Any and every entrepreneur has an inherent sense of ambition, so much so that their ambition can often be confused for impatience. But, this inability to stand still is a good thing, as it will motivate a young entrepreneur to stay ahead of the game by engaging and creating multiple endeavors at all points in life.
For example, in college, aside from partying and classes most students waste their day doing mundane activities, from napping to any fruitless hobby. An entrepreneur will never be content with this mediocrity. Many of know what I am talking about when I say that an entrepreneur is never content with staying in the middle of the pack, even in a time like college.
Push the envelope. Challenge yourself. Stick out from the pack and get ahead. These are sentiments constantly rushing through any soon-to-be-successful man’s head create an uneasiness that can only be soothed by putting all of their energy into some type of lucrative or world-changing venture.
While many unimpressive students enjoy their last years free of responsibility, the Elite look at their early 20’s as an opportunity, an opportunity where they can embrace as much risk as possible without making sacrifices. Whether it be a web-based startup, an invention, or some type of unique platform, these are all things that can be built in a dorm room with as little as two people, for a cost equivalent to five nights in the city.
Just because the majority of people you are associated with are unproductive, doing little to advance their quality of life or future, do not be discouraged by this. If you are going to act like the average people, you will be nothing but average your whole life. Constantly you will hear these people say things like “I want to be a boss” or “I’m trying to be a billionaire”.
If you are Elite, you will laugh at comments like this. One, anyone that says this is, in fact, definitely not going to “be a boss”. Two, it exemplifies a mentality with an immature understanding of success and what it takes to get there. So please, if you are actually trying to obtain success, don’t look at what everyone else is doing. Be exceptional and challenge yourself to something with great potential.
Build a team, balance the team with diversity – some developers and some sales or business guys – spot a marketing opening, and craft a product. Before the time you even graduate this venture can be worth millions of dollars. And although this may only happen to 1% of people, that’s only because 95% of people never even attempt to reach for greatness.
Out of all the aspiring entrepreneurs that devote themselves to some sort of endeavor while in college, at least 25% or more of these ventures will be very successful in only a few short years. And don’t make yourself exclusive to just one venture.
Take a part time internship or job that could give you an opportunity to network. Associate with people with different talents than yourself, because in the end, you will need a diverse set of skills for a venture. Don’t hang out with a group of friends who are unmotivated or lacking ambition because this will be the death of you. Entrepreneurship is a juggling act, so embrace as many lucrative and promising opportunities and endeavors as possible.
Not only should you be starting a venture now to reach success earlier and faster than others, but also because college provides a fertile ground to develop and expand disruptive business ideas. Here is a quick list of startups that were started and obtain early parts of success while the founders were in college. Some you’ve heard of, some were sleeper successes, some are older, and some are more recent, but nonetheless each of these startups have earned over high double digit millions to billions of dollars :
- FedEx (Yale University)
- Napster (Northeastern University)
- Dell (University of Texas, Austin)
- Fox Broadcasting
- Mark Echo Enterprises
- Gateway computers
- Facebook (yes, Harvard, everyone knows)
- ShoeBoxed (Duke)
- Biz Chairs (Emory)
- Dreamworks Studios
- Google (Stanford)
- Plaxo (also a Sean Parker venture, began at Stanford)
- Tripod (U of Miami)
- Theglobe.com (Cornell, this posted the highest initial gain of any IPO in history back in the late ‘90s)
- Microsoft (Harvard)
- Venus (the women’s apparel and hygiene company, actually started as a weightlifting supplement startup by 4 meatheads at Stetson U)
- Apple (dropped out in order to start)
Plus, all the hundreds to thousands of notable startups that get funding everyday lead by founder’s who are in their early 20s, but whose names do not come up in a quick google search…