You know the typical plan. Go to college, figure out your strengths, get your degree, find a job, and go from there.
This life path works perfectly well for many individuals in America today. But for people who have been smitten with the entrepreneurial spirit, it may not measure up.
College is the time where young people open their minds to new concepts, viewpoints, and ways of doing things. Often, an idea will germinate in their mind, take root, and blossom into a full-fledged entrepreneurial enterprise.
But this revelation often causes angst and indecision for a person who is torn between choosing the "expected" life path and following his or her dreams. And pressures from family, friends, or bank accounts might be weighing on their thoughts.
If this is you, here's some advice that might cheer you up: it is logical and smart to launch an entrepreneurial venture right out of college rather than waiting to establish yourself in the workforce before pursuing those dreams. And here are the reasons why:
It's hard to change horses in midstream. Once you get a job and a salary, you'll start channeling your energies and finances into the accompanying career path. But you'll also slip into a comfortable groove in your day-to-day living. That's not a bad thing, but it will make it that much harder to switch gears and focus on your entrepreneurial endeavor – and the uncertainty that comes with it.
You can always get an entry-level job. It's easy to get caught up in the mindset that your life will end if you don't get a job right after you graduate. But think about it: if you give your entrepreneurial vision a chance and it doesn't work out, you're no worse off than when you left college. Actually, that's not quite true: you will have a unique experience under your belt that can help you stand out from others who are entering the job market.
You have fewer financial responsibilities. Other than your college loan and maybe some credit card debt, you have very few financial obligations that might be preventing you from taking your leap of faith into entrepreneurism. You don't have a mortgage, property taxes, or little mouths to feed.
You haven't developed an addiction to a certain lifestyle. Many people in the workforce have become 9-to-5 types who limit their late nights during the week and just try to relax on the weekends. As a college student, you're used to overnight studying, cramming for important tests and projects, and furious multitasking. These are precisely the tenets you will need to make your entrepreneurial venture succeed – so take advantage of them while you have them.
You don't have a career path to disrupt. If you take a job and then quit to become an entrepreneur, you may have trouble resuming you career path if you want to return to it. You'll be asking employers to choose you over someone the same age as you but with more years of relevant experience under their belt. But if you become an entrepreneur out of college, you don't have to worry about gaps in your resume.
Your alma mater is a great resource. Many out-of-college entrepreneurs lean on their alma maters for support and guidance in the early months of their endeavors. You can find professors who can mentor you, students who may intern for you or work cheaply, and computer labs that can help with your administrative needs. In many cases, universities are among the first customers for post-college entrepreneurial companies.
It's much more fun than a regular job. Enough said.