Prior to joining a start-up in college I had no idea what it really meant to be a full-time entrepreneur and a student at the same time. But I have always prided myself on being a fast learner, so I was up for the challenge.
In this article, I cover the most important things I learnt from being a part of a new/growing brand. And hopefully my experience can prepare you somewhat for what’s ahead in your business venture.
The Reason I Joined
I found a company that was like nothing else out there.
Collegeentrepreneur101 offers college students interested in business the tools that they would need to get started. And I wanted to be a part of that.
Being a student myself, I realized there was nothing in lectures that prepared me for how to survive in the real world.
Collegeentrepreneur101 gives students the tools to be successful before, during, and after college.
A lot of things that aren’t even remotely covered at school.
Advice: Know your reason for starting your business or joining a startup. That way you never get lost and can always revisit your reason if you ever run out of motivation.
What Did I Expect?
Going into a start-up I didn’t know what to expect.
I had heard the stories about the difficulty with starting a business and how stressful/rewarding it can be, but I never let that affect my personal experience.
When you create or join a start-up in it beginning stages, there are so many uncertainties involved that it is really easy to lose track of things.
Not that I expected things to be easy, but I definitely was not expecting the level of complication that came with starting a business.
After a while I started to enjoy the process of figuring things out.
I also kept myself from wanting to be an overnight success and down the road that mind set helps keep me focused and motivated to keep working till I get the success I want.
Advice: do not start a business expecting returns right away. Just like everything else in life, it is a journey that will take a while before you start reaping the fruits of your efforts.
How Joining a Start-up Changed My Way of Thinking
Starting a business is a huge responsibility.
It is something that requires a lot of, or all of, your attention. And because of that, I have had to change the way I approach a lot of things.
Here are just a few of those things:
- I have had to get more serious and mature in the way I handle things and people,
- Gotten more organized,
- managed my time better,
- Learned to work on a deadline,
- Learned how to type faster and use better grammar,
- Understand how to work efficiently,
- Know how to work better with people.
- And I learnt how to sacrifice a lot of my free time and Hobbies.
For a college student, trying to apply this to both school and the business was no easy task. But it was a learning curve that I had to get over. And I eventually did.
Advice: if you are going to be starting your business while in school, know that it won’t be easy. Take things one step at a time and before you know it, you’ll find a routine that works for you. You might miss out on a few parties and dates with friends, but it’ll be worth it.
The good thing about building a business is once you get in a groove it is pretty hard to stop.
The Skills I Picked Up
And what I have come to learn is that those skills teach you things that would usually take other people years to even touch:
- Business management
- Product marketing/Advertisement
- Online marketing
- Content creation
- Learning how to create and stick to a budget
- Customer service
- Effective research
- And so much more…
This is just a short list of the things I have learnt so far and every day I learn something new to add on to this list.
And most of these things were never taught to me and they are skills and experiences that will be with me for the rest of my life and that really set my resume apart from all others.
Advice: As you build your business, pay attention to the skills you pick up on, write them down, and build on them. Not only will mastering these skills boost your productivity they will also come in handy in the future.
This is probably the most important thing I have learnt and have had to use every single day.
Patience goes a long way in business. Like, in EVERYTHING you do in business.
I have learnt to understand that everything I want to happen, can’t just happen right away.
Things take time, especially for start-up companies.
There are long, hardworking hours followed by little progress at first, but as I continue to work, I have seen my progress continue to grow.
Also, me learning patience from the start-up has also taught me patience in other areas of my life. It is just a great all-round trait to have.
Advice: if you are working on something and aren’t seeing the immediate results you expected, do not quit. Exercise some patience, look at where you started and look at how much you have accomplished now. If you have been working hard, you will see how far you have come and grown. Be patient and keep working.
What I Would Say to Someone Asking About Start-Up
To someone looking start a company or join a start-up I would tell them to do it, but to only do it if they are ready to work.
When you build a business, you can’t take everyday easy. It will be a grind and you will have to put in a lot of work.
But the skills and experience you get with the friendships and connection you make will set you up so nice at the end, you would be glad you went through the grind.