So you’ve finally earned your college degree? What’s next?
For some, they would join the concrete jungle and get a corporate job. For others, however, entrepreneurship is the other way to go. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs earned their college degree even before they became big in their industries. Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, Jerry Yang, Larry Page, and Vera Wang are some of the most successful entrepreneurs who have a college degree.
So, how do you learn entrepreneurship after you’ve earned your college degree?
Here are 5 Ways:
1. Find a mentor.
For someone who doesn’t have as much experience yet in the business, finding a mentor will very much help you in becoming an entrepreneur. Find a mentor you’d like to emulate. Make connections with the most successful personalities in the industry you want to get into. Mark Zuckerberg, for one, was mentored by Steve Jobs. He once said in an interview that Jobs would give him advice on creating things of “high quality“. Find someone who also has the same values and be mentored by them. Not only will they be able to give you good advice, but they can also help in the future if there are any challenges in the business.
2. Research the market for what you do best.
So you’ve spent a good 16 years studying and you’ve finally earned your diploma. You most probably know now what you do best. Graduating after college is the best time to turn that skill into a business. Learn as much as you can about the thing you do best. Study the market, do your research, attend talks and seminars for updates so you have a picture of what you are getting into. When you know what to expect, it becomes easier to make decisions about your business, and you will also be able to excel more and be the best at it.
John Schnatter of Papa John’s started his business in 1984 and built his first restaurant 2 years after graduating from college. He has been working at pizza joints since he was in high school and even sold pies from their tavern. He then eventually ventured into business after he completed his degree. He was good at making pizza and he saw an opportunity to provide better pizza. He now owns the world’s third largest pizza joint with over 4,700 restaurants globally.
Related article: 4 Simple Tips to Build Big Businesses
3. On the job training.
Nothing can prepare you more as an entrepreneur as on the job training does. Collect some work experience which could help you in your future business. While working, you will learn the ropes and develop the skills and values you need as an entrepreneur. Take, for example, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, who worked at JC Penney with only a $75 monthly salary, and for DuPont before he first franchised a Ben Franklin variety store. He then opened more stores until the first Walmart store was built. Walton is one of Time’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century for his legacy in retail. Who would’ve thought that he would be able to build a retail empire when he just started with a $75-job? It’s sure working for those humble jobs helped him become a legacy that he is now.
4. Read, learn, and watch.
One of the best ways to learn about entrepreneurship is by taking as much information as you can. Read as many books and articles about entrepreneurship, learn about it by listening to podcasts featuring successful entrepreneurs and watch webinars or videos about creating businesses. There’s so much information you can utilize after graduation that can help you learn about entrepreneurship. There are many websites dedicated to entrepreneurship where you can learn about the subject.
Freelancing can help one not only hone his or her skills, it can also help discover what kind of innovation we can create. When you are a freelancer, you earn and you learn. Chris Pearson, the founder of DIYthemes.com, started as a freelancer designing WordPress themes. He thought of something that would radically change the overcrowded market of WordPress themes. His thesis themed framework became popular and has partnered with other successful blogs. Is there a skill you are good at? Freelancing is one of the best ways to create a business from it.
Although many successful entrepreneurs did not wait to have a degree before they started their businesses, it’s not too late to become one after you finish college. It may even be the perfect time to begin your journey to successful entrepreneurship. Learn as much as you can about it and start building your enterprise.