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How to start thinking like an entrepreneur from college

  • College prepares you for the bigger picture that is the rest of your life. How you're able to approach this preparation; what you focus on and how much you're able to develop yourself at this stage will determine to a great extent your level of success in later life.

    Looking at the facts though, it becomes immediately obvious just how many students take this preparation for granted, or worst, do not understand the need for it.

    Many believe going to college is about nothing but the certificate, only for them to graduate and realize that the certificates are useless on their own.

    And because they didn't prepare, they soon find themselves broke, unemployed, helpless and without any reasonable means of getting out of this problem. They put all their stakes on luck or faith and continue to rely on that certificate to get them a job even if it's obvious that the jobs are no longer available.

    It is in an attempt to solve this problem that the Federal government of Nigeria introduced a 2-semester compulsory entrepreneurship course.

    I'm bound to say, it is a good initiative, albeit one with the wrong approach - making it a terrible waste of time in my opinion.

    Why?

    Because entrepreneurship isn't some number of concept you memorize. It goes beyond knowing how to write business plans or how to apply for loans in the bank.

    It isn't just about starting a business either.

    You can own a business and be totally unentrepreneurial about it. But you can be a student and be entrepreneurial about studying. You can be working and be entrepreneurial with your career.

    Entrepreneurship is a mindset, a way of living; it is an attitude to life. It involves being optimistic and totally open to the randomness of life. It involves taking risks and above all solving existing problems.

    So unless these courses are able to reach deeper into the minds of students and create the type of shift in thinking that's needed, they'll continue to be a waste of time.

    Having said that, there are ways you can start developing your mindset and changing your attitude right from college to mirror that of entrepreneurs so that you don't fall into the same trap as the majority of your peers.

    Without further ado, here they are:

    1. Leave 'perfect' be

    Being an entrepreneur often involves knowing when to stop and embracing 'just good enough'. Perfectionism is the death of many an entrepreneur. You should know when it is not worth it to deny yourself of sleep because you want to read for the next day's exam.

    2. Build relationships

    Being an entrepreneur involves a great deal of networking and building meaningful relationships with others, especially those you can learn a lot from. Begin to practice in College by spreading your net and reaching out to as many people as you can. Most importantly, make your choices of friends well.

    3. Take responsibility for your mistakes

    Stop playing the blame game whenever you fail and your academics is a good place to start. Yes that lecturer must have failed you for no reason, or perhaps he/she didn't mark the script at all, but thinking in this line especially if you can't do anything about it is nothing but embracing the victim mentality. Look for what you did wrong and improve on it next time.

    4. Seize opportunities, but first be open to them

    That's the only way you can identify them when they present themselves. Don't be a passive member in college. Don't simply pass through it without letting even a little bit of it pass through you. Because then, it becomes almost certain that you'll also become a passive member of the world in your later life.

    5. Solve problems, stop complaining about them

    If you think something is not right, take the initiative or step necessary to fix it. It won't kill, I promise. Rather you'll be surprised how many people are willing to support you once you take that initial first step.

    6. Be committed to being a better version of yourself

    One thing about entrepreneurs is that they're always learning, improving and evolving. They do this by being intentional about it.

    Read books, develop yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.

    All these qualities if well developed will set you apart and prepare you for whatever life blows your way.

    By the time you graduate, you'll be ready to take on the world.

    Related: How to get started as an entrepreneur

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