There’s a common misconception that entrepreneurs don’t need to attend college, assuming they’re going to be self-employed. Many believe that attending school only applies to individuals whose career paths involve moving up the corporate ladder. If you’re a true entrepreneur, you’re well-aware of the fact that resources is what’s going to help you become successful. Here are five tips for entrepreneurs to consider while they’re in college:
- Networking: When you’re an entrepreneur, having a college degree isn’t enough. it’s crucial to have connections in various fields of interest. As you develop new ideas, you’re going to need expertise from people involved in that specific field to bring your ideas to life. Joining organizations and participating in various events throughout the school will give you the opportunity to meet your peers and network with them. However, networking doesn’t involve just talking. In order to truly benefit from networking, make sure you exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses with your peers. That way, you can contact them when you have something that’s right up their alley.
- Build good credit: When you’re a college student, debt becomes your next door neighbor, so to speak. Applying for student loans is understandable because college tuition costs a pretty penny and not everyone is going to inherit a large sum of cash from a long lost ancestor. However, maxing out credit cards can not only prevent you from obtaining loans for current and future projects but it can set you back as well. Don’t forget, credit card debt needs to be repaid. Now, you don’t have to go all out and create a spreadsheet (unless you want to) in order to track your spending. What you could do is run some numbers and assign budgets to various categories of spending. For example, you have a budget of $400 a month for food, including eating out. As long as you stay within your budget, you should be fine. Also, if you have some spare time on your hands, it wouldn’t hurt to find a part-time job that will you provide with income. You could always use that income to pay off some of your student loan(s). Remember, student loans accrue interest while you’re in school. Getting a head start on paying off your loans is always a good idea.
- Take care of yourself: Many college students take their health for granted when they’re in college, as junk food, alcohol, coffee, and “all-nighters” are all a part of the gameplan. One of the smartest investments you can make is taking care of your body. Let’s face it, you’re not getting younger. In the long run, many sleepless nights of studying and partying can really take a toll on your body. If you don’t take care of your body from the get-go, you can’t rewind time to fix it. As you get older, you’ll notice that you won’t be able to do everything you used to be able to do when you were younger. Think of your body as a car engine. The higher the mileage, the greater care it needs to keep going.
- Reputation: Having a good reputation in school goes a long way. After all, it’s a lasting impression in which people remember you by. Sure, making a good first impression is important but building AND maintaining a good public image is good as gold – it follow you everywhere you go. You can build a good reputation by getting involved with your community and helping others in need. As a matter of fact, doing good outside of school broadens your reach and allows you to market yourself to a larger audience. When you market yourself, you market your brands as well.
- Take advantage of what you’ve learned in school: This is something that many college students, including myself, take for granted. If you’re taking classes solely to fulfill the requirements for your major, you’re doing a disservice to yourself. The information you learn in class could help you succeed when it comes to your projects. It helps to keep an open-mind especially when you’re in class because it allows your mind to absorb new information and somehow incorporate it into your entrepreneurial activities. In a time where competition is growing very quickly, it’s important to gain an edge and using the information you learned in school is definitely one of them.
I didn’t attend college until a few years after I graduated from high school. My parents were successful without obtaining a college degree and I believed I could achieve the same lifestyle. Therefore, I was under the mistaken impression that only company employees needed a college degree. However, I noticed having a college degree nowadays is far more important than it was a couple of decades ago. After attending college for a year, I realized that I wasn’t going to college for the degree. The people you meet and the things you learn is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you can’t put a price or value on that, as it makes you a well-rounded person. I wrote this article to shed some light on the importance of entrepreneurs attending college. Attending school isn’t just about obtaining a degree. It’s all about getting the tools you need to become successful. Some may argue that you don’t need a college degree to become successful and while that’s true, it’s not the college degree that makes you successful but rather the resources you gain while you’re in college.