College has earned a reputation of being the in-between ground between an amateur and professional career. But I’ve always thought this mindset was for the faint-hearted. Why not begin a career in college? Or better yet, why not start a business? You’re in your risk-taking, learning years anyway, why not throw more risk and learning in?
You’ll be surprised at what college students, both grad and undergrad, have at their disposal.
Professors are there to help students grow this usually ends in the classroom because students do not explore the expertise of their professors. I remember taking an advertising class from a very dry professor, who I knew nothing about, just that I found his class boring. When I heard that he used to run his own advertising agency with 50+ employees, I made the effort to get to know him. His advice has always stuck with me and helped me as I have worked toward my own startup.
Time Management Skills
Starting a business while attending school is hard. I know you’re busy juggling classes, trying to find the time to study, and attend the day-to-day responsibilities that you have but, that means you’re already an excellent time manager. Use your ability as a master planner to carve out the time you need to devote to your business. I’ll say it right now, it won’t be easy, trust me. But it will be worth it.
If you’ve got the chops to start your own business while you’re still in school, chances are one of two of your classmates have the same ambition. Recruit them, bring in your friends early on and start hashing out the details. Divide responsibilities and collaborate. Not only will allow for more bandwidth between you, but it will also motivate you to actually follow through with the business. Just like a late-stage entrepreneur should have a board of directors, a college aged wiz-kid should have someone else to answer to. A startup is less likely to fail when you are forced to report to someone about it.
Most Importantly, Cushion to Fail
Failure is okay, because taking a chance on being an entrepreneur is a valuable life experience that builds character. I would argue that the knowledge you get out of starting a business in college will pay out more than the actual degree you are pursuing. Act like this business is going to be your livelihood when you graduate, but be prepared to watch your precious business fall to the ground.
Keep in mind that this might not necessarily be a career path for everyone; however, some do find success in a business they start in college. What do you think; is spending all this time and money into a business worth it, or is it better to leave this to more experienced entrepreneurs?
This article has been edited and condensed.
Super nerd turned digital marketer, P.J. Howland is passionate about cutting-edge digital marketing tactics. Within his menagerie of skills; SEO, content marketing and digital analytics stand out. PJ currently lives in Salt Lake City with his beautiful wife, working at a digital marketing agency. Connect with @askPJHowland on Twitter.