2 min read

For the Ambitious College Entrepreneur

For the Ambitious College Entrepreneur
Photo by Armand Khoury on Unsplash

I’ll cut to the chase: if college didn’t mean so much to my parents and grandparents, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I largely enjoy my university experience. However, I think I could find things to love in whatever path I pursue. For me, that looks like creating a business.

The right time to start a business is right now. And if you’re in college, especially so.

Most people ignore the most valuable part of college: time.

For four years, you will check all the boxes to set yourself up for a safe career (as long as you choose the right major) while also having a bunch of time on the side to build.

College Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

For the entrepreneur or creator, there’s a lot more learning to get from the real world than from the classroom.

Minimize the time you spend on your schoolwork. Ruthlessly simplify your schedule. Cut out anything not serving you value. Only study effectively. Do the minimum.

Again, I want to emphasize that if your classes are actually providing you value, spend time on them. I love my CS class, and I spend a lot of time on it. But for the classes that aren’t providing value, get rid of them.

Build Often, Publish Often

I’ll be honest: I struggle to see how anyone that is consistent in the creative/entrepreneurial space not succeeding over four years.

Consistency is the key to success for creating. Iterate, pursue what’s successful, run it back.

Results won’t happen over a couple of weeks, but they will occur over the years.

Start a problem journal. Start an idea journal. Any time you find a problem or have an idea, you need to write it down.

Treat your creativity with the respect it deserves.

Find a Mentor

The first thing you’re told when you get into the entrepreneurial space is to find a mentor. Find the entrepreneurship department at your school and find a mentor. It’s not difficult. Build a relationship with the people who’ve done it before.

Ask for help.

Learn & Iterate

The success rate on startups is about 10%. But that number jumps up to 30% for previously successful founders.

The upshot: entrepreneurship is a skill that you can learn.

During your time in college, chase what’s successful. While learning from your failures is good advice, learning from your successes is even better advice.

If you already know what works, don’t waste your time figuring out why something doesn’t work.

Keep iterating. Keep building. And eventually, the odds will be in your favor.