If you’re in college right now, it’s very likely you’re working what most would consider a “college friendly” job, such as: barista-ing (working at Starbucks or a coffee shop), serving in a restaurant, working in retail, or nannying. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky few with a strong support system and you don’t have to work while going to school! What you may not know, is that being a college student gives you a huge advantage when it comes to entrepreneurship – yes, being an aspiring entrepreneur in your college years is a feasible option!
I know what you’re thinking – “There’s no way I’d be able to run my own business while I’m in college. I’m too young to know what I’m doing, inexperienced, busy, broke, etc”. The truth is, there’s never been a better time to be an aspiring entrepreneur than when you’re in college – why? Continue reading below to find out!
From college classmates, to professors, guidance counselors and beyond, you have a variety of resources
College is one of the most important times in your life, and a crucial aspect of the college experience is who you meet, and how they influence you while you’re there. It’s not uncommon to make life long connections while you’re in college, and they can come handy after you’ve graduated too! Whether they’re professors, classmates, a counselor, a teammate, or even casual aquaintences, college gives you an opportunity to carry your connections through to your business ventures! Once you’ve established relationships with those you meet in college, you have an significant advantage in building your book of business over those who don’t have those same connections.
Whether it’s fellow alumni or your former professors you keep in contact with, you stand a better chance at bolstering your personal brand and building a network of support when you work with those you are already familiar with. Whatever you’re selling, your prospective clients will already have a certain level of trust (as long as you don’t abuse it) that will make it easier for you to turn them into customers.
If you’re fortunate, you may even find a mentor in those you’ve met in college, and that’s an asset you can’t put a pricetag on when you’re young and inexperienced in business!
It’s okay to be selfish
As a college student, you’ll find that this is the best time for you to focus all your time and energy on yourself. While it’s certainly expected that you’ll have responsibilities, your biggest responsibility will be to constantly better yourself so that you’re in a position to have a successful career once you graduate. Starting a new business in the middle of going to college sounds like an incredible feat, but if you consider that having a business ready for 100% of your energy and focus after leaving college will put you in a great position to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll likely find that it’s worth the effort and work-life balance.
Your peers are can support you, reccomend you, and help you with your business ventures
When it comes to having opportunities spread the word about your entrepreneurial ventures, you’ll have plenty on campus since you’re surrounded by people your age with the same goal in mind – graduating college and moving on from young adulthood to forging a path to success. Your peers are not only a great source of support, they can also be your best critics, shaping and re-defining ideas that may need extra input to come to fruition. If you’ve seen the movie The Social Network, which focuses on the founding of Facebook, you can understand how who your are can impact your ideas and how they come to light.
Whether it’s a football game, school spirit week, or a heritage club, you’ll find a trove of different students to connect with – they’ll make great ambassadors via social media and word of mouth while you’re getting your business off the ground!
Failure is a part of the journey.
If you’re grappling with fear about failing, rest assured, failure is a normal speed bump in the road that you should ultimately embrace. While making mistakes and falling into the potential pitfalls of entrepreneurship can be a deterrent for a young college student, it’s important to note that you can actually learn quite a bit from failure. Remember, amateurs built the ark – professionals built the Titanic!
You can help debunk millennial myths.
Chances are, you’ve heard over and over again from those who are older that millennials are inherently lazy, spoiled, and incapable of relating to generations preceding them. If like many others you feel that these attributes have been unfairly foisted onto your generation, guess what could force the cynics to reconsider their assessment of millennials?
Young entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Alan Schaaf (Imgur) have turned the tables on society’s idea of the millennial. Both worth billions of dollars, Zuckerburg and Schaaf have re-defined what it means to be successful after providing products that people all over the world use every day. Zuckerberg and Schaaf while in a minority when it comes to wealth, are quickly fostering a new majority – young, passionate, and wildly successful entrepreneurs whose ideas have completely changed the landscape of technology and social interaction.
While no one can guarantee that you’ll become the next Zuckerberg or Schaaf, they are living proof that you can accomplish incredible things regardless of how young you are, or how crazy your ideas may seem.
Do you feel inspired to start your own business? Are you passionate and ambitious? One way you can begin to build a small business while you’re still in college is to become an insurance agent – yes, you heard right! With no cap on how much money you’re allowed to make, the freedom to work what hours are most convenient for your schedule, and a career where you can easily begin to climb the company ladder, becoming an insurance agent offers immense opportunity for college students.
Apply for AmeriLife’s college internship program and you’ll get the chance to build professional skills with a veteran agent as your mentor, and you’ll help your community by making informed decisions about their health care.
Ready to get started? Apply Now at AmeriLife.