How to Leverage Being a Student Entrepreneur
Being a student entrepreneur has more perks than you might think. At first glance, it might appear to be more restricting because of time needed for classes, homework, projects, etc. Some students struggle to balance school & life, not to mention adding a business on top of that. But in reality, you can look at being a student entrepreneur in a completely different perspective in order to make the most out of your current position and resources.
Being a student is one of the best times to explore entrepreneurship. Your only pressure from friends and family is to succeed in school. If you're still in your early 20s or younger, you most likely don't have a mortgage to pay, family to feed, or bills up the wazoo... that being said, you have more flexibility with your time. Most full-time students probably don't have full-time jobs, which means you have extra time to invest in your business. Given, you'll have to make some sacrifices (skip that Friday night party or Saturday afternoon pep rally) but nothing great is accomplished without making some sort of sacrifices. Take advantage of the opportunity to use your extra time in your favor.
Resources for Student Entrepreneurs
Many students take this for granted, but in reality there are abundant resources for student entrepreneurs. Take a look at what your university offers first. You most likely have access to the Adobe suite on school computers, Microsoft Office suite, free printing in the library, office hours with professionals (aka teachers) and much more! It's you're duty to research the free perks you can access through your specific school in order to take adverting of them all. I'm not going to lie... I still head back to my college campus to utilize free printing available to alumni for life!
One of the most under-utilized resources is human capital. Your teachers love to help - so don't be afraid to ask. Even if you have to venture off into departments outside of your major, take advantage of your teacher's office hours and consider it free consulting advice. Your teachers might even be intrigued enough to follow up with you and offer more help or guidance.
Secret Tip: If you go to a large school and office hours or teacher time is limited, try to find a smaller university near by and crash their office hours. Sometimes at smaller schools, the teachers' hours aren't utilized and they are bored waiting in their office. It doesn't hurt to ask.
Get Your Foot in the Door
Being a student is one of the easiest ways to get in the door of a potential customer or client. Asking for interview time as a student is much more than appealing than a salesman asking for a pitch. If you're doing customer discovery and need feedback from your clients, ask them for 10 min of their time for a school project or interview. Definitely leverage being a student to get face-to-face time from busy professionals in the workplace. This is especially helpful for B2B businesses that need to speak with a high-level executive who's often too busy to handle sales calls.
I can't express enough how important it is to realize the resources you have available and take advantage of them. Leverage your network to meet people, accept mentoring, attend networking events, and get help from your professors. If you have any questions or would like any more advice on this topic, I'd love to help out any way I can. Please reach out with any questions.
"Being a student is a great resource that many take for granted. You don't realize how many resources you have until one day you graduate and have to pay for everything in the real world." - Alexis Schomer