How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur Right After Graduation
You might think that right after you graduate isn’t the time to become an entrepreneur that you don’t have the experience or the know-how to get ahead. If you think that, you’d be wrong. Sure, there are counter-arguments to why it’s a good idea to becoming an entrepreneur. The thing is, there are always counter arguments. There are always reasons to say ‘no’, whatever age you are, whatever you’re doing and whatever experience you have.
So that isn’t a real reason. And there are plenty of good arguments for why you should choose this option. So, here we’re going to explain how you can go from fresh graduate to newly minted entrepreneur so that you can take your ideas and make them soar!
Begin before you graduate
The first thing you need to realize is that the best time to start your business isn’t actually after you graduate. You see, when you haven’t yet graduated there are a lot of resources available to you that you won’t have once they hand you that piece of paper.
This doesn’t mean that your business needs to have been launched by the time you’re out of university. It’s just that you need to have put in a lot of the leg work, if possible. Preferably, you want to have connections with professors who can give you guidance and ideas. Similarly, you want to find out if there are any funds or incubators set up at your school that you can make use of. Naturally, if you can only make use of them when you’re at school, well then you’ll need to start your business and use them while you’re still there. The great thing about that is that then when you’re done, you’ll still be in the system.
Then you’ll have the best of both worlds – access to the university’s resources and the time to pursue your entrepreneurial dream full-time.
Use what you’ve got
As a fresh graduate, you don’t have that many things yet. You don’t have a lot of business contacts. You don’t have a lot of experience. You probably don’t have that much money. You do have other things, however, like an expansive network of like-minded individuals. So make sure you use them. I’m not saying you should employ them, but definitely use them to get ideas, advice, to help market your product and in other ways get ahead.
After all, money is just a proxy to get things done. So why spend money if you can do it through the network you’ve already got?
Realize that there will be down times
Starting a new business isn’t rainbows and sunshine all the way. If you’re going to go down this path, be sure you’re resilient enough to take your lumps. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to be proactive, motivated and able to pick yourself back up again time after time.
The road to success, after all, is paved with failures. The only difference is that some people give up when they fail, while other people pick themselves up when they fail and see this as a lesson about how they can succeed in the future.
If you want to get ahead and not end up like 90% of new businesses, you have to belong to the latter camp. So make sure that you spend time developing the skills that are essential to being a successful entrepreneur – preferably while it is not yet your money that’s on the line.
Get ahead in other ways
If you can avoid taking on a full course load at university, that gives you a lot more time to do other things, so make sure that you’re in a position to side-step some of the work. How do you do that? Well, think about taking something like the College Level Examination Program, or CLEP. This allows you to take exams and if you pass them, will give you course credit, which means you don’t then have to take the associated courses.
That can shorten your time spent at college, or mean that you have less course work. So take a look at what will work.
Always be looking for that idea
And finally, you’re going to need a good idea if you want to start up a business. So always be looking, always be taking notes and always be thinking how things can be done differently. To find the next big thing, you have to have a curious mind. You have to be willing to take nothing for granted and question everything.
Work on your creative side by trying out different art forms. Here the goal isn’t to become a great painter or to become a masterful musician, but rather to get a passion for learning, understanding and enhancing your creative mindset. Of course, not everyone can write an expository essay like Dostoyevsky, but this doesn't mean that you don't need to try.
For the truly creative mind takes what other people call a problem and sees an opportunity.
The most important thing to realize is that it’s ok. It’s okay if your business fails. It’s okay if you don’t immediately have a big success. It’s okay if you become ridiculously rich in no time at all. In all situations, you learn something and you grow. In all situations what you’re doing can make you bigger, better and more experienced.
And the best thing is, as you’re doing this right out of college, which means even if it goes wrong, the experience will mean that the next time you do this, the next you start out you’ll be far more ready and far more prepared. In that way, sooner or later, you’ll be there, at the top, reflecting at what you did to get there.
And one thing you’ll definitely appreciate is how you started out right of college and what you learned by doing so.