You went to college and decided that you wanted to become an entrepreneur. Paul Haarman says congratulations, you’re not the only one!
If there’s any time in your life where studying other entrepreneurs is appropriate, it’d be right now: there is a list of dos and don’ts on how to start your first business and succeed as an entrepreneur.
Paul Haarman reminds us to keep in mind that there’s no perfect formula for success, but we give you some guidelines to figure out if this path is right for you.
While some people go into entrepreneurship with nothing but hope and passion, sometimes they might lack creativity or business savvy. By learning from those who’ve gone before, maybe some of those pitfalls can be avoided.
But there’s no need to be discouraged if this isn’t the path for you. If entrepreneurship doesn’t seem like your thing, hang out with us on campus and enjoy our student orgs, Greek life, or football games! And if that doesn’t do it for you, check out how to get jobs on our homepage!
Do This: Take the time to learn about what you’re getting into.
It is good to know all possible options available before making any commitments – whether your goal is an entrepreneurship degree or not says Paul Haarman. Researching entails knowing what tasks are involved in business operations and understanding the pros and cons of certain ventures (including self-employment). Do not limit your understanding to one or two examples; expose yourself to as many models as possible.
Don’t: Underestimate the time and effort it takes.
If you think entrepreneurship is a fast track to making money, think again. It takes real work (and even some failed attempts) before your company is going in the right direction if it ever gets there at all. Often, people overestimate their initial ideas and underestimate how much they have yet to learn about starting a business. It is essential that you remain committed and do not give up when things get tough. A great way to stay motivated? Stay active on campus – check out our recreation resources!
Do This: Work with your strengths.
When you are young and just starting, it can be challenging to improve yourself – but that’s okay! If you’re not great at everything yet, why try to be? Try developing one skill at a time until you become more assertive in that area. Successful entrepreneurs have some common characteristics: determination, innovation, creativity, organization, risk tolerance, ambition, focus, endurance/persistence. Our campus has tons of resources for anyone who wants to develop their strengths (or learn more about them) – check out our study abroad programs!
Don’t: Lose sight of your goals.
If you fail at one thing, don’t lose sight of the rest! Entrepreneurship requires time and effort, but you have many roles to play that are just as important – student, friend/loved one, etc. And remember that most entrepreneurs have a “side” business rather than a single endeavor. It is essential to focus on making an impact in your field and areas outside of it. So, get involved with organizations or start a blog!
Do This: Be practical when building your portfolio.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, internships may be more valuable than college coursework because they give you real-world experience working in an environment where you are free to make choices says Paul Haarman. Keep in mind that most employers will want to see practical examples of work – this is your chance to show what you can do, so don’t limit yourself by just doing “busy work.” A resume objective statement should have a few sentences about the type of job you’re looking for and how it fits with your long-term goals. Here are some tips on how to create one.
Don’t: Forget about networking opportunities.
As per Paul Haarman networking works! Almost every entrepreneur had an inside contact with someone who helped them get started, whether they were employed or not. So, remember that your fellow Knights are here for support – check out our clubs & organizations! Even if you start out working alone, having connections beforehand makes all the difference.