It’s never too early to pursue your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, yet when you graduate college, you might feel like you’re not quite ready to jump fully into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Perhaps you feel like you don’t have enough experience, or perhaps you’d just like to get a more conventional job and save a little bit of money first.
Perhaps you’re already anxious to start your first business and you can’t wait to get it going. Whatever the case, you can lay the groundwork for your entrepreneurial endeavors early on.
Below are 5 ways new college grads can embrace entrepreneurship:
1. Get a Sales Job
No matter what line of work you’re in, you’re selling something. You’re selling yourself as well as whatever product or service you represent. This is especially true as an entrepreneur. If you don’t know how to sell, you’ll probably have a rough go of it at the beginning and selling definitely doesn’t come natural to everybody.
As a result, you could benefit from getting a sales job early on in your career. This will help you learn the ins and outs of sales, get comfortable with sales rejection, and learn how to persuade people.
If you already know what type of business you want to start, then aim to get a sales job in that industry. This will be even more powerful for you later on since sales is a grind. Nonetheless,everything you learn in the sales job will help you be a more successful entrepreneur later on.
2. Work at a Small Startup
It’s one thing to work at a big company where you feel like nothing more than a cog in a giant machine. It’s a whole different experience to work in a small startup where you interact with leadership everyday and can see how the business runs.
This will give you the opportunity to ask questions, learn from the triumphs and mistakes of the leaders, and see a type of management style up close.
When you start your own company, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture. You can see things from the point of view of your employees as well as your own point of view as a CEO/founder type of figure.
“Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?” – Michelle Obama
3. Learn Other Marketable Skills
As an entrepreneur, you need to have a general understanding of a lot of different skills such as copywriting, design, marketing, management, and sales. That way, when you eventually hire for those positions, you’ll know how to spot a potential rockstar employee who has the capacity to do a good job.
Spend some time learning marketable skills, and especially those that are related to the industry you’re most interested in. These skills may even help you get a freelancing gig, which we’ll talk about next…
4. Consider Freelancing
It takes discipline to work and build something on your own. For some people, that discipline is more difficult to develop than others. So, you should consider freelancing online. This will help you get comfortable working from home, and give you the first taste of online success.
Freelancing can add a nice chunk to your monthly income as well, which increases your financial runway and gives you more time to get your eventual business up and running. It’ll also help you potentially make valuable connections within your future industry, which will help accelerate your entrepreneurial success.
5. Move to a City Filled With Entrepreneurs
It’s difficult to understand the lifestyle of an entrepreneur until you’re around it and see it for yourself. So, you should connect with as many entrepreneurs as possible. This will help you understand things from their perspective and get you acclimated with the lifestyle. It’ll also help you determine what type of business you should start.
Luckily, there are plenty of cities in the USA where entrepreneurship is growing rapidly. You can start with any one of these 7 US cities that are great for young entrepreneurs.
“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” – Pope Paul V
The job market is more competitive than ever, and as a result, working for yourself as an entrepreneur is a smart long term move. It’s never too early to get started with your own entrepreneurial pursuits, even if you’re a new college graduate.
Whether you’re ready to start your first business right now, or you simply want to gain experience to jumpstart your career and lead yourself down a path towards entrepreneurship, these tips will help you make your goals a reality.