College is a wonderful place to start a business, take advantage.
The College Business
I believe every college student should at the very least have an ownership stake in a business, either through owning a business, owning a stock, etc.
In college, you are given free time you never experienced before in high school. Instead of having structured days where you may be in school from 8-3 Monday through Friday, in college you may have only 4 hours of classes on one day and no classes on the other day. With this freedom, however, you get to fill it up with what you choose. You may have a part-time job, spend time with friends, study, or even party.
One thing that isn’t on many college student agendas, but should be, is starting or having an ownership stake in a business. In college, meeting new people should be on the top of your bucket list. The connections you make in college could potentially last you a lifetime. Also, the people you meet may be a business partner or an investor in your business.
For me, it took me about 3 years before I started my own business. I dreamed and experimented with things here and there, but didn’t put enough time or money into building something. My funds weren’t the best but through a part-time job and financial aid/scholarships, I had enough money.
However, I chose to spend my money on other things like going out to eat which could have been almost completely eliminated. Also, my time outside of school was spent on hanging with friends, girls, and everything else a 18 year old guy spends his time on.
Thankfully, by the time I reached my junior year of college, I begin to think heavily about what I wanted my life to look like in the next 5 years. Since my senior year of high school, I followed people like Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Claude Anderson, I just wasn’t acting on the information I was receiving.
I made a decision to be free in the next 5 years by taking control over my life. This included controlling my time, how much money I made, and who I spent time with. The only choice that fit these criteria was starting a business. The reason why me starting the business was more attractive than having a minority stake was because I would have control over how the business is run and the opportunities I could take advantage of. I wouldn’t have to ask for permission from anyone.
Sitting down and planning what type of business I can start based on the market was an eye-opener. There are so many opportunities, that even today I have trouble focusing completely on Shanklin Technology. Once you start thinking like a boss, you can see the opportunity in almost anything. However, I know that having one main focus is the key to exponential growth in that area. The focus allows you to also see opportunities in your own space and how you can take advantage.
Even if you do not want to start a business, you can invest in one. Connecting with other people, like I mentioned earlier, is a great way to put yourself around people who are interested in entrepreneurship. Bring the topic up with your friends and see how they respond, some may even be working on something already! Your investment could potentially not only give you a recurring income stream, but also a nice chunk of money if your friend decided to sell (depending on your ownership stake and the sale price.)
My advice to any college student, especially Blacks would be to connect with your fellow Black students as well as Whites. Try not to incur too much debt while you’re in school, because this will add to your stress load and may determine how you run your business (if you have one) when you are out of school. Strike up conversations with your friends future plans and see if they bring up business. Lastly, start or get an ownership stake in a business while in college.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this article.
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