? Do you see opportunities and solutions where others see obstacles and problems?
Yes? Then you’re in the right place. The United States ranks #1 in the list of 137 countries for cultivating entrepreneurship, according to the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute and approximately 51.6 of successful small businesses were started right out of someone’s home or garage.
A tribe is a group of people that share a common goal, path, or experience. They are a support network just like your IRL friends and family. It’s no secret that the path to entrepreneurship is full of hard work, unexpected emotional shifts, and moments of utter confusion. In fact, it’s often referred to as a roller-coaster. You’ll need the support of your tribe to ride it out. Your tribe will offer you much more than emotional support when things go wrong, they’ll provide you with ideas and advice born from experience, and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that can sometimes be hard to find as an entrepreneur. Just as you'll need to find the right fit in a college, you'll also need to find the right tribe.
You’ve likely heard it said, “Begin with the end in mind”, but when it comes to drafting the plan for your journey into entrepreneurship it’s doubly important. Start thinking right now on what classes you can take that will complement, equip, and prepare you to step into launching. If you start to view each decision you make in your present life through the lens of how to propel yourself forward, you will avoid mistakes and unnecessary backtracking.
Effective time management is a skill that will serve you all your life, as a student entrepreneur, however, it’s absolutely critical. You’re going to be busy! Studying and building an empire is a delicate balancing act and the more organized and disciplined you are with your schedule the greater your chances for success. Consider time blocking or the Pomodoro method to increase your productivity and help you get a handle on your daily to-do’s.
It’s never too soon to start making connections! Attend local networking events, connect with other small business owners, consider a mentorship through SCORE. You never know where that next lead may come from and networking has consistently proven to be one of the best marketing strategies. Again, don’t forget to leverage the power of your professors here. College professors are generally well respected and well connected in their communities and most are happy to help a student entrepreneur further his or her career.
Begin your market research by answering these questions:
Now that you’ve sketched out these details, validate your idea. Study your target market. Find out where they hang out and what their pain points are; then adjust your plans according to the data you’ve collected.
While most entrepreneurial endeavors are self-funded, as a student entrepreneur you’re already juggling a lot and it may be more difficult to come up with seed money. Consider these alternatives:
We all make mistakes. You’re going to fail at some point, but if learn to view your failures as mere lessons you’ll recover faster and build a stronger business. The ability to reframe your mistakes and failures as steps taking you closer and closer to your eventual success is an art, but once mastered nothing will be able to stop you. Remember; the fear of failure kills more dreams than actual failure.