So there I stood, a coke in one hand and a water bottle in the other, trying (unsuccessfully) to start a poolside concession stand. The problem being, it didn’t work, why? Because people don’t bring wallets to the pool. In a recent podcast, Michael Hyatt said,”The best time to start a business was yesterday, the second best time is today.” Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the coolest things you will *ever* get to do! We are going to look at becoming an entrepreneur, the skills and benefits gained, and when it’s actually worth it. But, because a predictable entrepreneur doesn’t make money, we’re going to do them not in that order.
I have always loved trying entrepreneurial ideas. From lemonade stands and lawn businesses at some point I have tried it. I do these both because I love to learn and try new businesses and because who doesn’t want to make some extra money?
When is the right time?
First, when is it worth it to become an entrepreneur? According to the Merriam Webster 1828 Dictionary of the English Language, an entrepreneur is, “One who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”. As you may have guessed from the quote at the beginning, I happen to have a strong opinion on this. It is always a good time to try a new idea. Not only that, but this is one of the best times in your life to try something new.
Most likely your personal expenses are pretty minimal and you have relatively few responsibilities. This is a great time to try your new ideas. One big thing that can make entrepreneurship hard (needing to make money to support yourself) is canceled out at this point in your life. So, do it. Try your idea, see if it is actually a good idea. Gary Vaynerchuk has a pretty simple process to test out an idea. Sell it to your best friend and then your parents, and then finally bring it to a stranger. If these people think it’s a viable idea, now it’s time to start bringing it to a larger scale.
What Skills Will You Gain?
The skills you can gain as an entrepreneur are infinite. It really depends on what you want to try. I have personally tried three main entrepreneurial ventures and have kept two of them going. The skills, and more significantly, the knowledge I’ve gained from them is priceless and more than I could ever learn in 2 years at Publix. For the sake of time and clarity I’m going to put each job in its own column with things learned underneath:
How Do You Accomplish Becoming An Entrepreneur?
As I touched on in the beginning, you are in the perfect environment to try something. And I would encourage you to think of something that I am encouraged to remember regularly. The point of this time in your life is to learn. Yes, all the subjects in High School and College are important, but so is learning about different business fields. For this reason trying your idea or interning with a local company are invaluable. To this day, the most educational experience I have had has been the summer I spent with the Chamber of Commerce. I learned important business skills and how to use many new programs, over all, very educational.
One of the biggest struggles for many people related to becoming an entrepreneur is failure. Failure seems like a big, bad, evil word. While we certainly shouldn’t strive to fail, equally you shouldn’t not do something because you’re afraid of failure. Einstein said; “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Take advantage of this time in your life and try something new. Don’t shy away because of a chance of failure. You can’t win a race unless first you cross the starting line.