The Case Against Starting Your Own Business Right Out of College: What To Do Instead

Like driving a car, riding a horse, or skydiving, entrepreneurship is something that’s best learned through experience. But before you jump out of a plane, consider learning how to open your parachute first.

If you want to start a business, by all means, start that business, but prepare yourself. Few entrepreneurs succeed on their first try, and those that do learned from others how to start and scale their startup. Before you turn down that job offer or dropout of college to become a full-time entrepreneur, consider taking these steps to prepare yourself for that dive into entrepreneurship:


Learn from the Failures of Others

learn from the failure of others

We are experiential learners, but we can gain a lot of information from working alongside and watching others. By joining a startup or taking an internship in a small business, you can learn from the mistakes of others while getting work experience.

Learning from the failure of others will help reduce your risk of failure. You will also get a better understanding of how you can add value to a startup and what you’re good and bad at. And if this startup succeeds, who knows, maybe a supporting role in a growing business will be the perfect fit.

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Develop a Network

To learn from others, you need to develop relationships with the people you want to learn from. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, developers, marketers, and others who have skills you will inevitably need when you start a business. Even if these people won’t directly work for your business, they likely have their own network they can introduce you to.

Even the best startup ideas fail miserably in the hands of a bad or mediocre team. Every successful startup needs to have someone at the core of their team who can network and bring outside talent into the company.

Start building your network now and meet as many people as possible in the fields you’re interested in. Utilize online tools like LinkedIn and local networking events.

Once you find people you want to network with, find ways to add value to their projects and ask lots of questions. When it is time to launch your own company, your network can help you overcome early challenges.

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Share Your Ideas

share your ideas

It’s only natural to think that if we don’t start our company today that someone else will do it. While that could be true, if you don’t have the skills, network, or resources to make that company successful, then your idea, even if you feel it could work, isn’t valuable in your hands (yet).

Instead of worrying about someone stealing your idea, share your ideas with your network. This gives you a chance to get feedback and to learn from people who can help you fully flesh out the idea before you give up other opportunities to turn it into a company.

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Still Starting Up?

I’m not here to stop any young entrepreneur from pursuing their dreams. Becoming an entrepreneur is a difficult, time-consuming, energy-draining journey–but it can be a wonderful, profitable, rewarding journey if you can put yourself on the right path. But even if you don’t “succeed,” if you approach this experience with an open mind and learn from your mistakes, your first startup will help you get closer to your long-term goals.

Deciding whether or not to startup now or prepare yourself for a future launch can be a difficult decision. If you aren’t sure, start building your network, researching problems that you’re interested in solving, and learning as much as possible about starting your own business and leading that company.

Good luck! To get a little help as you get started, please contact me at

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