Twenty two, twenty one, twenty, nineteen…….???
No I’m not counting down.
I’m declaring the age from whence the success stories begin.
It’s time to begin. It’s time to start-up!
To dream. To wonder. To explore.
Our hoopla college days may seem to be a whirlwind, but according to many top entrepreneurs it is the best time to start-up. The Business Insider found that 36% of the undergrads start with ventures right away from college. Heard of FamilyLeaf, SoulScarf, Alcohoot, Jama Cocoa? These are start-ups by college students running at a rate much faster than ventures of many seasoned entrepreneurs. Infact, the likes of Zuckerburg share the same story. A start-up allows you to “identify and communicate a lot better with people in senior level positions because you understand how to think about a business as your own which will make you very successful in a corporate context”. Here are some reasons why you must start-up in college:
1. When time waits: No not literally. But yet again, you do get a lot of time after classes or over weekends. Bill Gates said, “I never took a day off in my twenties”. If you have a strategy of business that you truly believe in, then the class schedule, or worse, lassitude must not hinder you from executing that. Launching your dream is a leap forward in itself. So instead of inspiring another season of a sitcom while you munch away a bowl of popcorn, get your mind to work.
2. Being socially savvy: Young entrepreneurs can make immediate, impactful, and lasting impressions on their target market and peers, using social media in a robust fashion. “People matter more than perks” – Forbes said it. And the world agrees to it. Hence, don’t just follow FB newsfeeds; follow influential and inspiring people who can move you to action. Building a strong network of connections is very essential in running a successful start-up.
3. Less financial pressure: Living on pennies, yet having dreams which touch the sky is one of the signatory attributes of student life. Me and my friends call it the life with “a beer’s pocket, yet a champagne’s taste”. Susan Spencer, attorney, former manager and now a partner of Philadelphia Eagles say, “The less financial pressure you put upon yourself at the outset, the more likely you are to succeed”. The key is that we have to be smart to look at the opportunities and satisfactions that can make our business turn into a culture, a brand and an organization.
4. A better time to begin (if not the best): You might have less-than-remarkable moments. But then again, sometimes the time of our lives come in a subtle way embracing the pros and cons of the journey. Enjoying the procedure of building up your entrepreneurial venture and an entrepreneur in you. You’ll make wrong decisions and then recognize the right ones. Stacey Hawley, a consulting veteran for the largest HR global consulting firm, spent 14 years advising CEO’s, Board of Directors and senior management at Fortune 500 companies about hiring the right employees. “Even if the business fails, (entrepreneurial students) understand the importance of customer relationships, branding, marketing, competitor analyses, financial analysis and managing expenses. These skills learned are significant and can be applied to all future career endeavours” Hawley advised. “Most companies value these skills; these individuals are deemed productive, high performing employees who understand business and responsibility at a younger age.”
5. Under promise and over deliver: Your age puts you in a position to set the bar low and yet achieve praises. Seasoned professionals may get criticisms for their setbacks. But a youth of 20 is at an ease with such circumstances as they are yet a part of the ‘learning curve’. Expectations can be set low, yet delivery can propel.
6. The advantage over their older selves: The men with mortgages and kids and a banal brick and mortar endeavor are at a real disadvantage. The magnitude of constraints of a youth is much lesser than that compared to a greyed man. A team of youthful brains and smart tongues have a capability of running the extra mile. Even if the venture tanks, you can start over. If you don’t wanna start over, then you still have a family to care for, friends to laugh with, alternative career options and a lot more.
7. Your co-founder is your neighbour: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft were all founded by people who met in schools. The neighbor you knock on for notes and sitcoms might be the co-founder you are searching for. There are a lot of smart people in campus. Boost you powers of observation and track them. It is very necessary to have a good understanding with your partners. And who better than a friend can understand our aspirations? Watch out for your co-founder! He might be just next door.
8. Be sojourners: Finally, be sojourners. People need heroes. But they also need fellow travellers. They need the story to be unraveling before them. They don’t just wanna know what you’ve done but also what you’ve been through. They wanna know the journey of a person who goes downhill, falls and fails and rises back up again. A person who stumbles and yet stands. A person who grows stronger inspite of all adversities. Be the inspiration which people need.
So I end with the beginning.
To dream boldly and imagine impossibilities.
To conjure up words and phrases
The world is waiting to hear.
To turn off the stream of YouTube and FB newsfeeds.
To complete unfinished thoughts.
To stop worrying.
It’s time to begin.
And hence, “Let the wild rumpus start!”
This post originally appeared on Inc.42