Becoming an Entrepreneur in College
Many students are eager to learn ways in which they can diversify their income, put a little cash in their pockets or add skills that will help them get ahead in their field of study. What many students don’t know is that becoming an entrepreneur while in college can have a lasting impact on your personal growth and your wallet. Here are some steps to take if you want to get serious about becoming an entrepreneur.
Find what sets you apart
Most successful people set themselves apart from those around them. Are you uniquely skilled at something most others have difficulty with? Does this skill have the potential to help others?
It might be difficult to decide what sets you apart if the answer isn’t immediately obvious to you. Ways that you can figure it out include:
- Ask your closest friends and family members what they think you do well
- Take an inventory of your current skills (playing guitar, cooking, investing, etc.) and pick one that represents you
- Use what your studying to your advantage and build something with it
- Utilize the services of a life coach to find your areas of strength and use them
Launch a website
Design an inviting landing page that displays the goods and services you plan to provide and make it clear that they’ll make consumers’ lives better. This is a sustainable way to leverage your assets.
Creating and tailoring a website isn’t as difficult as you may think. Websites like Spaces, Wix, WordPress, or Moonfruit can help you build something that looks professional, inviting and engaging. Use this to your advantage and start building your brand.
Network, network, network
Even if you’re not sure a networking event is worth your time, keep in mind that there’s probably a handful of worthwhile conversations to be had with other attendees. Talking to others in your field can help you better understand both your competitors and your audience. It’s not enough to just show up. Be proactive in getting to know other people so that your sphere of influence continues to expand.
What might help you are business cards. They’re an easy way to leave a lasting impression on someone while also giving them a way to communicate with you in the future. When you give someone your card, you’re investing in your future because there’s always the chance that this new acquaintance can impact the work you want to do.
Volunteer for the hard stuff
This is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart. By volunteering for the things that other people don’t want to do, you are investing in your personal growth. It may feel uncomfortable at times because all eyes will be on you. But not only do you become better because of it, the people around you are more willing to volunteer and grow, too. Remember: you are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you want to grow, they also have to want to grow.
This could mean volunteering for the lead in the next big project, or being willing to go first in a stream of presentations. Whatever it is, you’re setting the example. Take pride in that.
Use your major to your advantage
If you’re studying business, don’t hesitate to talk regularly with your professors about how you can be a better student and professional. Chance are, they have done what you are trying to do and can help you on your journey.
If you’re studying the sciences or humanities, don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers and see what they’re doing to get ahead.
Go to professor office hours and ask them questions that nobody else is asking about the field that they’re in. If they see that you have a vested interest in particular areas of study, they are more likely to want to help you.
Connect with leaders on your campus that can help you grow. This can mean taking an internship in the Office of the President or working with a particular department to leverage your growth. Any new experience, good or bad, is going to help you get to where you want to go. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these opportunities.
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