You don’t always know what you want when you’re in college. When I was a college student, I thought I was going to be an entertainment lawyer – but even after graduating from law school and getting a job in the field, it turned out that this wasn’t the kind of work I loved.
What I discovered, after going through college and law school, was that I wasn’t really interested in having a “boss.” I wanted to start a business and be my own boss. I didn’t just want to contribute to an existing organization, I wanted to build something new. I didn’t care how hard I would have to work; I was willing to do it as long as I could have that feeling of freedom and creativity every day. My only regret is that I didn’t decide to start a business several years earlier!
For any college students out there who are reading this, if you feel like you’re not really sure what you want to do with your life after graduation, if you feel hesitant to sign on for a typical cubicle job at a big corporation, if you feel restless and curious and interested in lots of different things…then maybe you’re an entrepreneur at heart. Maybe you should think about starting a business to create your own career.
It’s never too early to start thinking about starting a business, even at a young age. Even while you’re still a university student, depending on your skills and interests, you can freelance, start an online business, start a blog, develop iPhone apps, create a technology startup, or find some other way to fulfill a need and create value with a side business.
As a mother of four, I’m starting early to try to raise my own kids with entrepreneurial values. I want them to always feel like they can control their own destinies, confidently build relationships with people, and bring amazing new things into the world.
Many college students might be hesitant to start a business. They might think, “I’m not a natural entrepreneur,” or “I don’t have the right skills,” or “I’m not hard-headed/ruthless/brave/reckless enough to be an entrepreneur.” Don’t sell yourself short! Too often, people get the misconception that there’s only one type of person that can become a successful entrepreneur – that you have to be hard-charging and a tough negotiator, or a high-strung creative genius like Steve Jobs, or you have to be willing to steamroller anyone who gets in your way.
This is not true! All sorts of different people with all kinds of personality types can succeed as entrepreneurs, if they really have an idea that they’re passionate about – and more importantly, if they have the skill set and discipline and tenacity that will keep them focused on implementing their ideas. The best entrepreneurs aren’t in it just “for the money,” but because they want to create something, build something, and make a difference in the world.
Although it’s never “easy” to be an entrepreneur and there is always an element of risk to starting a business, in many ways there has never been a better time to launch your own company. With the age of the Internet and social media, there are more ways than ever before to start a business and make it a reality. You can use tools like KickStarter to get funding for a business or project, and there are multiple ways to get attention from people who can help you and offer advice – whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, reading blogs or contributing to online forums.
Chances are, no matter what kind of business you want to start, even as a college student, you can find people online who will be happy to offer advice and connections. As soon as you’ve read someone’s blog who is an expert in your field, you can reach out to them on Twitter – it’s easier than ever before to connect with peers and mentors and get pointed in the right direction. The rest is up to you!