“Start a business.” This seems to be becoming the trendy response when students in college ask what the best way to create wealth is. Now, the key aspect of this advice is in the first word, START.
Don’t wait on your own business to happen when it is convenient for you. As an entrepreneur in college myself, it’s interesting to hear the excuses of why students don’t want to start a business while they are in school.
- “I don’t have the time or the money.”
- “My parents would stop supporting me.”
- “I don’t know enough.”
These are all very common responses when asked, “Why not start a business today?”
They are valid excuses. A student’s day can be consumed by studying, followed by a meal of ramen or pb and j’s. Staying at school is dependent on grades which sends students into a self induced tornado of doubt, often overanalyzing their studies, spending way too much time being active and not productive, and worrying about things that are irrelevant.
An aspiring entrepreneur who is in school and waiting to start a business typically will have a day like this: Wake up, go to class, chat with friends, go to next class, eat something, go to next class, go to the library for 5 hours spending 3 of those hours trying to figure out what to study, one of the hours talking with friends about how much they dislike studying, and spending the final hour trying to study to feel like you are getting something done. Eat something else, watch a show or something, cast a thought on wishing you could start your business, go to sleep. Repeat. Add going out on the weekends.
This was me for my first two years of college. I was stuck in a cycle and I couldn’t get out. The friends I was hanging out with weren’t really doing anything about it either and I was starting to stagnate. I remember the day when I said to myself, “No more. I don’t even care what it is, but I am starting something.” That same week a friend from high school reached out with a business opportunity and I jumped on board.
Fast-forward a year and a half later, I helped create an international travel and adventure company and am an investment consultant and am working part time. Oh, and I am still a full time student.
Because of my decision a year ago to dive in on my dreams instead of wonder how hot or cold the water would be, when I graduate college a year and a half from now at Loyola Marymount University, I will not need a job. I will have the ability to work wherever I want, whenever I want with whom I want, making how much I want. I am also quitting my part time job within the next 3-4 months because I won’t need it anymore and will officially be my own boss, running two businesses while in school.
Now, there is something very important that I want to close with. I am just an average guy with above average goals and dreams. Because of whom I am surrounded with, the books I have read, and the places I have gone, I have been able to start learning more about how life works and how I work.
Granted, I have had to sacrifice things. The biggest being social esteem from ignorant people. There are students who see what I am doing and say I am wasting my time and should get a “real” job and whatnot. This is because they have sight but no vision. They see me for who I am, not who I can and will become. Again, sound familiar? There is such a thing as sincere ignorance. Someone can be sincere in what they are saying but ignorant in understanding why you are doing what you are doing. Hold fast onto your purpose of action. A big thing that helped me was this quote from Zig Ziglar:
College is the best time to start a business. You are surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of students every single day who often have no idea what they will be doing or even want to do after college. You have access to a library with thousands of books that will have anything you are looking for, and you have the advantage of creating a legacy at your school.
I merely made the decision and realized that people follow people who know where they are going. Even if people don’t do what I do, they have started to follow me just to see what I am doing, because I have actually established what I am doing and where I am going.
I have learned to preach a vision and understand that those who were meant to follow will. Also, starting your business will add one of the most important things into your life: PASSION. Imagine how much easier studying and even talking with people will become when you know you either have already worked on or will be working later on what you’re passionate about!! You will notice a huge difference right away in your mindset. I know I did.
My next post will be about how to get people interested in partnering up with you in your business endeavor, how to get numbers, and how to build credibility within the first few moments of meeting someone.
But for now, I will give the scenario of what my days look like now, and then provide some action steps to take, TODAY.
The schedule of a full time student while pursuing and building business passion project:
Wake up motivated, go through morning routine, get more done before noon than most people do all day, go to class, talk with some students and ask questions, get a few numbers, go to class, eat something, go to next class, mingle with students for a bit, study with 20 minute sessions and 5 minute breaks for about 2 hours, eat something, workout, go home, run calls for business, mastermind with business partners all over the country and world, talk about our future, eat something, read, do some research, go to bed.
In closing, here are 7 action steps to do TODAY if you desire to start a business.
1. Start reading
2. Write down where you spend your time every day
Sleeping, eating, going to class, exercise, partying, hanging with friends, everything, see how much free time you actually have, I know my mind was blown when I realized how much time I was wasting.
3. Find a battle buddy
Call your friend, say you want change and are looking for someone to hold you accountable, set standards for each other
4. Mind map
Your business ideas, money you would need, products, etc.
5. Make a dream board
Get creative and put your dream house, car, watch, whatever you want. It’s your dream!
6. Write down your goals
You can’t hit a target you can’t see and a dream is just a dream until it is on paper, then it becomes a plan
7. Establish your why
This last and final step should really be number 1. Create a deep emotional reason for why you are going to do what you are going to do. Whether it be to retire mom and dad, pay for college, have financial and time freedom, really take some time and write it out
There you have it!!! Most of all have fun!!! Great luck on your future endeavors and taking your first step to becoming an entrepreneur student. START TODAY