Is a college degree worth it? Can you become a smart entrepreneur without going to college and without pursuing a degree? If you think and breathe entrepreneurship, and you have some talent which you can show before going to college, you should really try to become a smart entrepreneur first. Just get out in the world and start a business. Learn from real life experiences and learn faster than anyone who is pursuing a degree. In this way, you’ll not only save a lot of education loan debt, you’ll also achieve success before everyone else. But remember, this is not a college degree vs. entrepreneurship battle, you must have some unique abilities, talent, and a vision. If you’ve got all of them, here are 8 ways to help you become a successful smart entrepreneur without a college degree.
Be a Smart Entrepreneur :
Understand your purpose
Some people name it ‘the calling’, while many others call it a purpose. Whatever you call it, you have to know what drives you. What is pushing you to get there? What is your motivation? What’s your purpose?
Every person has some reasons behind his actions. For some, it’s money. For others, it’s all about fulfilling a promise. Most of the people who choose entrepreneurship over college degree start a business just to earn some money and satisfy their job requirements. Make sure you don’t become one of them because one day you’re going to ask yourself “What am I really doing?” If your answer to that question is not beyond selling and convincing customers to buy, you won’t find motivation. To keep yourself motivated, set a purpose, no matter how big it looks. Set a purpose which is beyond selling services and products.
Learn on the ground
Regardless of the status of your business idea, the process of learning is endless. The more you learn, the more you realize that your knowledge is very little. As an entrepreneur, you must put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you’re not willing to go out and face the real world, your knowledge will be limited. Meet people, speak to them, and ask about the problems because doing that would give you insights into the particular business you are planning to get yourself engaged in. The experiences and information available on the ground are real, up-to-date, and practical.
Soon after collecting information on the ground, write about them. Make notes about each question you asked, what’s the most common problem your potential customers face? What your competitor’s strength and weaknesses are? This will help you develop products and services people want from you.
Get good by doing
Not every strategy works for everybody, but the surefire way to be a smart entrepreneur without going to college is by doing. It’s all about how you execute your ideas and plans. If you can learn from magazines, how-to articles, and YouTube videos, learn but don’t just consume content. Do the work. Do what takes you closer to your vision statement.
Consuming content and never doing anything will only fill your mind with thoughts, but this is not entrepreneurship. Realize the difference between yourself and a student who attends lectures in college and gets no practical knowledge of entrepreneurship. If you are just consuming content and not putting your knowledge into action, you’re losing. You’re losing that degree which you missed, you’re losing that brand, and you’re losing your vision.
Every honest entrepreneur will tell you: he or she learns more from a bad experience. For example, you start a business today and tomorrow it becomes successful. You’ll learn nothing in such case, but if you start a business and it doesn’t work, you’ll learn a lot. So start with what you have and where you are.
By sitting in a classroom, you get to interact with a bunch of people who share the same interest as you do. But without a college, you have to find such people. There’s a positive side to this fact. When you are on your journey to becoming a smart entrepreneur without a college degree, you get the chance to come out of those four walls. You can interact with someone new every day. You can learn from people who live in a different state or even a different country. Meet with these people, ask questions, learn about their business challenges, and know how their strategy helps them face problems, while you share your own. Asking for help or advice is not bad. It is essential not just for problem-solving, but it’s also good from a social perspective.
Learn practical money skills
You don’t need to sit in a classroom and learn the past, present, and future of economics. All you need is a practical approach to smart money management. How much money do you have to keep your business operational? First-time entrepreneurs always forget to check because they are too busy dreaming about the money they’ll be making after one year. This is dangerous because if you lack practicality, nothing can go perfectly and you’ll run out of cash soon. You need to understand what it takes to pay for salaries, rent, inventory, and other necessities. Running a business is not about just making money for your personal expenses, you need a high level of practicality.
Always stick to your words
Fighting your own mind and winning is something entrepreneurs find very interesting. Keep your own words like you’ve made a rule for yourself, and no matter what, you’re going to keep your words. It is very easy, but most of the new entrepreneurs find it very hard to implement.
If you have made a commitment, deliver what you promised. It will not only keep your brand’s image strong, but your self-image and reputation will also remain high. Poor decisions could put your business and your status at risk. Change your attitude. If you realize that you are wrong, change your attitude and take an action. Block your mind from any triggers that provoke you to procrastinate or take important things casually. You can do this by taking quick actions.
Chase perfection, not investors
Investment in a business can make the team do a lot. Investors are real angels for new businesses. But if you believe that funding can add a lot of comfort, security, and drive success, think again. Raising money for the first round is really easy for many businesses, but in the second and the third round, it becomes harder. That sense of comfort and financial security fades away and this is where the real struggle starts. It’s a trap for both the founders and investors.
Instead of chasing someone to invest money in your business, work to build something really amazing. Build a strong product and stop thinking of other sources to fund your business. If you have the ability to build a product by sacrificing the comfort of a luxury work space, you don’t need an investor to come and teach you about your own product.
Refuse to lose
Just imagine yourself sitting without a college degree/certificate, and with a failed business. How does it look like to you? Are you scared? This is what happens when you give up on your dreams, when you give up all the hopes and lose everything. An entrepreneur is just hungrier than the other human beings. Whether you are rich or poor, if you can prove that you don’t need anything and you can do it on your own, get ready to put a massive amount of hours and energy into the business. It can be a slow climb to the top, and the game you’re playing may require different skill sets at different levels, but as long as you’re an independent spirit, you will thrive.
Image Credits To : Taylor Johnson