So there’s this young college kid who’s got a great GPA, is very sociable, and does very well in his classes.
His family is very proud of him, they say, ‘what a great future he’s bound to have!’, and they see him wearing his suit and working in some big office, with subordinates, doing important stuff for a nameless corporation.
Little do they know all that this student sees is a commitment to give his best in all aspects of life, and his academic experience is merely the means to achieve the end purpose of creating credibility not only within his peers, but within the faculty, the staff, and the local business leaders who support the college.
So, how can academic life and entrepreneurship combine?
In a recent post, Jim Yaghi detailed why most college students will not become entrepreneurs, and the major reason is that they’re only there because they have to.
Think about it: whether it’s society, or family, or good-old boss pressure, most college students are there against their will. Because of it, they tend to offer their least, since there’s zero motivation.
Now, when a student realizes the relationship between income and studies, there’s a much higher change of strong dedication. At this point, that student has the potential to assimilate academic efforts as a personal investment to be recovered at potential job interviews, in informal conversations with superiors, or even in personal relationships.
And that is where academic life and entrepreneurship converge, and studying becomes an investment in personal development.
Take Charge Of Your Academic Investment
Classes are nothing more than a portfolio of the skills a student-preneur sees as the most benefitial to their enterprise. I, personally, would steer away from exact sciences – even though I appreciate the logical thinking that comes with math and physics, there’s very little return on that investment.
Here are some ways you can turn your academic investment into entrepreneurial opportunities:
- Take advantage of the exposure and develop a network beyond ‘beer-buddies’
- Explore the possibilities within each class: copywriting skills out of English, leadership skills out of History, etc..
- Be on your teachers’ good side by raising critical questions – reference letters are particularly powerful when meeting Venture Capitalists, Banks, and initial customers.
- Find and explore the small business center/junior business/business department and develop contacts – it might turn out into a speaking gig
- Make use of the career center to find cheap qualified labor – again, cheap outsourcing!
If you’re not in college
I realize the average reader of the LifePath of a Network Marketer is not a college student, but the same concept applies: entrepreneurs are opportunity-obsessed and their success depends on knowing when, where, what, and WHO to invest their time with.
Learn how to turn adversity into opportunity, and you will have no unecessary experiences.